Top 10 Garbage Disposal Maintenance Tips to Keep Your Disposal Pristine
Keeping your garbage disposal in tip-top shape is vital to ensure it’s operating at peak performance. Not only does a well-maintained disposal last longer, but it also saves you money in the long run. Proper garbage disposal maintenance is easier than you think and should become a part of your regular cleaning routine. Simple things like running cold water while grinding, using citrus fruits to freshen its smell, and not putting hard items like bones or cutlery down the drain can extend the life of your disposal. But what do you do if you have a garbage disposal problem?
From malfunctioning or leaky garbage disposals to nonresponsive ones, take a closer look at the experienced team at Certified Plumbing of Brevard for fast garbage disposal repair. They’ll be more than happy to help you out! Don’t underestimate the importance of maintaining your garbage disposal. Save yourself the time, money, and stress of any future problems and get started with these top ten garbage disposal maintenance tips!
How a Garbage Disposal Works
If you’re like most people, you probably use your garbage disposal without giving much thought to how it works. However, taking a moment to understand this helpful appliance can help you use it more effectively. The garbage disposal is a simple device mounted to the underside of a sink. It collects solid food waste in a grinding chamber. When you turn it on, a rapidly spinning impeller plate pulverizes the food into tiny bits, which rinse away by water through holes in the chamber wall. Despite what you may have heard, disposals don’t have sharp blades, but rather two blunt metal “teeth” on the impeller plate. Armed with this knowledge, you can use your garbage disposal with confidence, knowing it’s a safe and efficient way to dispose of your leftover food scraps.
How Long Do Garbage Disposals Last?
If properly cared for, a healthy garbage disposal can last for up to 12 years. However, they usually average around 8-12 years in lifespan. In order to keep your garbage disposal running well into the decade mark, however, it’s important to not only properly care for your unit but also to use it according to the manufacturer’s directions. A durable and well-maintained garbage disposal is an essential ingredient in a busy cook’s kitchen–and can offer the sense of satisfaction of a tight-running ship. Don’t settle for a stinky, clunky garbage disposal–keep your simple but helpful unit in tip top shape and enjoy total peace of mind when it comes to kitchen cleanup!
Top 10 Garbage Disposal Maintenance Tips and FAQ
Garbage disposals are a vital component in many kitchens, but they require maintenance to keep them running smoothly. Proper garbage disposal maintenance can save you money in the long run and make your life easier–but it does require that you remain vigilant about cleaning and caring for your garbage disposal. Here are some of the top 10 garbage disposal maintenance tips so that you can keep your garbage disposal running for years to come.
- Can I Put Drain Cleaner in Garbage Disposal to Clean It?
While it is not recommended to frequently use harsh chemicals in your kitchen sink, it can be prudent to put drain cleaner down your garbage disposal every now and then for a deep clean–particularly if you’ve put greasy foods down the garbage disposal. (Putting oil or greasy foods down your garbage disposal is not recommended–but drain cleaner can help to break down this oily residue and get your disposal back in working order.)
- Best Garbage Disposal Drain Cleaner Method
There’s good news for those who don’t want to use harsh chemicals to clean their sink! There are a number of ways to clean your garbage disposal using regular kitchen items such as lemons, ice, baking soda, and vinegar. Here are a few ways to clean your garbage disposal:
- Deep Flush Method: Fill your sink mostly full with cold water and grease-cutting dish soap, such as Dawn. Pull the plug on your sink and run the garbage disposal to flush the pipes and grinding chamber with cool, soapy water. Not only will this clean out the grinding chamber, but it will also flush your pipes as well to remove any residual food.
- Ice, baking soda, and citrus wedge: Add a few cups of ice, some baking soda, and a wedge of lemon, lime, or other citrus to your garbage disposal. Use cold water to flush the disposal until the ice is gone. The ice and baking soda will act as abrasives and clean the impellers of your garbage disposal while the citrus will impart a pleasant odor.
- Pure citrus: All you need for this method is a full lemon, orange, or grapefruit. Including the tough outer rind, cut the citrus fruit into small wedges and feed them into the garbage disposal with cool, running water until no more wedges remain. The rind from the citrus will not only clean the impellers but the acid from the fruit will also cut through grease and remove any foul odors.
- Vinegar and baking soda: Put two parts vinegar to one part baking soda in the grinding chamber and allow it to sit for at least five minutes. Flush your garbage disposal using hot water until all of the residue washes away. Enjoy your clean garbage disposal!
- Can Garbage Disposal Catch Fire?
While it is quite rare that a garbage disposal will catch fire, statistically it has happened–though largely all before 2017. However, if you run your garbage disposal and you smell burning, it can mean that you are either not using enough water while running your garbage disposal and causing it to overwork, or the motor is burning out. If you find your motor is on its last leg, this can be a sign to upgrade your kitchen to the one you deserve–and either repair or replace the expired parts.
- How to Keep Garbage Disposal Drain Pipe from Leaking
There are a few primary troubleshooting points to look at should your garbage disposal be leaking. The first and foremost thing you should check is that the nuts and bolts around the discharge area are tight. Following this, ensure you have a working and non-corroded gasket in place. If that’s not the culprit, consider checking the elbow where the discharge meets the rest of the plumbing to ensure there are not any leaks coming from the joint. If you’ve looked at all three of these options and still cannot locate or fix the leak, it may be time to call in the pros at Certified Plumbing. Not only will calling in an expert help save you time, but it may even help you preserve the lifespan of your garbage disposal so that you can save money in the long run.
- How to Keep Garbage Disposal from Rusting
You can keep your garbage disposal from rusting by simply using it often. Run your garbage disposal at least once a day. This not only prevents rust and corrosion but can also keep the impellers working properly as well. This small task allows you to enjoy a peaceful kitchen knowing your garbage disposal won’t break down.
- Can You Put Limes in Garbage Disposal? Other Citrus?
Yes–as long as they are cut into small enough pieces, you can place citrus–rinds and all–down the garbage disposal. Be sure to use cool running water when the disposal unit is in use!
- How to Sharpen Garbage Disposal Impellers
You can sharpen the impellers on your garbage disposal by adding coarse salt and ice cubes into the grinding chamber and running the unit with flowing cold water. This not only sharpens the impellers but can clean the unit as well. Feel empowered to keep your kitchen running smoothly and efficiently with this maintenance tip!
- Only Put Approved Items Down the Garbage Disposal
Use common sense when it comes to using your garbage disposal; don’t put overly tough or sharp objects down the garbage disposal, including bones, metal, fibrous foods, or overly greasy items. Greasy foods can cause the garbage disposal to become clogged and can require expert intervention. Items not intended to be put down pipes will damage your garbage disposal. When in doubt, err on the side of caution and refer to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Use Running Cold Water (Not Hot) When Using Garbage Disposal
While it might seem counterintuitive, homeowners actually should use cold water rather than hot water when running their unit (except in the cleaning example listed above using baking soda and vinegar). This is because hot water can cause oils to melt and then coagulate as they cool, creating clogs and causing units to operate in suboptimal conditions.
- Clean Garbage Disposal Regularly
You should clean your garbage disposal regularly–ideally every week or two. You should run your unit at least once a day as well to ensure things are running correctly as well as to prevent corrosion and rust.
Looking for Garbage Disposal Repair “Near Me?” Certified Plumbing of Brevard Has You Covered!
Proper garbage disposal maintenance is key to avoiding clogged drains, unpleasant odors, and potential plumbing disasters. Following the garbage disposal maintenance tips mentioned above can certainly go a long way in prolonging the lifespan of your garbage disposal and keeping it in good shape. However, when things get out of hand, it’s best not to attempt fixing the problem yourself and instead call in the professionals. By hiring a trusted company like Certified Plumbing of Brevard, you can ensure that your garbage disposal is accurately diagnosed and repaired, saving you precious time and money in the long run. Don’t wait until a little problem turns into a big mess; get your questions answered now with Certified Plumbing of Brevard and enjoy smooth sailing in your kitchen once more.