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Taking Care of Your Garbage Disposal

Updated on July 10, 2014

A garbage disposal is easy to take for granted. You don't really appreciate a garbage disposal until you don't have one. Without a garbage disposal every piece of food now has to be taken out of your sink by hand. Fortunately, most modern homes come with a garbage disposal . If your home comes with a garbage disposal taking care of it is easy. With just a few simple things, you can make sure you don't break your garbage disposal, and just generally take care of it.

What Not To Do To Your Garbage Disposal

The first, most important thing you can do for your garbage disposal, is to never try to use it to grind items that can damage it. Tough stringy vegetables have fibers that can wrap around the blades, which can prevent the motor from working properly, burning it out. Most vegetables are okay, but corn husks, raw asparagus, raw celery, or artichokes are the ones that have long fibers that can be hard on a garbage disposal. Bones or fruit pits are just too tough to be ground down, and so are uncooked rice or pasta. Both just create unnecessary wear on the garbage disposal. Also, you should never try to grind anything that is inorganic like paper or metal. These are the most common things that people try to grind with their garbage disposal that can cause damage to their garbage disposal. Beyond that, common sense is key. If you're not sure if it can go down a garbage disposal, it is better to just throw it out.

Cleaning Your Garbage Disposal

Cleaning a Garbage disposal is easy. There are two popular options. Option number one is to just grind up ice cubes while running cold water. For a fresh scent freeze lemon or lime juice into ice cubes and grind those to freshen it up. Also popular for improving the scent is to grind any citrus peel in the disposal. Option number two is to use vinegar and baking soda. Use roughly equal amounts, and put the baking soda in the drain, and pour the vinegar after it. Once your new baking soda volcano stops spewing, just rinse everything down the sink.

Routine Garbage Disposal Maintenance

To maintain your garbage disposal all you need to do is use it. Using it regularly keeps your garbage disposal's parts from freezing because of corrosion or rust. It also keeps obstructions from building up in the garbage disposal causing a blockage if you run it regularly. Always run water when running your garbage disposal. If you don't run water, then ground up food may not go into the pipes causing food to back up and cause problems with your garbage disposal.

Besides needing to be cleaned once in a while a garbage disposal takes care of itself. If you follow the above advice, and still start to hear funny noises from your garbage disposal, or it starts to run improperly, then it is time for repair. Whether you do it yourself, or call a repair man, a garbage disposal is worth fixing, because a garbage disposal is worth having around.


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    • J.S.Matthew profile image

      JS Matthew 

      7 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Useful article! Voting Up and Useful! Keep it up.


    • Seth Winter profile image

      Seth Winter 

      7 years ago from Shingletown, California

      What about garbage disposals for the mafia? I am sure they find it very useful. Good article.


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