Garbage Disposal Do’s and Don’ts

Garbage Disposals: What a wonderful invention. Garbage disposals can be a handy kitchen appliance, not to mention beneficial to the environment, if used correctly and maintained appropriately. If it’s not used or maintained properly, a garbage disposal can easily break down, clog and block the drains and cause a long list of an expensive drain and plumbing nightmares.

Garbage Disposal Do’s

DO use it frequently: Regular use of garbage disposal can prevent it from rusting up and keep any items from getting stuck.
DO remember that size matters: How you put the food into the garbage disposal and how much you add is critical to keeping it running well and not clogging up. Put any larger food pieces in the trash or chop them into smaller pieces so that they will grind well.
DO sharpen the blades: Certain materials like small bones (such as chicken), egg shells, and fruit pits are all good for keeping the blades sharp, and will help clean grease and other trash from the inside walls of the unit. You can also throw some ice cubes to keep your disposal blades nice and sharp.
DO give your disposal some TLC: Keep your garbage disposal clean. After each use, run a little dish soap through it and flush with cold water for at least 15 seconds. Here are a few extra cleaning tips to consider:

  • At least once a week, add a 1/4 cup of baking soda to the disposal and let it sit overnight. In the morning (or a few hours after), pour vinegar into the disposal. It will bubble and clean the inside of the machine for you.
  • Use 3-4 tablespoons of Borax for stinking garbage disposals. Allow it sit for an hour and then run hot water down to flush the system.
  • Throw in orange or lemon slices to clean and deodorize. Run water while the disposal chops these up.

Garbage Disposal Dont’s

DON’T throw everything in: Your garbage disposal is not your garbage can. Remember to use it for small table scraps, and not for large quantities of food.
DON’T grind large bones: Small bones from fish or chicken will help keep the blades sharp. However, bigger bones could break the blades or the unit. Remember to toss those in the trash and not down the sink.
DON’T grind the following items: glass, plastics, metals, non-food items, potato peels, pasta, rice, coffee grounds, foods that have a lot of strings or fibers: corn husks, onion skins, and artichokes, and harsh materials.
DON’T pour any grease in it: no fats, grease or oil should be poured into your disposal. It will accumulate around your blade system and clog your drains.

and of course, DO know when to get help from an Expert:

If you still have garbage disposal problem, it may be time to call the professionals at Einstein Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling at 888-671-7767 or email us at support@einsteinplumbing.com. We service Oregon: Bend, Eugene, Portland, and Salem; Washington: Bellevue, Seattle, Spokane, Tacoma, and Vancouver; and Las Vegas, Nevada. We provide plumbing, water heaters, heating & cooling, and sewer & main lines services.

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