Extending the Life of Your Garbage Disposal

kitchen sink

Your garbage disposal is a lifesaver.  It is a remarkably quick and convenient way to dispose of food waste.  In fact, many garbage disposals can withstand years of daily use without a beat.  But how do you keep the not-so-silent hero of your kitchen healthy?  If properly monitored and maintained, your garbage disposal can dodge the serious problems for years to come.  Continue reading for best practices and tips for extending the life of your garbage disposal.

 

Run Cold Water During Use

The cool shock from cold water will cause the food that is in your drain to harden.  This is ideal, since hardened food is much easier for your garbage disposal to grind up.  Many people get in the habit of running hot water down their drain, however we advise against using hot water for your garbage disposal as the high temperature can melt your food waste.  Melted food waste will adhere to the pipes of your sink and garbage disposal, which in turn can cause a clog or a more serious issue.

 

Watch What Goes Down the Drain

Certain materials should never come in contact with your garbage disposal.  Obviously, metals and plastics should be thrown away instead of shredded down the drain.  Many other things should be kept away from your disposal, including fibrous vegetables, bones, oils, and grease.  Here is a list of some of the things that should never be placed in your garbage disposal:

  • Metal objects
  • Plastic objects
  • Fats
  • Oils
  • Grease
  • Fibrous vegetables (like celery)
  • Bones
  • Wooden objects
  • Glass objects

 

Add Some Citrus

Now, time for something that we encourage putting in your garbage disposal: citrus fruits!  Whenever you peel a lemon, lime, or orange, toss that peel down the drain of your sink and let your garbage disposal work its magic.  The peel will help to eliminate some of the food waste that is stuck to the blades and interior of the garbage disposal.  Additionally, the fresh scent will suppress any odors coming from the garbage disposal.

 

Occasionally Use Boiling Water

Remember when we said that hot water is not the best option for garbage disposal use?  That remains true.  However, if you are trying to wash away any excess food stuck in your system, a pot of boiling water down the drain once a month will do the job.  Keep in mind, the heat does cause the food that is in your garbage disposal to melt, which can cause clogs.  It is imperative that you do not pour boiling water down your drain more than recommended.

 

Keep It Running

Many people will shut off the garbage disposal after they hear a change in sound, generally indicating that the food is gone.  This method will leave bits and pieces of your food waste in the disposal, which after time can cause a clog.  To avoid this issue, we recommend running the disposal for an extra two minutes with cool, running water.  This ensures that all pieces of food waste are eliminated down the drain.  As an added aspect of protection, pump a small amount of dish soap into the disposal.  The grease-fighting powers of the dish soap will both clean the disposal and finish the job by sweeping away any stubborn pieces of food waste.

 

For more tips on how to maintain the plumbing in your home, or to speak with a professional about your garbage disposal issues, call The WireNut today!