Having a garbage disposal in your Cincinnati, Ohio home makes kitchen clean-up infinitely easier. However, it’s important to remember that the term “garbage disposal” is a misnomer. This appliance isn’t a catch-all for everything you no longer want. To ensure it continues running smoothly, the following are several garbage disposal do’s and don’ts to keep in mind.
Do Keep the Water Running When Your Garbage Disposal Is On
Imagine trying to swallow a large mouthful of dry food without taking a sip of water. Keeping the water running while using your disposal to grind food up helps flush everything down. Running water reduces the overall load on your unit, prevents jams, and keeps the interior of this appliance free of large, gooey masses.
Do Freshen Your Garbage Disposal up From Time to Time
Without any intervention on your end, your garbage disposal may develop pervasive, unpleasant smells. Garbage disposal odors are usually the result of trapped and rotting food. You can add baking soda and white vinegar to your garbage disposal in equal amounts to freshen it up. The foaming reaction of this mixture is great for breaking up sticky, tacky, or starchy build-ups.
Running the unit for a full minute with the hot water on to rinse your homemade cleanser out should finish the job. Another great way to freshen up your garbage disposal is by adding several ice cubes and a dash of salt or several ice cubes and a drop or two of dishwashing liquid. Run your disposal with cold water until the ice cubes have disintegrated. The sharp edges of the ice breaking up may scrap food bits off the garbage disposal’s blades.
Don’t Use Your Garbage Disposal to Get Rid of Grease or Oil
Garbage disposals don’t change the basic rules of drain use. Bacon grease, cooking oil, and other solid, semi-solid, or liquid fats should always be disposed of in the trash. Not only is this the best choice for your appliance, but it’s also essential for protecting your kitchen’s plumbing system.
Don’t Put Fruit or Vegetable Peelings in the Garbage Disposal
One sure way to create a garbage disposal jam or an outright drain blockage is by forcing this unit to grind up potato peels, citrus fruit peels, or fibrous vegetables like celery. These things should always be placed in the compost bin or garbage can instead. If you’ve loaded your unit with potato peelings and it’s turned itself off, turn off the appliance and remove the offending items before pressing its reset button.
Don’t Empty Your Coffee Grounds Into the Garbage Disposal
Coffee grounds can spell the end of your garbage disposal. These small and seemingly harmless grounds can be reduced to a densely packed wad that gums everything up at the unit’s interior. Worse still, if coffee grounds make their way into your pipes, they may create a blockage. Use these instead to enrich your compost pile or nourish your garden soil, or you can toss them into the waste bin. You should also avoid putting eggshells, bones, nuts, and dry beans into this appliance.
Don’t Feed Gooey, Starchy Foods Into Your Garbage Disposal
Surprisingly, even excessively starchy foods can be bad for garbage disposals in large amounts. Old rice, pasta, and beans should be thrown out instead. Large quantities of starchy foods can create a gummy, sticky mess inside your garbage disposal that slows it down and clogs your drains. Pasts products are also often responsible for a stinky garbage disposal.
Don’t Use Your Garbage Disposal to Clean Out Your Fridge
Whether throwing out starchy foods or foods that your disposal can capably grind up, it’s always best to use the trash to dispose of large amounts of waste. Despite what its name appears to imply, your garbage disposal isn’t an alternative to the garbage can. Thus, emptying whole containers of food into this unit isn’t the best way to clean out your refrigerator. Instead, only use this appliance to grind up any food waste that remains on plates or in pots after you’ve already scraped them clean.
Do Have Your Garbage Disposal Serviced By a Professional
Many garbage disposal problems can be corrected by first turning off the unit and then removing the offending items. If necessary, a homeowner can press the red reset button that is usually found on the undersides of this appliance. However, if cleaning out the disposal and resetting it does not solve the issue, it is time to call a plumber.
At Wingate Heating, Cooling & Plumbing, we offer heating, cooling, plumbing, and indoor air quality services to residents of Cincinnati, Ohio and the surrounding areas. If your garbage disposal is making strange noises, emitting foul smells, or refusing to turn on, we can help. Call today to schedule an appointment so we can get started!