Just because a garbage disposal is called a garbage disposal doesn’t mean it operates the same way as a garbage can. There are things that can and cannot go inside them, and there are proper and improper ways to take care of them to extend their lives and keep their performance levels high. It’s hard to keep track of so many plumbing rules, which is why we’ve put together this helpful guide to the right and wrong ways to use a garbage disposal.
Let’s start with the things you aren’t supposed to do.
- Put grease or oils into your garbage disposal. Thick, greasy liquids like grease and oil can solidify in a disposal as they cool, which is one of the number one causes of troublesome disposal clogs.
- Put potato peels or other fibrous food waste in. The starch in these peels tends to cling to the metal interior of garbage disposals, and ends up being very difficult to remove.
- Put any bones, seeds, or pits in the disposal. Just like any type of blade, the blades in a garbage disposal dull over time. Avoid putting materials inside the unit that expedite that process.
- Put actual garbage in. Just because garbage is in the name doesn’t mean it’s okay to throw things like paper towels, glass, plastic, or metal inside of the unit.
- Run water when using the disposal. Running water helps move the waste you put into the disposal quickly and efficiently. Things are more likely to build into clogs if they don’t have that added lubrication.
- Occasionally stick a citrus peel in. It’ll help eliminate any excess odors that have built up in the unit and it won’t damage the blades.
- Run it regularly. Run your garbage disposal on a regular basis, even if you aren’t actively putting anything inside of it. Turning on some nice, cold water and letting the disposal run for a little while every few days will help prevent any rust or corrosion build-up that could become a mechanical issue down the line.
- Make sure any waste you put inside your garbage disposal is already in small pieces. Garbage disposals aren’t like Mary Poppins’ purse: they’re not magically bigger on the inside than they are on the outside. Take it easy, and only put in waste that’s divvied up into smaller chunks to help avoid clogs, jams, or – in the most unlucky of cases – completely breaking the unit.
Following these tips for right and wrong garbage disposal activity will keep your unit working properly and effectively for a long time to come.
If you don’t have a garbage disposal already and wish you did, or if you need a little help fine tuning the one you already have, don’t hesitate to contact the experts at Ben Franklin Plumbing in Dallas today.