Water running through garbage disposal

Best Garbage Disposal Practices

Keeping Your Disposal Happy

Garbage disposals are a great addition to any kitchen. They assist with taking care of leftover scraps of food, keeping them from sitting in a garbage can for days on end, eventually becoming smelly. A pretty low-demand appliance, your garbage disposal is easy to keep happy if you use it as intended and stay on top of its limited upkeep!

We’re here to help you stay informed on what your garbage disposal can and cannot handle as well as ways you can set yours up for success.

What To Do

Be the best garbage disposal owner you can be by following these best practices.

Cold Water

While hot water is great for rinsing off and breaking down food, we recommend you use cold water while running the disposal. Because it is so good at breaking down food, hot water will encourage greasy foods to break apart and leave bits behind. These leftover pieces can congeal and create a clog in your pipe.

Cold water will instead encourage food particles to stay in one piece and move down the drain as intended!

Regular Use

One of the best ways to keep your garbage disposal in shape is to use it regularly. If the appliance is rarely used, it runs a higher risk of rusting or corroding. Try running it at least once a week, even if just with a few scraps and cold water to keep things grinding!

Scraps Only

It can be tempting to scrape your picky eater’s whole plate clean into the disposal, but that is not what it is intended for. Keep in mind that your disposal is only supposed to be used for scraps and bits of food, it should not be used as a second garbage can!

Keep it Clean

It’s easy to think that because water and soap are constantly running through it, you don’t need to clean the garbage disposal. However, that is far from the truth! Food particles can catch in the nooks and begin to smell if not taken care of. We recommend that you clean your disposal every so often by doing the following:

Disconnect the power for your safety. Then, clean the splash guard and remove any food particles. Be sure to wear gloves and use tongs as the blades are very sharp, even when not moving. Pour half a cup of baking soda into the disposal and allow it to sit for about 20 minutes. Next, pour in one cup of vinegar and let it bubble and fizz for a few minutes before rinsing the whole drain down with hot water.

You can also pour ice and salt down the disposal and grind while running cold water to help clean the blades!

What NOT To Do

Here are some things we advise you to refrain from doing with your garbage disposal.

Forbidden Foods

Not everything can go down your disposal! Like we mentioned before, large pieces of food should not be put down the drain. Additionally, neither should any amount of the following foods:

  • Grease, oils, fats
  • Nuts
  • Eggshells
  • Rice, pasta, bread
  • Potato or carrot peels

You should also keep from placing anything that isn’t food down the disposal drain.

Timing is Everything

Try to not get too hasty when using your disposal. Listen to the machine when you first turn it on with food inside and when the grinding noise changes, it is time to turn it off. It’s a good rule of thumb to keep the water running for a few seconds after, though, to continue encouraging the scraps down the drain!

Bad Cleaning Practices

While the cleaning advice we gave you above may seem like a lot of work, it will clean your disposal and pipes safely and effectively. Grocery store drain cleaners are often filled with harsh chemicals that can erode and damage your piping over time. If you’re in need of an extensive drain cleaning, it’s best to call in a professional.

Drain Services in Largo, Florida

Garbage disposal maintenance is important, and so is the maintenance of the rest of your plumbing. For top-notch service from certified professionals, give McGill Plumbing & Water Treatment, Inc. a call at (727) 382-3849, or contact us online.