Garbage Disposal Maintenance: Keep It Clean, Running, And Odor Free
Keeping your garbage disposal clean, running, and odor free can be very easy to do if you follow a few steps on regular occasion. The methods for garbage disposal maintenance can be grouped into 3 parts. Those parts are proper use of your garbage disposal, cleaning your garbage disposal, and keeping your disposal odor free.
1. Proper use of your garbage disposal
The most important tip for keeping your garbage disposal running is to only put biodegradable items in it. In other words, you should only put items that can decompose and reduce in quantity and mass. Since your garbage disposal is not a trash can, putting solid or semi-solid food items will eventually bind the disposal blades, or cause a clog in the pipes. Additionally, for proper garbage disposal maintenance always run the disposal with the water on, and don’t turn the unit off immediately once the grinding noise stops. Rather, let it continue a little longer so that it can fully break down the particles. finally, allow the water to run the entire time and for at least 15 seconds after you turn it off.
Some items you should never put in your disposal system include:
- Starchy materials such as potato skins, pasta, noodles, rice and cereal flakes since they can congeal and cause clogs.
- Fibrous materials that can get tangled in the motor of the disposal. Examples of fibrous materials are banana skins, celery stalks, corn husks, broccoli, and onion skins.
- Solid or rigid food items like animal bones, unpopped popcorn kernels egg shells, dried beans, and other hard materials should be avoided.
- Oils, fats, or grease should never go in your drain. They can accumulate and begin to slow down the motor of your disposal.
2. Cleaning your garbage disposal
First of all, remember safety first when performing garbage disposal maintenance. Make sure the garbage disposal is off by unplugging the unit or turning off the appropriate circuit breaker. Never put your hand into the garbage disposal. Remove any large or unwanted items from the disposal by first using a flashlight to located the position of the object. Then with a pair of long needle nose pliers, or other appropriate tool, dislodge and remove the object.
Next, to clean the unit start by using some dish soap and a rag to scrub the drain. Scrub both the metal and rubber piece in the center of the sink at the entrance to the garbage disposal. Make sure to clean the inside of the rubber piece as well. Next, plug the drain and pour some water into the sink. Fill the sink until it is about half full. It is advisable to use hot water so that it can melt all the grease and oil around the blades. Then add some liquid soap. Additionally, you can add things like vinegar, baking soda, or borax to the water. Now turn on your disposal and unplug it so that the solution can run through all at once.
3. Keeping your disposal odor free
There are several methods for eliminating odor during your garbage disposal maintenance. One of the most popular methods is to use citrus fruits. It is best to cut the fruit into smaller pieces before adding them to the disposal. Also, using just the peels from any citrus fruit can help as well. It could be an orange, lime, lemon or even grapefruit. It is the citric acid in the fruit, and the natural oils in the peels that leaves the blades of your disposal fresh, clean and odor free. Making special ice cubes can allow you to combine several cleaning methods into one . Combine vinegar, lemon juice and some chopped up citrus peals together in an ice tray and allow it to freeze. Put these special ice cubes and a little rock salt in the disposal together. This mixture will help to break up any food particles that might have got stuck or wrapped around the blades.
For more advice on garbage disposal maintenance see our “Top 6 Garbage Disposal Tips“.