Garbage disposals are a convenient way to dispose of food waste, but if not used properly, they can cause clogs and damage to your plumbing system. To ensure your garbage disposal lasts as long as possible and operates efficiently, it’s essential to follow some simple dos and don’ts. In this article, we’ll discuss tips for long-lasting performance and how to avoid common mistakes that can cause problems.
The Dos of Using a Garbage Disposal
Use Cold Water
When using your garbage disposal, it’s best to use cold water. Cold water helps solidify any fats or oils in the food, making it easier to grind up and prevent clogs. Additionally, cold water helps keep the motor cool, which can prevent overheating and prolong the life of the garbage disposal.
Run Water Before and After Use
Before you turn on the garbage disposal, run water through the sink for a few seconds to create a flow. After you’ve finished using the garbage disposal, continue running the water for a few seconds to flush out any remaining food particles.
Cut Food into Small Pieces
To avoid overloading the garbage disposal, it’s best to cut food into small pieces before sending it down the drain. This makes it easier for the garbage disposal to grind up the food and prevents clogs.
Use Citrus to Freshen Up the Disposal
If your garbage disposal starts to smell, you can freshen it up by running some citrus peels through it. This will help eliminate any unpleasant odors and leave your disposal smelling fresh.
Keep the Garbage Disposal Clean
Regularly cleaning your garbage disposal can help prevent clogs and prolong its lifespan. You can clean your disposal by running a few ice cubes through it, followed by some baking soda and vinegar. The ice helps to sharpen the blades, while the baking soda and vinegar help to remove any buildup.
The Don’ts of Using a Garbage Disposal
Don’t Use Hot Water
While cold water is beneficial for a garbage disposal, hot water can cause problems. Hot water can melt any fats or oils in the food, causing them to solidify in the pipes and leading to clogs. Additionally, hot water can cause the motor to overheat, which can lead to damage or even failure.
Don’t Overload the Garbage Disposal
It’s essential to only send small amounts of food through the garbage disposal at a time. Overloading the disposal can cause it to clog or jam, which can lead to damage. Additionally, sending large chunks of food through the disposal can damage the blades and cause them to dull.
Don’t Send Non-Food Items Through the Disposal
Garbage disposals are designed to grind up food waste, not non-food items. Sending items like paper, plastic, and glass through the disposal can damage the blades and cause clogs. It’s essential to only send food waste through the disposal to avoid causing damage.
Don’t Use Harsh Chemicals to Clean the Disposal
Harsh chemicals like bleach and drain cleaners can damage the garbage disposal and cause it to malfunction. Instead of using chemicals, it’s best to clean the disposal using natural methods like ice cubes, baking soda, and vinegar.
Don’t Ignore Problems
If you notice any problems with your garbage disposal, like strange noises, slow draining, or foul odors, it’s essential to address them right away. Ignoring problems can lead to more significant issues down the line and even cause the disposal to fail.