Garbage disposals are great for getting rid of unwanted leftovers, expired food, and discarded peels, but many homeowners tend to take this handy kitchen system for granted. Many homeowners don’t give a second thought to their garbage disposal system until it becomes clogged, or something goes wrong with the system in general. The simple truth of the matter is that most times when this kind of thing occurs, it is because the homeowner is unfamiliar with the proper care regimen that is required to keep your disposal running effectively and efficiently. To assist you in keeping your garbage disposal working properly for a long time to come, we have put together this short list of five simple steps you can take to extend the life of your garbage disposal and prevent future clogs and jams.
Run Your Disposal Regularly
The first step in making sure your garbage disposal doesn’t clog or break down is to make sure you run it regularly, even if you don’t have something you need to grind up. To keep everything working properly, turn on the water and run your disposal every few days to move the parts around. If you don’t do this regularly, the disposal can freeze up, rust, and even corrode, leaving any food inside to harden, leading to odors and clogs. Running your garbage disposal at regular intervals is similar to exercising your body to stay in shape.
Use Cold Water
When using your home’s garbage disposal, you want to make sure you are using cold water, and not hot, while grinding. Hot water works great for cleaning many different things, but when it comes to your garbage disposal, hot water can actually melt the food your disposal is trying to grind up, allowing the waste to cling to the sides and gum up the entire device. Cold water, on the other hand, actually hardens food, making it much easier for the disposal to grind up and push through the drain pipe.
Run Your Disposal Longer
After your garbage disposal has finished grinding up the waste you put down, it is always a good idea to keep the water running for a minute longer. Doing this helps to ensure that all of the food in your disposal has been flushed out and down the pipe to help prevent the debris from clogging it up. You can also run cold water and a little bit of dish soap down the drain after you’ve finished grinding which will help to ensure that nothing remains behind or is stuck clinging to the sides of your device.
Cut Waste Into Smaller Pieces
Your garbage is only so big, and its blades and motor are built to match, so you shouldn’t expect miracles when it comes to grinding up large chunks of meat or fruit. One of the best ways to ensure your disposal’s longevity, make sure you cut your waste into smaller chunks and only feed them into your disposal a few pieces at a time. Otherwise, it is very easy to overwork your disposal and clog or jam it, or even worse, break it altogether.
Grind Citrus Fruit
Soap and cold water can go a long way in keeping your disposal clean, but every once in a while, you can toss in the peel from an orange, lemon, or lime to help keep things fresh and clear any excess waste that may have built up in the disposal. This can also help to eliminate unpleasant odors.