Some Great Tips on Extending the Life of Your Garbage Disposal
Your garbage disposal or garburator is one of the most used and abused appliances in your kitchen. Lack of attention and grinding up the wrong items can lead to clogs, jams, blockages, odors and costly plumbing bills. Many disposal problems are completely unnecessary and can be avoided.
We have compiled a list of foods that CAN be ground up in the garburator:
Meat – Place small amounts of meat scraps (chicken, beef) and allow the unit to fully finish grinding them up before you add more.
Rice and Pasta – Because they are bulky, they have a tendency to fill up the disposal unit quickly and clog it up. Again, use small amounts and make sure you have plenty of water running.
Coffee Grounds – Are relatively problem free.
Orange/Lemon Peels – When they are ground up, they tend to “freshen up” the garburator by removing unwelcome odors from the other foods.
Below is a list of foods that SHOULD NOT be ground up:
Fibrous foods/Tough Skinned Vegetables – Potato peels, celery stalks, asparagus, onion skins, corn husks should not be placed, as the fibers can wrap around the blades and cause the motor to jam or the drain to clog.
Greasy foods/Oil – The grease/oil can solidify and slowly accumulate, causing a bad odor or clogged pipes.
Hard Bones/Shells from crabs, lobster etc. – The hardness can damage the blades and even wear them out. Now, in case you don’t already know, here’s the proper way to use a garbage disposal:
- Turn on the cold water – not hot. Cold water keeps the motor, bearings and shredder assembly from overheating.
- Turn on the garbage disposal.
- Feed the disposal a little at a time. Keep utensils and your hands out of the drain.
- Let the food clear the disposal – you can hear when it’s clear.
- Turn the disposal off.
- Let the water run a few more seconds more to flush the pipe.
- Turn the water off.
Throw some ice down once in a while. Ice will not sharpen the shredders (as is commonly believed) but it does knock off any debris buildup on the sharp edges that keeps them from grinding food properly. For even better results, make special ice cubes from pure lemon juice or vinegar, or alternate with biodegradable cleanser.
With proper care and routine maintenance, do-it-yourself homeowners can easily keep the garbage disposal in great shape, extend its life and save on repairs.
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