Dos and Don’ts: Tips to Save Your Garbage Disposal

Dos and Don’ts: Tips to Save Your Garbage Disposal

Just because the name of the item is “Garbage Diposal”, doesn’t mean you should shove any old garbage down there.
You may be using your garbage disposal incorrectly, which can not only void it’s warranty, but can also be very dangerous. So here are some important do’s and don’ts you’ll need to know when owning this handy kitchen tool to be safe, extend it’s life and save you money by not needing costly repairs.
DO: Read and Follow the Instructions in the Owner’s Manual
 
I know, every article always says read, understand and follow the owner’s manual, but not all articles are talking about a kitchen appliance that’s sole design is to shred and destroy items that fall into it’s munching path. So, it’s a simple request and step for someone to get a good understanding of this appliance simply by reading the manual.
DON’T: Dislodge Anything without Following the Instructions and Taking Safety Precautions
 
If something in the disposal get lodged in there, don’t stick your hand down there and start feeling around. Make sure the appliance it turned off, unplugged, or if hardwired, make sure the power is turned off at the circuit breaker. Follow the instructions in the Owner’s Manual to dislodge any items that get stuck in your garbage disposal.
 
DO: Follow These Simple Tips to Help Unclog Your Disposal
 

Never pour bleach, drain cleaners or other chemicals into the garbage disposal as they are corrosive and can damage your pipes. Follow these simple tips to unclog your disposal, and if those don’t work, you may need to get it repaired.

DON’T: “Sharpen” the Blades with Ice or Eggshells

I’m not sure where this myth came from, but people seem to think that Garbage disposals have blades, similar to a lawnmower or blender. It doesn’t, it has impellers that are blunt, not sharp. So, putting ice or egg shells down the disposal to sharpen the blades will not do any good. In fact, egg shells are not recommended for the garbage disposal as the membrane can get wrapped around the impellers and cause damage.

DO: Use Cold Water, Not Hot, When the Disposal is Running

While hot water does dissolve grease, it may actually do more harm than good and could actually push grease further into the pipes and create clogs. It could even cause your disposal to overheat. Cold water is better, as it helps grease to solidify and move more easily down the drain with the wastewater.

DON’T: Pour Grease or Food Scrap Down the Disposal

Never pour fats, oil or grease into your disposal or down your sink. Your disposal simply grinds items. Chasing it down with dish soap won’t always work either. Fats, oil and grease can congeal, stick to and build up in plumbing and clog the sewer. Food scraps are best thrown in the trash not in your disposal.

DO: USE Your Trash Can

Although a garbage disposal is durable, it is not indestructible. Disposals are designed to grind down soft food particles, not hard food waste like bones, corn cobs, fruit pits, and unpopped popcorn kernels. A good rule of thumb is if you have a hard time chewing it, your disposal will probably have a hard time grinding it. If you’re not sure about an item, it’s better to throw it in the trash. Avoid dumping other foods like pasta or rice as they expand in water and could clog your drain. Also, avoid starchy or stringy vegetables like celery, rhubarb, asparagus, potato and banana peels and coffee grounds.