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What can I put in my garbage disposal?

This can be a huge problem for homeowners. Here are some tips to keep your disposal in good working order.

First, always run cold water when grinding to move the waste all the way down the drain lines. Fats and grease congeal and harden in cold water and can be flushed through the system. Hot water should not be used because it can dissolve fats and grease, which may then accumulate in the drain line.

Almost all-biodegradable food waste can be fed into disposers. However, they should not be used to grind clam or oyster shells, cornhusks or other material with high fiber content. Under no circumstances should you put glass, plastic or metal non-food materials through a disposer. This includes bottle caps, tin covers or aluminum foil, which are some of the items service technicians commonly find in clogged or broken disposers.

Maintenance is easy. Grinding small bones and eggshells actually helps clean the disposer by scraping away stubborn deposits or citric acid and pulp. Grinding a little ice is another way to clean deposits and get rid of odors. For the most part, though, disposers are self-cleaning.

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