Are You Mistreating Your Garbage Disposal?

The concept of a garbage disposal seems easy, just put your cooking scraps in the sink, flip the switch and down they go right? – Nope!

Garbage disposals are wonderful appliances that often cut down on our household duties, but it’s important to remember that they need to be operated and maintained properly. The trouble is, a lot of people don’t know what the ‘proper’ way to use the disposal is and that there are certain things you shouldn’t put down the drain at all.

Below we have some do’s and don’ts that are sure to help you maintain your disposal!

Garbage Disposal 101: Things You SHOULD Be Doing

  1. Run cold water while using your garbage disposal. This helps flush items down the drain.
  2. Run your disposal regularly. Running the garbage disposal regularly is like exercise for the appliance. This keeps the parts moving, which helps prevent rusting and corrosion.
  3. Clean your disposal. Adding a little dish soap to cold, running water can help keep your disposal clean and prevent unwanted odors. You can also flush peels from lemons, oranges and limes down to help freshen up your disposal.
  4. Cut waste into smaller pieces.

*Most meat scraps, fruit & veggie scraps and citrus rinds are safe to put down the disposal.*

Things You Should NOT Put Down Your Garbage Disposal

Coffee grounds: There is a lot of debate about whether coffee grounds are safe or not. We say if you’re going to put the down the drain, make sure you’re only doing a little at a time. Coffee grounds can be like sand running down your drain, and over time it wears away at the equipment.

Egg shells: Many believe that putting egg shells down your drain will sharpen the blades. However, this is not true, and the shells can actually cause damage and clogs. If you want to sharpen the blades, try ice instead.

Grease or oil: Both of these can solidify and cause clogs.

Bones: Bones can jam and dull blades and also become lodged in the drain, trapping other things you try to flush down.

Potato peels: Starch from the potato can cling to the sides and make it difficult to flush down the pipe.

Glass, plastic, metal, paper: These may seem like common sense, but just in case, we want to warn you that these items can and most likely will cause jams and dull blades among other more serious issues.

Expandable foods (rice, pasta, etc): Like potatoes, these foods also contain starch, which can make them cling to the sides of the pipes. In addition, the running water makes them expand, which can cause your disposal to clog.

*Remember to use your best judgement. If it seems like the item is going to be hard to break down, it is probably safer to just dispose of it in your trash can.*

Clogged drains are a major inconvenience and can often be costly to repair. Following these tips can help prevent unnecessary troubles with your garbage disposal.

If you do run in to some issues, be sure to give us a call. We have the tools and know-how to help you whether you just have a question, need a repair, or have an emergency plumbing situation.

Kramer and Co. Mechanical can help with all your garbage disposal needs.

For questions or to schedule an appointment, call (479)855-6161 today! You may also contact us via our website or Facebook.

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