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The Daily Grind: The Life Of A Garbage Disposal

Garbage disposals are a convenient and well-used addition to any kitchen. Dumped with food scraps, vegetable peels and whatever else we want to get rid of, these little machines get a lot of abuse.  Before you create a backed up, clogged up mess, read what you need to do to help make your disposal last.

The Daily Grind

Most of us who have a garbage disposal use it fairly frequently and that’s a good thing. Don’t have anything to grind? Make sure you still run it frequently and of course run water through it anytime it is in use. This will help keep the parts moving. If a disposal sits unused, its parts can rust, corrode or freeze up. Also, it will help flush out any food particles that could be leftover in the pipes that might cause a clog or a rather stinky situation.

That Stinky Situation

No one likes the smell of rotting food, but sometimes food can get left in the disposal or caught up in pipes. Not to mention, your garbage disposal tends to be a dark and moist place, so the addition of food is a recipe for funk. In order to avoid offending the olfactory region, there are a few things you can do. Even after it sounds like your leftovers have stopped grinding, make sure you continue to run your garbage disposal and your water for another minute or so. This will help make sure things gets pushed through and won’t sit there to rot.

You can also grind a bit of a peel from an orange or lemon in your disposal to cut some of the funky smell. Make sure the peel isn’t too big though. Bigger isn’t always better.

The Big Debate

Should I be running hot or cold water through my disposal or does it matter? It matters. When running your garbage disposal you should always use cold water. Hot water can melt foods making them stick to the sides of your pipes. Always use cold water to help make sure your waste is pushed through the pipes.

Don’t Do It

I know it’s tempting to throw just about anything down your disposal, but don’t.

  • Never dump oil or grease of any kind down your disposal or drain. They can harden or solidify, blocking your pipes and causing a back up.
  • Stringy foods like celery, asparagus, artichokes, onions, corn husks and potato peels wreak havoc on a disposal. These foods can get wrapped around the blades causing the motor to malfunction.
  • Dumping eggshells down your garbage disposal is egg-actly what you don’t want to do. The shells get ground up making a concoction that is like sand. This gets into crevices and pipes and clogs them.
  • Any type of food that expands is a no-no. Yep, we are talking about rice, pasta, beans and starchy foods like potatoes.
  • If it’s not something you can consume, don’t even think about it. Plastic, metal, paper, glass and bones are not meant for your disposal or drain. These items cannot be broken down enough. Flower stems and plant clippings should also be avoided.  All of these items can dull blades, jam the motor and clog pipes.

Whether you are a chef in your own kitchen or can barely boil water, you need to know how to treat your garbage disposal. Being an informed consumer is smart. It will save you time, money and headaches. Godby Heating Plumbing Electrical wants to help educate you in order to help you make informed decisions as a homeowner. If you need help with heating/cooling, plumbing or electrical, make the smart decision and call Godby!



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