When you neglect your garbage disposal, it can cause it to become clogged or stop working altogether. Don’t take your disposal for granted! Here’s our quick guide for proper garbage disposal care to help extend the life of your unit.

What You Shouldn’t Put Down Your Garbage Disposal

An important part of garbage disposal care is making sure you know what can’t go in it. Although garbage disposals are meant to handle lots of different types of food waste, some items can clog or cause other damage to your unit. Preventing damage means keeping your disposal running better for longer as well as avoiding costly repairs or replacements. Here are some of the most common items you need to avoid putting in your unit.

  • Eggshells – A common myth is that eggshells sharpen the blades of your disposal unit. However, eggshells have stringy membranes that can get tangles around the shredder and blades. The shells themselves also can cause drains to clog.
  • Fibrous foods – Celery, carrots, and corn husks can all wrap around the blades and cause the motor to stop running.
  • Expandable foods – Rice, pasta, potatoes, beans, and bread all expand when wet. This increases the chance that other food waste will stick to it and can cause a clog in your unit or pipes.
  • Greasy foods – There are many reasons why you shouldn’t put greasy items down your disposal. Greasy foods, bacon grease, and other fats and oils create a film over the blades, making them dull and ineffective. Also, as fats and oils cool in the disposal and pipes, they can solidify, causing clogs and unpleasant odors in your kitchen.
  • Non-food items – It seems obvious, but people will put plant clippings, glass, rubber bands, and more down their unit. These items can’t get broken down enough by the disposal so they can end up causing a clog. Kitchen garbage disposals are meant for food waste and that’s about it!

Removing Garbage Disposal Odors

Sometimes, your garbage disposal might get a little stinky. That’s no big deal as there are ways to remove the odors. However, we recommend staying away from harsh chemical drain cleaners. These can corrode and weaken the integrity of your pipes and cost you in the long run. These are some ways to eliminate odors while also using products you already have at home!

  • Baking soda and vinegar – The acidity from the baking soda and vinegar solution kills bacteria and eliminates odors. Pour a cup of baking soda and followed by a cup of vinegar down the drain. Let that sit for 10 minutes, then turn on the disposal and wash everything away with hot water for one minute.
  • Ice – Ice is doubly good for garbage disposal care. It helps to clear out the nasty smell as well as sharpen the disposal’s blades. All you need to do is fill your disposal with as many cubes as can fit, run some cold water, and turn on the disposal. Leave both on for a minute until the ice and smell are gone.

How to Clean Your Disposal

For the best garbage disposal care, you should clean it about once a week. This will make sure it runs properly and stays clean. First, make sure to turn off or disconnect the power to your garbage disposal before cleaning. Next, use an extended cable or sink auger to break up and remove foodstuffs that are clogging the disposal or pipes. Don’t just stick your hands down in there – you could cut yourself on the blades. Lastly, flush everything with a thick stream of hot water for one minute as this will help flush everything and reduce the buildup of odors.

We’ll Take Care of Your Garbage Disposal

Garbage disposal care is important in keeping it running smoothly for a long time. But if you’re experiencing issues beyond a bad smell, call us to take a look at it! We can help identify the issue and clear a clog or install an entirely new garbage disposal for you. Wyman Plumbing & Mechanical is always ready to lend a hand! Our plumbers are licensed, insured, and dedicated to giving you the highest level of service. While headquartered in North Phoenix, we proudly service the entire North Valley area and are ready to help you with your plumbing needs!

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