Garbage disposals are great tools, and enable homeowners to rid their kitchen of scraps of food with the flip of a switch. This prevents rotten food from stinking up your kitchen and spoiling your garbage can. Unfortunately, these odors can waft out of your drains and leave an uncomfortable smell. You can prevent this through proper use of your garbage disposal and regular maintenance. Avoid calling a plumber, and keep money in your pocket, with the following tips on how to clean and maintain your garbage disposal!
To Dispose or Not to Dispose
DO NOT DISPOSE:
- Large bones, such as pork or beef bones
- Potato peels, or other starchy foods that can produce paste
- Banana peels
- Coffee grounds and eggshells
- Fat and grease, which can clog pipes and produce odors
- Fibrous vegetables, such as celery and asparagus
- Pasta, rice, or other foods that can expand in your pipes
- Small bones, such as fish or chicken bones
- Ice cubes (preferably combined with rock salt)
- Small scraps of biodegradable food
- Citrus peels (also great for deodorizing your garbage disposal)
If you are ever unsure about what you can put in your garbage disposal, look it up in your user’s manual or online. Better safe, than sorry!
Garbage Disposal Maintenance
Even if you don’t regularly use your disposal to discard of food scraps, it’s important to use it regularly. If you don’t, it becomes prone to clogs, waste build up, odors, corrosion, and possible mechanical malfunctions.
If you do encounter a problem, then be sure to unplug your disposal before attempting to resolve the issue. You may be able to manually fix a clog by turning the blades under the sink, using the wrench attached to the bottom of the disposal. If you can visibly see something blocking the disposal with a flashlight, you can try to retrieve it using tongs or pliers. Never use your hands!