Regular garbage disposal maintenance will add years to your equipment’s working life. Taking a few sensible precautions and maintaining regular upkeep will ensure it is working at peak performance levels whenever you need it.
Your garbage disposal works by shredding food debris so that it can pass harmlessly through the sewer system. Although the disposer is a real workhorse, it can become clogged with pieces of food or other items it isn’t prepared to handle. Here are a few tips and tricks that will help you properly care for your garbage disposal.
- Clean your disposal regularly. You can choose one of two methods. You can fill it with ice cubes and one cup of rock or coarse salt, then run it for several seconds with a steady stream of cold water. Or you can make vinegar ice cubes and run them through the disposal once each week. Add several drops of food coloring to your vinegar ice, so you know they aren’t for drinks!
- Untangle fibers that catch on the blades by using the wrench supplied by the manufacturer that made your garbage disposal. You can also use the wrench to adjust the nut at the base, then press the red reset button and toggle the switch to get it to restart, if necessary.
- Cut large pieces of garbage into smaller ones. For example, cut watermelon rinds into small sections, then place these one at a time into the disposal.
- Grind small bones from chicken and fish and small pits from fruits. These provide a regular scouring along the walls of the disposal chamber that keep it clean and free of buildup.
- Run cold water down the drain while you operate the disposal. Keep it running for at least 30 seconds to a minute longer after the debris has cleared the drain. The benefits are that the cold keeps the motor and shredder from overheating and helps the waste make its way down the drain more easily.
- Don’t use your fingers in the garbage disposal. You might cut a finger severely, or even lose it. Instead, use pliers or tongs to pull out debris that may be clogging the disposal.
- Don’t put fibrous or starchy food items down the disposal. Fibers are the major cause of blockages and clogs. Starches tend to thicken and cause the blades to slow down or stop. A partial list of what to avoid includes banana peels, coffee grounds, potato peels, eggshells, celery, artichokes and corn cobs or husks.
- Don’t put hard items and nonfood debris into the garbage disposal. For example, avoid items such as unpopped kernels of popcorn; hard bones; shells from crabs, shrimp and other shellfish; fabric; rags; sponges; string; glass; nails; twist ties; rubber bands; hair; grease; and plant clippings.
- Don’t use a commercial drain cleaner or bleach in an effort to unclog your garbage disposal. Use the wrench that came with it or call a repairperson.
- Finally, don’t pour hot water into your disposal if it slows down or becomes clogged. This melts any fat already inside, making the clog worse.
These simple tips from the experts at Complete Appliance Repair in North Salt Lake, Utah, will help keep your trusty disposer working efficiently for years. Call the Complete Appliance technicians to assist you with all of your garbage disposal maintenance and repair needs.