Garbage Disposal Basics
PORTLAND OR – VANCOUVER WA
Garbage disposals are a great kitchen feature. They can be used to dispose of food waste when composting is not an option. However, if your garbage disposal isn’t properly maintained, it can break down and create clogs, resulting in costly plumbing repairs.
Fortunately, most garbage disposal problems are easily preventable. Below are some easy garbage disposal tips you can use to help ensure your garbage disposal will work effectively for years to come.
Garbage Disposal Dos
Following these garbage disposal basics listed below will help keep your garbage disposal sanitary and problem-free.
- Run cold water while using your garbage disposal to help any grease solidify and be chopped up before it reaches the trap
- Cut larger items into smaller pieces before putting them down the drain
- Use your garbage disposal frequently to help prevent corrosion and rust
- To keep your garbage disposal clean, use de-greasing dishwashing detergents along with cold water and let the disposal run for about a minute
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Garbage Disposal Don’ts
Avoid the following to help prevent your garbage disposal from becoming clogged.
- Don’t pour fat, oil or grease into your drain. This promotes bacteria resulting in foul odors
- Don’t grind coffee grounds, eggshells or animal bones as this will only create granular waste that can clog or jam the disposal
- Don’t grind fruit peels, potato peels or any other fibrous material. Potatoes and pasta will form a starchy paste and fibers from produce items such as celery and onion can tangle and jam your garbage disposal
- Don’t force large amounts of food waste down your garbage disposal. Feed food into the disposal a little bit at a time
- Don’t use harsh chemicals including drain cleaners and bleach. They can kill beneficial bacteria in your septic tank
- Don’t put foods down your drain that expand like rice and pasta as they can create clogs and jams
Keep in mind your garbage disposal is not a trash can, it helps eliminate food scraps. Non-food items can damage your garbage disposal’s motor or blades. A good rule of thumb to remember is that if it’s not a biodegradable food product, it shouldn’t go in your garbage disposal.
How to Naturally Sharpen Your Garbage Disposal Blades
You can keep your garbage disposal blades sharp and clean with just a few ice cubes. Simply toss a few ice cubes into your garbage disposal and run it with cold water. As it works to chop up the cubes, the ice chips will scour hard-to-reach areas, then melt down the drain. Use this method a couple of times a month to help maintain your garbage disposal blades.
Keeping Your Garbage Disposal Fresh Smelling
Below are some natural and inexpensive ways you can help keep your garbage disposal smelling fresh.
- Regularly grind up pieces of orange or lemon to naturally clean your garbage disposal, while leaving a long-lasting citrus scent
- Mix 1 part water to 8 parts vinegar and freeze in an ice cube tray then periodically grind those in the garbage disposal to kill odor-causing bacteria while also sharpening your blades
- For really stubborn odors, pour a few tablespoons of Borax down your drain and allow it to sit for at least an hour before rinsing it away with hot water
- Another great product for stubborn odors is baking soda. Pour some down the drain and let it sit for several hours before running hot water and the garbage disposal
Garbage Disposal Not Working?
If your garbage disposal isn’t working, it may need to be reset. Look for a black or red reset button on your garbage disposal motor located beneath your sink, then push it
Check your circuit breaker to see if it’s tripped or if you have a blown fuse
If your garbage disposal is plugged into an electrical outlet make sure that outlet has power to it
Manually crank your garbage disposal. Many garbage disposals have a hole underneath them allowing you to hand-crank them after a jam. Using an Alan wrench crank the disposer’s motor shaft counterclockwise, then clockwise until the jam is cleared and the motor spins freely
Contact a Plumbing and Drain Cleaning Professional When All Else Fails
Need a professional? We serve customers like you in the Portland OR and Vancouver WA area! These are general garbage disposal basics and simple remedies for minor problems. If you try these solutions and they don’t work or if your problem seems to be getting worse, contact Clog Pro Plumbing immediately. We have the tools and know-how to address almost every garbage disposal emergency.
Garbage Disposal Tips IN VANCOUVER WA AND PORTLAND OR
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