Garbage disposals may provide a lot of benefits, with convenience being at the top of the list. There’s no doubt that throwing your food scraps down the drain is better than dumping them in the trash to rot and stink. If you’re like many homeowners, you use your garbage disposal at least once a day. But the question is … how often do you clean it and are you sure you’re cleaning it properly?
Why Clean Your Disposal
Regularly cleaning your garbage disposal will help prevent any nasty odors from wafting out of the drain. It also helps to avoid problem causing clogs and other costly plumbing issues. Believe it or not, the items you decide to put down your disposal can actually help keep the machinery clean. They can also help with the disposal’s upkeep and maintenance.
Acceptable Items to Dispose
- Biodegradable foods and tiny scraps
- Chicken, fish, and other small bones act as a scrubbing agent for internal parts
- Ice cubes also scour the inner disposal
- Deodorize and freshen with orange, lemon or lime peels
Unacceptable Items to Dispose
- Absorbent foods like rice or pasta
- Beef bones, pork bones, or other large bones
- Any items that will clog drains or pipes like eggshells or coffee grounds
- Starchy foods like banana peels and potato peels
- Grease and fat clogs drains and coats pipes and blades
If you’ve been grinding items deemed acceptable, chances are good that you’ve already been caring for your disposal without even realizing it. The best way to keep a disposal clean is to use it regularly, as a unused disposal will often experience odors, clogs, and stubborn build up.
In the event that you do have a minor clog, clearing it yourself is often easy enough. By just turning the blades using a small wrench, you can manually rotate the internal gears safely from the outside. Never use any type of chemical cleaners and only attempt to remove visible clogs by manually turning the blades or using a long pair of pliers. NEVER put your hand down into the garbage disposal … EVER!
If you have a stubborn clog or have any questions about proper garbage disposal cleaning techniques, contact Action Plumbing today for help!