Garbage disposal, a common appliance in your kitchen, is an essential part as far as the cleanliness of your home is concerned. Despite this, garbage disposal is commonly abused—which plays a key role in reducing its lifespan. For instance, not paying enough attention to its maintenance and grinding wrong items can clog it—leading to unnecessary blockages. Other common problems that arise from poor use of the garbage disposal include jams, odors, as well as extreme plumbing bills. So, if these are the things you don’t want in your garbage disposal, practice proper as well as routine maintenance. Use it probably. With proper maintenance and use, you can extend its lifespan and save huge on repairs. Also, be sure to buy the best garbage disposal; from the best brands like Waste King and InSinkErator. Learn everything to do with Waste King vs InSinkErator. Keep reading to find out more.
Common Garbage Disposal Operating Basics
Before using your garbage disposal, let cold water flow through it. Then allow the disposal to continue running for about 15 seconds. Proceed by turning it on (to do this flip wall switch as you feed the waste into it) while the water is still on. When the waste is over, the grinding should automatically stop. At this stage, you can now switch it off. Finally, run the cold water again for about 30 seconds—this ensures that the unit is clear. Then turn off the cold water.
Things to Avoid
Don’t feed the garbage disposal with any no-biodegradable waste. It can damage the blades, clog the pipes, or strain the motor. Plastics, glass, paper-based products, and metal wastes shouldn’t find their ways into the garbage disposal. Also, things like fibrous potatoes, glue, coffee husks, and tough-skinned veggies are enemies of the garbage disposal. So, if you have been feeding things like corn husks, celery stalks, or onion skins into your garbage disposal—you are killing it slowly. For instance, fibers tend to grab the blades—causing a jam in the motor. Plus, this stuff can clog the pipes—leading to blockages.
Additionally, avoid pouring oil and grease into your unit—they tend to solidify, accumulate, cause odor, and clog the pipes. It’s also important to note that grinding large bones or fruit pits in the disposal makes the blades dull/ blunt. They can also make the motor to jam.
Things to Do
Before using your disposal, be sure to run cold water. The cold water helps fats and grease to solidify so that they can be easily chopped by the disposal blade. This makes it easy to flush them down the drain. Always, ensure that your disposal is kept clean. Run hot water with soap on a daily basis.
Pro tip—grind small fish and chicken bones—it will help in scouring the disposal’s walls and keep it super clean. Don’t overload it with food. Instead, make slow feeds. Consider cutting large pieces into smaller ones before feeding them into your disposal unit.
Jammed Disposal Unit Tips
If you notice a humming sound upon turning the disposal unit on, know that it has jammed or clogged. This is an indication that grinding is not taking place. The good thing is that you can fix the issue by yourself. All you need to do is turn the disposal off. Then unplug it. Use a flashlight to investigate what is stopping the blades from moving. Get pliers and pull anything that is stopping it out. Then turn the disposal manually using a wooden blade. Alternatively, you can insert a hex wrench into the disposal hole to manually turn its shaft plus flywheel. If it (i.e. the flywheel) moves freely, consider restoring your unit’s power.
Keep It Fresh
Don’t let your garbage disposal smell. Unpleasant odor can make your kitchen messy and unbearable. So, never let waste food accumulate. Flush everything away as soon as possible. Plus, you can use various tactics to deal with an odor. For instance, you can use cup-up lemon or even lime when turning up the waste to eliminate a bad odor. Alternatively, you can go for freezer vinegar (i.e. in ice cube trays) and toss it into the unit as it churns the foods. The ice cubes will be chopped up—freeing the food particles and residues from the unit’s walls. They will then be flushed away—a key step that eliminates particle accumulation and the bad odor by extension. Plus, vinegar is a powerful substance that eliminates any odor-causing bacteria.
Tips To Keep Your Unit Running Right
The importance of garbage disposal in homes cannot be underestimated. From getting rid of leftovers, disposing of unwanted peels, to discarding expired foods—garbage disposal plays a big role when it comes to the cleanliness on your kitchen. So, don’t take it for granted. If you do, it will end up being clogged, jammed, producing an unpleasant odor, and even stop working. So, if you care about your kitchen cleanness, take care of your garbage disposal. Extend its life and prevent those unwanted jams or clogs with the following simple tips.
1: Run It Regularly
Don’t leave your disposal idle. Even if there is nothing to grind, run it. Do it on a regular basis. Leaving it idle can make it freeze, corrode, and even rust. Plus, if there are hidden lefty overs in it, odors can be produced. So, run it on a regular basis to keep it in good shape.
2: The Power of Cold Water
Always use cold water when running your garbage disposal. Don’t use hot water. Cold water freezes the oils and grease—making it easy to churn them. Use hot water when cleaning your unit.
3: The Power of Running It Longer
Don’t just switch your disposal off after it has finished grinding the food. Allow at least one minute while water is running. Doing this ensures that no food is remaining in the walls that can clog the unit or lead to bad odor. Also, use soap water when cleaning your unit
4: Feed Smaller Pieces
Don’t feed large pieces into your unit. Consider cutting them into smaller ones. It makes it easy for the blades to grind them
5: Use Citrus Fruit
Of course, soap plus water makes your disposal unit clean. But you can also toss some orange and lemon peels into the unit—it makes it clean and odor-free.
Don’t take your garbage disposal for granted. It’s a fundamental component for your home. It helps you do away with unwanted or expired foods. Know how to operate it, maintain it, and what to feed into it. The above information will help you keep your unit clean and sparkling for years.
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