Updated: Jul 7, 2019
“Out of sight, out of mind”. Your garbage disposal is a valuable part of your kitchen and your plumbing, even if it’s something you rarely ever lay your eyes on. But because it’s hidden away at the bottom of your sink, it can become easy to neglect and misuse. While disposals are built to take a lot of strain, if you don’t treat it right they can break down just like any other appliance in your home.
At Alba Plumbing we know how to keep your garbage disposal going strong for years to come. Here are six ways you can prolong the life of your garbage disposal.
It’s Not A Trashcan
The less you use your disposal, the better. Disposals aren't meant to break down every piece of refuse in your home. They’re meant to break down small amounts of biodegradable food- You should never throw in any trash, paper, plastics, hard candies, bones, or entire plates of food. Think table scraps at best, not full portions. This is one of the biggest reasons why disposals break down, because they get over-used and over-burdened.
Rinse With Cold Water
Whenever possible you should be running cold water through your garbage disposal. Wash your dishes with cold water. Cold water makes grease solidify before it hits your blades, making it easy to cut up and drain. If you try to wash grease with hot water, it increases the risk that it’ll clog up your disposal. Clogs can back up your sink, cause horrible smells and break down your garbage disposal.
Add Some Citrus
Every once in awhile, throw a citrus peel down your disposal. It could be a lemon, lime, or orange peel. Shredding the peels accomplishes two things: It sweetens any odors coming out of your drain AND it helps get rid of excess food waste.
Let It Run
Sometimes you should let it run for an extra minute or two after you finish breaking food down. Make sure you keep water pouring through it as you run the disposal. Letting it run a little longer ensures that all the food is completely broken up and flushed down the drain. You can also help fight clogs by dripping a little bit of liquid dish soap down the drain as you run it. The dish soap will help keep the insides of it clean.
Pour Boiling Water
This is something you should do no more than once a month. Pour some boiling hot water down your disposal. Don’t do this while cleaning off any grease! The boiling water will wash away any food that’s caught in the drain pipes or the disposal chamber.
Avoid Sugar And Starches
Try to avoid throwing in anything that is heavy with sugars or starches. These can turn sticky and adhere to the blades, creating some nasty clogs. Whenever possible throw sugary and starchy foods out instead of putting them down the disposal.