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By Platinum Team May 5, 2014

Garbage Disposal Maintenance Tips

fixingsinkGarbage disposals are one of those appliances you do not give much thought to, but are happy they are there.  While you may not think about your garbage disposal very often, you count on it to work when you need it, but do you know how to best take care of it?  You cannot simply put anything in your garbage disposal that you want and hope it keeps functioning at an optimal level.  There are some basic steps you can follow to properly maintain your garbage disposal and ensure it works when you need it to.

Garbage disposals grind up and dispose of food items so that you do not have to put them in your trash can.  They are incredibly handy and convenient.  But, not everything, not even every food item, should be put down your garbage disposal.  Many items can cause damage and flat out break your garbage disposal.  BHG Real Estate discusses what you should and should not put in your garbage disposal, “Certain foods should never be put in the disposal, like anything greasy, stringy, ultra-starchy, fibrous, bony or rocky. That includes melted butter, shortening or bacon grease, celery or carrot sticks and peelings, banana or potato peelings, corn husks, artichoke leaves, steak bones, and avocado and peach pits, among other cloggers.  You may have a disposal that can handle some of these items, but don’t try them unless the directions say so.

Some foods may fool you. Chicken skin may seem harmless, but it’s greasy and fibrous. It’s better to be safe than sorry, so if you’re in doubt about a food, use the trashcan instead.”  If you find that you have a clog in your garbage disposal, never use your fingers to try to fix the clog.  There are sharp metallic blades in the garbage disposal and they could seriously injury you.  Instead, use pincers or tongs to try to break up a clog in your garbage disposal.

When you do run your disposal, run the water for an additional 20 seconds after turning off the disposal to make sure everything has rinsed down the drain.  Use warm water and lemon peels and run the garbage disposal to get rid of bad smells.  Never pour hot grease into your drain because as it cools it will solidify and cause a clog.  You should also never use harsh chemical cleaners or bleach to clean your garbage disposal because they can cause damage to the blades.  Vinegar is a great natural tool for cleaning your garbage disposal and if you freeze vinegar in an ice cube tray you can put the vinegar cubes through the garbage disposal for additional cleaning and scouring.

If you only grind biodegradable items that are not listed above as bad for your garbage disposal, your garbage disposal should be able to avoid clogs and major problems.  From time to time, all garbage disposals will develop bad smells but when you follow the cleaning tips above, you can quickly remedy bad smells.  Proper care of your garbage disposal will result in a long lasting, very useful appliance.