A garbage disposal is one of the very useful appliances in your kitchen. When working properly, it keeps your kitchen clean and fresh, makes post-dinner cleanup easy and reduces the amount of garbage that fills the land. But it is also one of the most delicate appliances that you can have as it may call for most repairs. For continued efficiency for longer period of time, a garbage disposal needs preventive maintenance and proper care.
Let’s take a look at a few things you need to do and avoid in order to keep your garbage disposal in an excellent condition for as long as possible.
Tip #1: Run Disposal Regularly
If you have a garbage disposal installed in your kitchen, it is a good idea to run the disposal regularly. Even when you don’t have to grind up anything, run the disposal unit with cold water running through it. This keeps the parts of the disposal unit moving and reduces the risk of your garbage disposal unit freezing up or rusting. Running the garbage disposal every now and then also cleans up the unit from inside. In case you have any leftover food particles that have hardened inside the unit, by running it regularly, you can easily clear them up.
It is recommended that if you do not use your garbage disposal often, you should run it with cold water once every two weeks. Regularly running cold water through your disposal unit is like performing exercise. The more you keep moving, better it is for your body.
Tip #2: Use Cold Water
While many people use hot water to clear up grease and fats, when using a garbage disposal unit, you need to run cold water. Because cold water works best when it comes to cleaning your garbage disposal unit. With hot water, food particles such as fats and grease may soften up and cling to the sides. You can easily solve this problem by running cold water as it hardens the food and makes it easier to the garbage disposal unit to perform its action.
Tip #3: Go for Longer Run Time
Yes you need to keep your garbage disposal running until you finish grinding up the food. But for better cleaning and increased efficiency, it is a good idea to keep the garbage disposal unit running for longer. Means that once the grinding job is finished, keep the disposal unit running so that the leftover food gets flushed out of the garbage disposal. Also, as mentioned earlier, use cold water instead of warm or hot water in order to ensure proper cleaning of your garbage disposal.
Tip # 4 Cut Waste into Bite Size Pieces
Though your garbage disposal unit is a grinding machine, it is not designed to grind very large pieces of food, meat, fruits and bones. The blades and the motor are only powerful enough to grind smaller sized food particles. So whatever you intend to throw in your disposal unit, make sure you first cut it into smaller, bit sized pieces. Cutting your food waste in smaller size ensures that the disposal is not overworked and does not clog or even worse break down.
Tip # 5: Not Everything Goes Down the Drain
While your garbage disposal is designed to grind food particles, some foods simply do not grind up in the disposal unit. Instead, they can clog and result in problems for your appliance. Even when these foods are in a smaller size, these foods can damage your appliance. Some of the foods that should not go down in your garbage disposal unit include:
- Oil, grease and fats
- Potato peels and skin of other fruits and vegetables such as onion, water melon and sweet potato
- Bones of chicken and fish
- Hard seeds and pits of fruits such as mangoes, plum, apricot and peach
- Foods with fibrous waste such as pumpkins and cantaloupe
- Egg shells
- Foods that can expand in water such as rice, pasta and other food items with high starch content
Tip #6: Grind Citrus Fruit
It is important that you clean your garbage disposal unit every time you use it. In case you don’t clean it after use, it can result in foul odor not just in your kitchen but can also spread in your entire house. One possible way of getting rid of this smell is to grind citrus fruit in your garbage disposal. Toss a peel from lemon or orange in your garbage disposal unit and run cold water. It will not only help you get rid of foul odor but will also result in a pleasant and refreshing smell that can keep your kitchen and home fresh.
Tip # 7: Do not Use Bleach or Chemical Drain Cleaners
Every time you have to clean your garbage disposal unit, use liquid soap and water. Regular liquid soap and cold water are enough to keep your garbage disposal unit clean but in case you need a more thorough cleaning or there is a clog in your disposal unit, never use bleach or chemical drain cleaners. Bleach and other synthetic drain cleaners can damage the blades and body of your garbage disposal unit. So in case of clogs or any other problem with your garbage disposal, call a professional plumber.
Tip # 8: Never Put Your Hands in the Garbage Disposal Unit
In case you experience some problem with your garbage disposal unit, never put your hands in it. The blades of a garbage disposal unit are sharp and can cause injury. So in case of a problem, it is best to call in a professional plumber.
By following the maintenance tips highlighted above, you can keep your garbage disposal unit in perfect shape. However, in case you have a problem and need a professional plumber, call Mesa Plumbing. Our professional plumbers can help you solve all garbage disposal unit problems. Whether you want repairs or replacement, our professional technicians can deal with all your problems in no time; that too at the lowest price! To know more about our services or schedule an appointment, call now at 480-832-1660.