Kitchen Garbage Disposal Maintenance Tips
If you have a garbage disposal you surely know how helpful it is. Just like anything else to keep it working great and to get the most time out of it, maintenance needs to be done from time to time. Most maintenance can be done easily and quickly. So let’s go over some garbage disposals maintenance tips that most of you can easily do yourself.
Table Of Contents
THE DO NOT’S OF GARBAGE DISPOSALS
Some things you should not do to help extend the life of your garbage disposal:
- Don’t pour grease into your disposal, it can still collect in your drain causing clogs.
- Avoid large bones, fruit pits, or shellfish they can cause damage over time. Small bones are welcome in most disposals, just make sure your disposal allows for that.
- Items like celery, artichokes, egg shells, corn husks, banana peelings or anything else starchy or stringy should be cut up in pieces before putting in disposal. Reducing the chance of a jam or a block.
- Only put as much food waste in holding bin as your disposal allows for.
- Always make sure to run COLD water during operation and up to 30 secs after to make sure things are rinsed out well. Can rinse out with hot water for cleaning purposes when not getting rid of food waste.
- Never fill grinding chamber with food waste and leave it sit.
- Never put any hazardous items down the disposal, such as pills or liquids.
- Keep silverware out of the grinding chamber.
- Keep drain cover over grinding chamber hold to avoid unwanted items from falling in.
- Never try to repair if you don’t know how, leave it to a professional.
- Check regularly for leaks or other issues that can be seen with the naked eye.
- Always make sure it is never left running when not in use.
GARBAGE DISPOSAL CLEANING TIPS
Keeping your disposal clean can extend its life too. So having a regular cleaning schedule can also help keep any type of smells away too. Even though a disposal is pretty good at keeping itself clean to an extent. It is an area that is relatively enclosed, so it can get stinky if not cleaned properly. So here are some great tips on how to get it done!
EVERY 30 DAYS GARBAGE DISPOSAL MAINTENANCE TIPS
- Take a tray of ice cubes and put them in the sink. Turn on disposal to grind the ice cubes into a slush consistency. Run a small bit of cold water, the mixture will clog drain and water will back up into the sink. That is perfectly fine, so no worries! After a few minutes it will melt and it will all go down drain. It is a great was to remove any food waste that might have hung around. Also helps sharpen blades!
- If you are able to remove your drain baffle, take it out and give it a good scrub down with small brush. Such as a toothbrush, soap and water. Just don’t forget to put it back before using the disposal again.
- Put a 1/2 cup of baking soda and 1 cup of vinegar in the grinding chamber. Then boil some water, once it reaches boiling point, pour it down the drain. Slowly to avoid splashing back at you! You can also use a mixture of 1 tablespoon of bleach and a gallon of water instead.
- If you just want to freshen up the smell of it, if you notice it smells a little funky. Then just grind up some orange or lemon rinds for a fresh smell. The natural oils in the rinds are cleaners too.
TAKE CARE OF THAT JAM! SAVE THE MOTOR!
Garbage disposals have gotten better over the years, like many other products out there today. If you have had an older garbage disposal, you have probably experienced a jam. They may not happen often, but when they do you want to address them as soon as possible. Jams can be very damaging to your garbage disposal unit. You may already know what you do but if you don’t here is what you need to know when you have a jam on your hands.
Shut off water and turn off the power to the garbage disposal. When shutting off power shut the power off at the main electrical panel, not the switch. You can shut the switch too for extra safety if you choose. You can access the grind chamber from the center hole under the disposal. Usually pliers are needed for this. Work the pliers side to side until you are able to make a full circle.
Once you gain access to chamber use pliers or another object to clean out the obstruction. Never use your fingers to remove an obstruction. Make sure you allow a short period for motor to cool before operating again. Then if your unit has a reset button, push the button and turn on disposal. Make sure to remember to run cold water during operation even during this too.
If everything is running fine again, you are good to go. However, if your garbage disposal still isn’t working right and you know you have removed all obstructions. You may have to call a professional because there may be something else going on with your unit.
THE WRAP UP
When it comes to garbage disposal maintenance, it is easy for most of us to handle. With proper maintenance and common sense some units can last 12 years or more. So part of how long they last does last on the owner. They do a lot for us by taking care of all that food waste that we don’t want to deal with. Always refer to your manufacturers suggestions too, as well as make sure you do nothing to void any standing warranties.
If you are in the market for upgrading an older unit, but not sure how to choose between the types out there. Please check our Best Garbage Disposals Review 2016 page. There you will find some great things to consider when purchasing a new garbage disposal.