You may be a huge fan of your garbage disposal, but do you treat it right? We often take the things we rely on the most for granted, and our poor garbage disposals can suffer by making a simple, little mistake. Maybe you don’t even mean to be doing it, but your kitchen habits could be harming your disposal and plumbing.
Check out these Do’s & Don’ts to make sure your garbage disposal is given the care it deserves.
A Guide to the Garbage Disposal
DO: Run With Water
Water helps lubricate the garbage disposal’s blades and breaks up waste more efficiently. A consistent stream of water, while using your disposal, also helps flush the drain of any food particles and debris that are left behind. And for a garbage disposal to provide a top-of-the-line performance, always choose cold water while the disposal is on.
DON’T: Use Your Disposal as a Second Trash Can
Garbage disposals can manage a lot, but they are not designed to be stand-in janitors. Soft food waste is fine, but hard items or non-organic waste can destroy the blades and clog your pipes. Make sure that you properly dispose of everything in your kitchen and avoid punishing your disposal.
DO: Clean With Citrus Peels
Enjoy an orange for a healthy snack, then toss the peel down the drain. Run your disposal to grind the peel and release a fresh, invigorating scent. Oranges, lemons, and tangerines are all great natural air fresheners for your kitchen sink.
DON’T: Pour Cleaning Chemicals Down the Drain
Bleach and other hard cleaning materials can damage your disposal and erode your pipes. Aside from the physical damage they pose to plumbing, chemical cleaners are also harmful to your health. Switch to green cleaning methods instead; white vinegar can be turned into a natural cleaner that’s just as effective at killing bacteria.
DO: Clean With Dish Soap Every Week or So
A squirt of dish soap down the disposal can help remove any grease or other grime that’s trapped in your pipes. Make sure that you only use a little, and keep the drain clean of any fat, grease, or oils. Additionally, egg-shells, pasta, rice, and stringy vegetables (i.e., celery) should also be kept away from your disposal.