Garbage Disposals: Helpful Home Appliance Or Hidden Hazard?

Underneath many kitchen sinks lies a helpful tool for tackling food waste – the garbage disposal. With the flick of a switch, scraps can be ground into small particles and washed away. However, not all items should go down the drain, as disposals can easily become damaged or clogged. Learning some basic do’s and don’ts can help your disposal serve for years of mess-free grinding. But with so many myths and misconceptions out there, how can you tell what’s safe to shred without worry? Read on for straightforward tips to keep your disposal intact and functioning with top efficiency.

Feed It Right

When it comes to additions, disposals love small, soft foods like vegetable and fruit peels, eggshells, coffee grounds and tea bags. These can be pulverized without much fuss. Be sure to run water while the disposal is operating, as the flowing H2O helps transport pulverized particles and prevents them from accumulating at the bottom. Larger items like chicken or steak bones are a no-no, as they could chip the grinding components inside. Ever feed it potato peelings? Don’t fret, these starchy tubers are totally acceptable in moderation. Just be cautious not to overstuff the chamber, as too much bulk at once may cause it to overheat.

Avoid The Dents

Some substances are downright dangerous for disposal and should always find another destination than your drain. Bones, twigs, corn husks, artichoke leaves, and the like could all potentially dent or crack the grinding ring if they make it past the teeth. Grease is another absolute no-no, as it clumps and builds up over time, inhibiting your disposal’s ability to chew through other tasty tidbits. Once a clog forms, you’ll have a smelly, messy blockage on your hands. Skip tossing grease by pouring it into an old can, and allowing it to solidify before tossing it in the trash.

Clean Bills Of Health

Keeping your disposal clean and clear is key for tip-top functioning. Run it after grinding up food scraps to clear out residues. As an extra regimen, try grinding up ice cubes monthly during regular use. The frigid fragments help to slough off debris sticking inside. Commercial cleaners with abrasives are also useful for scrubbing grime. Be cautious of lemon rinds though, as these can be too acidic over time and corrode metal components. Opt for a baking soda flush instead to deodorize. With a little TLC like this, your disposal will remain in solid working order.

How To Use A Garbage Disposal Properly?

Here are some additional tips for using garbage disposal properly:

  • Only operate the disposal when it’s running water. The water acts as a lubricant for the grinding mechanism and helps flush food particles down the drain.
  • Avoid putting fibrous materials like banana peels, artichokes, stringy vegetables or citrus peels down the disposal. They can wrap around the grinding parts and cause clogs.
  • Small amounts of cooking oil or grease are OK in moderation, but too much can solidify and gum up the works over time. It’s best to wipe grease off plates with a paper towel before rinsing.
  • Grindishments should be soft – no tough, stringy or large chunks. Cut or tear foods into marble-sized pieces before turning on the disposal.
  • Periodically run very hot water (as hot as you can get from the tap) through the drain lines to help dissolve and flush away fats and residue.
  • If the disposal stops working, don’t keep flipping the switch quickly. This can trip the garbage disposal reset button. Let it sit for a few minutes and try again.
  • Check manufacturer instructions for recommended cleaning products, but usually, a cup of baking soda run through once a month helps deodorize and clean.
  • Consider getting a Stainless-Steel food scrap disposer deodorizer for the sink drain to help eliminate odors between cleanings.

To Wrap Up

Hopefully, this clears up some of the murkiness around proper garbage disposal care. From scraps to cleaners, applying the given tips leads to healthy plumbing and years of grind-it-all performance. Empowered with knowledge, you’ll feel at ease pulverizing your kitchen’s refuse rather than tossing it in the trash. Just be sure to never bypass common sense – if it seems too large or fibrous, it’s best disposed of elsewhere!

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