While just about any machine requires some type of maintenance, you should be happy to know know that your garbage disposal is a relatively low maintenance appliance. They are almost maintenance free, but occasionally require a little attention.
Tips For Garbage Disposal Maintenance:
One of the most important aspects of garbage disposal maintenance is keeping the cutting blades sharp. This ensures that your food is properly ground and reduces the risk of clogs, as well as puts less strain on the motor.
To sharpen your blades, just grind up some ice cubes every once in a while. Lemon peels also help sharpen the blades and help mask unpleasant odors. This can be done once every month or every few months, depending on how often you use it.
Treating Garbage Disposal Odors:
Besides using lemon peels, there are several other methods of fighting odors coming form your garbage disposal.
A mixture of vinegar and baking soda is a great way to fight odors. Just dump a cup or two of baking soda into your drain, followed by a half cup of vinegar. Do not run your garbage disposal, let it sit for about 15 minutes instead. Run your water and flush the remaining mixture down the drain.
Another cause of odors is the black rubber insert that fit into the opening for the disposal/drain. Sometimes this gets cover with particles of food and trapped in the flaps. Pouring the baking soda/vinegar concoction onto the flap will act as a great cleanser, and is much more effective when you add a little elbow grease. Warm soapy water works too.
Avoid Garbage Disposal Clogs:
Although we show you how to repair a clogged garbage disposal, it’s best to avoid clogs in the first place. Here’s a few handy tips to keep your pipes obstruction free.
Although you may have heard that eggshells are good for sharpening your blades, they don’t. In fact, when ground up, the debris from eggshells has a very hard time passing through the moving parts. It’s best to avoid them altogether.
Avoid grinding up potato peels, as they can form a paste that can coat your pipes and cause a clog rather quick.
Coffee ground are another no-no. This would be similar to pouring sand into your garbage disposal… a sure fire way to clog up your system.
This might be obvious, but don’t try to grind up bones. Otherwise, you’ll need to clear your jammed garbage disposal.
Rice is a less obvious food item, but alas, this can wreak havoc on your plumbing as well. Rice is not easily ground up by the blades, and can harden if it’s allowed to dry, which can be very hard to remove. It’s also worth noting that rice continues to expand after coming in contact with water, so anywhere it’s left to sit inside the garbage disposal lines can see some expansion due to the rice.
Don’t ever put fats, oils, and greases down the drain. These are not supposed to be poured down the drain whether or not you have a garbage disposal, as they are just flat out bad for all household plumbing. Instead, pour them into an empty coffee can and throw it out in your trash.
And remember to always run your water when using your garbage disposal. It’s a good idea to run the water before, during, and after usage. Water helps lubricate the system and flushes food down the drain faster.