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Proper Garbage Disposal Care

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We get it—it’s easy to think of your garbage disposal as a trash can. Sometimes it’s just more convenient (and satisfying) to put all of your cooking waste down the disposal.

However, your garbage disposal is not equipped to handle everything you likely put down it. Follow these maintenance tips to extend the life of your garbage disposal.

What not to put down your garbage disposal

  • Non-food items
  • Large bones
  • Fibrous foods like banana peels, celery, corn husks and onion skin
  • Grease and oil including greasy foods
  • Large amounts of pasta and potato peels

All of the above can clog your drain or damage your disposal’s internal components causing you future headaches.

How to clean and maintain your disposal

Chances are if you’ve been putting things down your disposal that you shouldn’t be, your unit could use some TLC.

Put a tray of ice cubes and rock salt down your drain and turn on your disposal to sharpen the blades and remove accumulated food and grease waste. Add vinegar to the mixture to help remove foul odors.

You can also pour a quarter cup of grease-cutting dish soap (like Dawn) down your drain and let it sit for 15 minutes before running cold water. This will help clear hardened grease and grime and improve your sink’s smell.

Fixing a jammed garbage disposal

Silverware, stringy foods, grease and other common objects can cause your garbage disposal to totally shut down. If you can see what is causing the clog with a flashlight, turn your disposal off and use tongs or pliers to pull remove the culprit. NEVER put your hands down a garbage disposal.

Sometimes the source of the jam is less obvious. In that case, shut off the water supply to your faucet and unplug your garbage disposal. Use an Allen wrench to open the underside of your disposal. From there, you should be able to find the object causing the jam.

Again, use a tool to remove the jam—not your hand.

If you can’t figure out why your garbage disposal isn’t working as expected, request an appointment with Superior Drain and let our expert plumbers fix your problem.  

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