Tips To Maintaining A Garbage Disposal

water in garbage disposal
Photo credit: Dean Hochman on

If you’ve ever walked into your kitchen on a hot summer afternoon and the first sign of welcome, you get is an unpleasant rancid smell wafting from your kitchen sink, there’s every possibility you have a food waste problem. Especially if you already have a garbage disposal unit installed.

So how do you make sure your garbage disposal unit is functioning properly so you don’t feel awkward when a visitor asks for lemonade from the kitchen freezer?

The first step to take is paying attention to the type of solid food waste that goes into your garbage disposal unit.

The following food items are safe to put in your kitchen garbage disposal:

  1. Citrus Rinds with their slightly acidic content help keep your disposal clean and smelling fresh
  2. Egg Shells can help keep your disposal’s impellers free from debris, so long as they go in small quantities at a time
  3. Coffee Grounds are okay to toss down your disposal, provided they’re in small quantities, and can keep it smelling fresh
  4. Cooked Meat Scraps and Small Bones, in small quantities, are okay to go down the disposal machine
  5. Vegetable and Fruit Scraps are also great food products to go down the drain and help keep your drains smelling fresh.

There are a few food waste products you shouldn’t put in your garbage disposal, and some of them include:

  1. Large Bones should go nowhere near your garbage disposal unit. They are best thrown in your bin bag
  2. Shrimp Shells are incredibly tough and may cause more harm than good to your disposal’s impellers
  3. Banana PeelsArtichokes, Corn Husks, and Asparagus, with their high fibrous content, are best left for the garbage bin instead of your kitchen disposal
  4. Grease or any other fatty food waste products, should not be put in your disposal machine to avoid clogs when they congeal in the pipes
  5. Rice and pasta have the nasty tendency to expand in pipes even when they have been torn to bits and pieces, leading to clogged pipes.

Here are 3 easy-to-implement tips for keeping your garbage disposal unit in optimal condition:

  • Run Your Garbage Disposal Unit Often

Even when you don’t have any food waste to process, it is advisable to turn it on periodically. This helps prevent the internal components of your disposal unit from freezing up or rusting and helps get rid of any leftover food items that can cause foul smells or clogs.

  • Use Cold Water While Your Disposal Is In Operation

Even though hot water is great for cleaning a lot of stuff, when it comes to cleaning your garbage disposal, cold water is preferable. The cold water helps harden the food particles, making it easy for your disposal to grind up and flush down the drainage pipe.

  • Allow Your Disposal Run Longer Than Usual

Whenever you’re done using the garbage disposal, allow it to run longer with the water on for a few minutes. This is to ensure you don’t leave any leftover food items in the machine.

Need help maintaining or installing your garbage disposal? Give Captain Plumber a call today!