Garbage disposals are an appliance that provides many conveniences to our kitchen. What do you do with that week old, leftover pasta sauce or soup that you found in the back of your fridge? It’s easy to dump liquid foods down the sink just to get rid of it quickly. Unfortunately, improper use of your garbage disposal can often lead to ugly problems. By following a few simple rules you can avoid these problems, like unwanted odors or the garbage disposal not draining properly in your apartment. Here are our do’s and don’ts for your garbage disposal.
While your specific garbage disposal may be able to grind and dispose of more than just liquid food, it doesn’t mean it’s always a good idea. Most cities’ plumbing systems are not built to handle large amounts of food waste. There are some things that should never be put down any garbage disposal because you will run the risk of clogging pipes or other future garbage disposal problems. Proper use and regular cleaning will keep your garbage disposal in working order and keep the plumbing pipes clear and grease-free.
- Put a slice of citrus fruit down the drain and run the disposal with the water running to eliminate odors. Try a quarter of a lemon, lime or grapefruit—make sure to include the peel.
- Use your disposal in moderation. It’s designed for breaking up small food particles, not large amounts of food.
- Always run cold water before, during and after use.
- Check the drain for fallen items like spoons, bottle caps and other small things before running the disposal. If you find something, use tongs to extract it out of the drain.
- Contact your apartment‘s maintenance team if any issues arise.
- Don’t put your hand in the garbage disposal to retrieve fall items.
- Don’t pour grease or fat from food down the disposal.
- Don’t grind anything other than food scraps.
- Don’t put coffee grounds, egg shells or potato peels down the disposal.
- Don’t run hot water through your disposal as it can cause clogs.
Cleaning your garbage disposal is probably not something you think of when cleaning your apartment, but it should be! Luckily, there is nothing special that you need to buy to keep your disposal clean—you can use natural, everyday items that you probably already own. Here are a few easy ways to clean your garbage disposal.
- Ice and salt: Put three to four ice cubes in the disposal along with salt, then run cold water while it grinds. The texture of the ice and salt will help loosen any built-up grime.
- Soap and water: Put a water stopper in your drain and fill up your sink with soapy water. Remove the stopper and turn on the disposal to thoroughly flush the pipes.
- Baking soda and vinegar: Pour 1/2 cup of baking soda down the disposal, then slowly pour down 1/2 cup of vinegar. The mixture will fizzle as it combines. Run the disposal with the mixture inside to clean the chamber of your garbage disposal.
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