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Garbage Disposal

Garbage Disposal Do’s:

  • Keep your garbage disposal clean.
    Pour a little dish soap inside and let the garbage disposal run for a minute or so with some cold water after washing dishes.
  • Run your garbage disposal regularly.
    Frequent use prevents rust and corrosion, assures that all parts stay moving and prevents obstructions from accumulating.
  • When grinding food waste use a strong flow of cold water.
    Why cold water? It will cause any grease or oils that may get into the unit to solidify, so that they can be chopped up before reaching the trap.

Garbage Disposal Don’ts:

Don’t put anything in the garbage disposal that is not biodegradable food. A garbage disposal is not a trash/can; it’s for food scraps only. Non-food items can damage both blades and the motor. When in doubt, throw it out!

  • Do NOT grind glass, plastic, metal or even paper. 
  • Do NOT grind anything combustible.
  • Do NOT grind cigarette butts.
  • Do NOT grind corncobs.
  • Do NOT pour any grease, oil or fat into your garbage disposal or drain. Grease will slowly accumulate and impede your garbage disposal’s grinding ability as well as clog drains.
  • Do NOT use hot water when grinding food waste. Hot water will cause grease to liquefy and accumulate, causing drains to clog.
  • Do NOT grind extremely fibrous material like cornhusks, celery stalks, onionskins, and artichokes. Fibers from these can tangle and jam the garbage disposal motor and block drains.
  • Do NOT turn off the motor or water until grinding is completed. When grinding is complete, turn off the garbage disposal first. Let water continue to run for at least 15 seconds, flushing out any remaining particles. Then turn off water.
  • Do NOT grind solid, large pieces of potato, or potato peels down the garbage disposal. The starches in the potatoes will turn into a thick paste and may cause blades to stick.
  • Do NOT put large amounts of food down the garbage disposal.
  • Do NOT put expandable foods into your garbage disposal. Foods like pasta and rice expand when you add water in a pot; they do the same thing once inside your pipes or garbage disposal and are the cause of many jams and clogs.
  • Do NOT grind large animal bones (beef, pork etc.).
  • Do NOT put coffee grounds down the garbage disposal they can accumulate in drains and pipes, causing clogs.
  • Do NOT use harsh chemicals such as bleach or drain cleaners. They can damage blades and pipes. Borax is a natural sink cleaner and sanitizer that effectively works on odor-causing mold and mildew that accumulates in garbage disposals.
  • When setting dishes in the sink, make sure you cover the garbage disposal with the black stopper to avoid items from falling into the disposal such as shot glasses, utensils, and other small objects.

Keeping Your Garbage Disposal Running Problem-Free

Ice is an extremely effective and inexpensive method for cleaning your garbage disposal, sharpening the blades and breaking up any grease build up that has accumulated. Just toss a few ice cubes into the garbage disposal and run it. As the garbage disposal chops into the ice cubes, the ice chips will effectively scour all the hard to reach areas of the unit, and melt down the drain. Try this once or twice a month to keep your garbage disposal in fine working order.

To Remove or Prevent Nasty Garbage Disposal Smells

Here are some natural methods to clean your garbage disposal that are good for the environment and very inexpensive.

  • Periodically, take peelings and pieces from citrus fruits such as lemons or oranges and toss them into the disposal. The oils and juice from the fruits and peels naturally clean the walls inside the garbage disposal and create a fresh, long-lasting scent.
  • Freeze vinegar in ice cube trays and run those down the disposal. This will keep your blades sharp while safely killing odor-causing bacteria.
  • For stubborn odors, pour baking soda into the drain and let it set for several hours before running the water and garbage disposal.
  • For really stubborn odors, use a safe cleaning product like Borax. Just pour 3-4 tablespoons of Borax down the drain and let it sit for an hour. Then turn on the hot water and flush the Borax away.

Tips for Removing Fallen Objects

NEVER, EVER insert your unprotected hand into the garbage disposal…unless, of course, you want to lose it! If you must use your hand to remove objects and debris from the garbage disposal, always wear safety gloves to protect your hand from the garbage disposal’s sharp blades.

There are safer steps in retrieving the fallen objects. First, grab a flashlight and try to find the exact location of the object. Use a pair of extra-long needle nose pliers to carefully extract the object (available at most hardware stores).

If unable to extract the object yourself, call the office for a work order during business hours.