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Do’s and Don’ts: How to Protect Your Garbage Disposal

By February 15, 2017No Comments

Your garbage disposal is an important part of your kitchen plumbing. The disposal’s purpose
is to grind up food so that your kitchen pipes don’t get clogged or backed up. If your garbage disposal breaks, you won’t be able to clean plates off the sink, and if you’re unlucky, you may not be able to use your sink at all. Here are some basic do’s and don’t so you can keep your garbage disposal running smoothly.

Do: Clean the Disposal

1. Pour a pot of boiling hot water down your drain.
2. Pour 1/2 cup baking soda and let sit for 5 minutes.
3. Pour a mixture of 1 cup vinegar and 1 cup very hot water on top of the baking soda.
4. Cover with drain plug and let it sit for 10 minutes.
5. Flush with a pot of boiling water.
If your disposal still smells, toss in a peeled lemon or orange to freshen it up.

Do: Use the Disposal

If you haven’t been regularly running the garbage disposal, you should begin doing that today. Regular running of the disposal makes sure that all the moving parts in the garbage disposal are functioning properly. Plus, the more you run it, the more likely you are to recognize when there is a problem with it.

Do: Use Cold Water

When running the garbage disposal, be sure only to use the cold water. While it is safe to use hot water when not running the garbage disposal, hot water will only cause blockages while the disposal is running. The hot water acts as a glue and makes items such as oils or fats to bind together. This makes it harder on the disposal to break up the food and can damage your garbage disposal.

Do: Use Water With the Disposal

Using water with the garbage disposal will help soften the food and move it through the garbage disposal with ease. Cold water is much easier to get items such as grease or oil safely down through the garbage disposal system. Not using water can make the disposal system work overtime and can even cause clogs deeper in the pipes.
Don’t: Put Grease or Oil Down the Disposal

You should NEVER put any grease or oil down you garbage disposal. Doing so causes the grease or oil to act as a lubricant on the blades, and thus making them ineffective. Not only will the blades start to lose effect on the waste, but when disposed with other food, the grease will make the waste very difficult to get through the system and ultimately cause a system failure.

Don’t: Put Food That Expands Down the Disposal

While it may seem tempting, you should not put expandable food such as rice down the garbage disposal. When you put these items down the disposal, they can still expand from the running water as you wash them down the drain. This is a common reason why many garbage disposals get backed up or completely blocked.

Don’t: Use Harmful Chemicals

You should avoid using toxic chemicals such as bleach and Drano to fix a garbage disposal. Putting the wrong kind of chemical on the blades may cause corrosion or rust to form on the blades and pipes. Instead, call a plumber to come safely fix the blockage and get your garbage disposal up and running in no time.

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