A garbage disposal is a convenient kitchen appliance that helps manage waste efficiently. However, like any device, it requires proper care and maintenance to ensure longevity and optimal performance. Here are some essential garbage disposal tips to extend the life of your disposal and keep it running smoothly.

1. Garbage Disposal Tips: Run Cold Water When Using the Disposal

Always run cold water before, during, and after using your garbage disposal. Cold water helps solidify grease or oils, allowing them to be chopped up and flushed down the drain more easily. Hot water can cause these substances to liquefy and adhere to the blades and pipes, leading to clogs.

2. Avoid Putting Certain Items Down the Disposal

Not all kitchen waste is suitable for your garbage disposal. Avoid putting the following items down the drain:

  • Fibrous Vegetables: Celery, corn husks, and asparagus can wrap around the blades.
  • Grease and Oil: These can solidify and cause blockages.
  • Bones and Pits: Hard materials can damage the blades and motor.
  • Coffee Grounds: They can accumulate and cause clogs.
  • Eggshells: The membrane can wrap around the blades, and the shell fragments can cause blockages.

3. Cut Waste into Smaller Pieces

Cut larger food waste into smaller pieces before putting them into the disposal. This reduces the strain on the motor and blades, making it easier to dispose of and handle the waste efficiently. Feed the waste gradually rather than all at once to prevent overloading.

4. Garbage Disposal Tips: Use the Disposal Regularly

Regular use prevents rust and corrosion, ensuring all parts remain moving and functional. If you go for extended periods without using the disposal, run it with cold water occasionally to keep it in good working order.

5. Clean the Disposal Regularly

Cleaning your garbage disposal helps prevent odors and buildup of debris. Here are some effective cleaning methods:

  • Ice Cubes and Salt: Grinding ice cubes with a handful of salt helps remove debris from the blades and walls of the disposal.
  • Citrus Peels: Grinding citrus peels (such as lemon or orange) cleans the disposal and leaves a fresh scent.
  • Baking Soda and Vinegar: Pouring baking soda followed by vinegar into the disposal creates a fizzing action that helps clean and deodorize.

6. Use a Disposal Cleaner or Deodorizer

Commercial disposal cleaners and deodorizers are designed to clean and maintain garbage disposals. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use. Regular use can help keep your disposal in top condition.

7. Avoid Using Chemical Drain Cleaners

Chemical drain cleaners can damage the blades and other components of your garbage disposal. If you experience a clog, use a plunger or a drain snake to clear it manually. For persistent issues, consider consulting a professional plumber.

8. Check for Leaks and Tighten Connections

Regularly inspect your garbage disposal for leaks and ensure all connections are tight. Loose connections can cause water damage and reduce the efficiency of the disposal. Address any leaks promptly to prevent further issues.

9. Use the Disposal’s Reset Button

If your garbage disposal jams or stops working, use the reset button at the bottom of the unit. This button can reset the disposal’s internal circuit breaker and get it running again. Always refer to your user manual for specific instructions.

10. Garbage Disposal Tips: Schedule Professional Maintenance

Annual maintenance by a professional can help identify and address potential issues before they become major problems. A plumber can also provide valuable tips and advice on maintaining your specific model of garbage disposal.

By following these tips, you can extend the life of your garbage disposal, ensure it runs efficiently, and avoid unnecessary repairs. Proper care and maintenance are key to keeping this essential kitchen appliance in top working condition.

AWP Home Inspections offers professional home inspection services in West Central and Central Indiana. Our team is dedicated to providing information so you can feel confident about your property’s condition. Contact us to request an appointment.