Garbage disposals are convenient devices that make it easy to eliminate food waste when cleaning your kitchen. They’re convenient as long as they are maintained and used correctly. While you should never hesitate to contact us at Affinity Plumbing and Water Conditioning if your garbage disposal isn’t working properly, there are still things that you can do to get the most out of it and prevent costly repairs. Let’s discuss five of the most helpful disposal maintenance tips.

1. Only Use Cold Water

People assume they need to use hot water when cleaning. That may be good advice if you’re washing dishes or scrubbing your sink, but you should only use cold water when running your garbage disposal. Hot water melts grease and fat and causes it to stick to the inside of pipes, while cold water hardens it and makes it easier for your disposal blades to break it apart. It also helps save energy and keeps your blades sharp. After grinding whatever you need pulverized by your garbage disposal, let cold water run for at least 60 seconds to wash everything down your drain.

2. Run Your Garbage Disposal Regularly

You’ll likely have periods when you don’t need to use your garbage disposal to eliminate food waste. When that happens, you should still run your disposal regularly. Daily use keeps the parts lubricated and clean. For added maintenance, try crushing some ice cubes with your garbage disposal to keep the blades sharp.

3. Cut Food Waste Into Small Pieces

Your garbage disposal may be designed to cut and grind food waste into tiny particles, but it has limits. Putting anything too big down your disposal could damage the blades, damage the motor, or clog your drain.

As a rule, you should only send bite-sized waste down your garbage disposal. If you need to get rid of anything bigger, cut it into small pieces first. Smaller pieces are beneficial if you dispose of fibrous fruits, eggshells, and whole foods such as corn. These can clog your drain and damage your garbage disposal, so cut them up. If you don’t think your disposal can handle something, throw it in the trash instead.

4. Use Baking Powder, Vinegar, and Citrus Rinds to Deodorize Your Disposal

It stands to reason that your garbage disposal can get very smelly after a while. Food particles can cling to the blades and sides of even the most efficient garbage disposals and start to decay. While cleaning out whatever is stinking up your disposal with some drain cleaner may be tempting, it can corrode your pipes and damage the disposal blades. Instead of caustic chemicals, clean your garbage disposal with vinegar and baking soda.

If your drain still smells after cleaning, cut up some citrus rinds and grind them with the garbage disposal. The oils in the rinds will not only smell better than anything you might have sent down your drain, but they will also degrease and sanitize your drain and the blades. While at it, don’t forget to add a few ice cubes to keep your blades sharp.

5. Do Not Put Expandable Foods Down Your Disposal

One of the most important parts of using your garbage disposal is knowing what foods it can and cannot handle. For example, you should always avoid putting foods such as pasta, rice, and potatoes down your garbage disposal. These starchy foods expand when wet, which can clog your drain. They also get softer when wet, making them difficult for your blades to cut.

If you must put starchy, expandable foods at your disposal, do so carefully. Let them dry out first if you can, only put small amounts down your drain, and run cold water for at least 60 seconds after grinding them in your disposal. Of course, you’re better off just throwing these materials in the trash instead of down your sink. Even if you have a powerful and efficient garbage disposal that can handle anything, putting too much pasta or rice down your drain always asks for trouble.

These tips will help you get the most out of your garbage disposal, but there is only so much you can do on your own. If your garbage disposal isn’t working even when you follow these tips, contact Affinity Plumbing and Water Conditioning for assistance. We are a family-owned and operated plumbing company that has served homes and businesses in Shakopee, MN, and the surrounding areas since 2013. We provide plumbing services and can always find the most cost-effective solutions for your home’s plumbing issues.

For more information about our plumbing services, contact Affinity Plumbing and Water Conditioning today.

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