The Care and Feeding of Your Garbage Disposal This Season

distressed_lady_with_dishes_pilling_up That’s right, it’s that time again for friends & family, giving & being thankful, and lots and lots of food. Turkeys, hams, pies, cookies, corn, potatoes, green beans, cranberry sauce, gravy… and leftovers! So how do you keep your essential plumbing equipment working amid this constant onslaught of food waste?

This week we’re releasing a special article about your garbage disposal. With a few simple tips, you can avoid certain disaster in the kitchen and make sure your home stay flowing.

1. Don’t Forget Your Trashcan!

Some think that a garbage disposal is an incinerator, or some kind of industrial food waste processing facility. It’s actually just a set of rotating blades that helps break up chunks of smaller food waste. Always put uneaten food in the trash first, and then use your garbage disposal for smaller pieces.

2. Turn it On

Always turn your garbage disposal on before putting anything inside. Having a food inside the device when you turn it on can overwork and damage your garbage disposal. It also needs the blades to be lubricated, so be sure to turn the water on before, during, and after turning on the disposal.

3. That Does NOT Go In There!

There are certain things that will simply destroy your garbage disposal.
Avoid putting bones, coffee grounds, fibrous vegetables, eggshells, rice, or potato skins through your disposal. Also avoid using chemical drain cleaners that could damage your disposal and drain piping.

4. No Grease!

Grease is a major no no – it might get through your disposal, but can clog the drain line system! Often times it doesn’t solidify until after it travels far into your plumbing system, making it an even bigger problem. Put extra grease, gravey, or buttery sauces into a contain in your refrigerator where it can solidify, making it easier to throw away (or reuse!).

5. Cleaning and Freshening

Over time the inside of your garbage disposal will build residue on the inside of the housing and on the blades. Besides being unsanitary, it can release a constant odor noticeable when in the kitchen. Putting citrus peels (NOT whole fruit!) through the disposal will remove the odor. You can also use vinegar to disinfect the inside of your garbage disposal. Just run the unit and pour a little into the drain – the garbage disposal will do the rest of the work.

You can also try putting some ice into your disposal to sharpen the blades. Try freezing vinegar to do 2 at once!

Hopefully these simple tips will help your holidays go a little more smoothly. If there is something that comes up and you find yourself in a “jam”, just give us a call or schedule online, and we’ll come out right away to take care of your problem.