The garbage disposal is one of those innovations that we generally take for granted now in Avondale, but was probably absolutely amazing to the guy who first saw one in action. The convenience of having a whirring blade just below your sink to pulverize food into pipe-friendly paste is pretty incredible plumbing.
However, because we sometimes take disposals for granted, we forget to take care of them properly. Disposals don’t ask for much, just a little attention now and then to keep them performing at their peak. There are some pretty simple tasks you can do periodically to keep your disposal happy:
- When using the disposal, be sure to run water down the drain and leave it running for 15 to 20 seconds after you turn the disposal off.
- The smaller the pieces going down the disposal, the better. Those blades may be powerful, but they can still sputter and stall against a formidable foe.
- Every so often, dump a tray of ice cubes down the drain and turn the disposal on while running cold water. This sharpens the blades and helps keep them clean. The noise is a little intense, but it’s perfectly safe.
- Grease, corn husks, potatoes and anything made of paper or plastic are not suitable for the disposal or plumbing in your home. Throw them away instead.
- To subdue unpleasant odors, throw some lemon peels down the disposal.
- To clean your disposal and remove mineral deposits, pour in a cup of vinegar and let it sit for about an hour, then flush with hot water.
- Never use bleach or other chemicals to clean your garbage disposal, as it can damage the machinery.
These small steps, simple as they may seem, can go a long way toward keeping your system running strong and continuing to make your life easier for a long time. You can see some of these tips in action, as well as learn how to fix some common disposal problems from this video at GMC Trade Secrets.
It’s a dirty job, so help your disposal do it right.