Garbage disposals are useful kitchen appliances because they mean less food fermenting in your trash can. But there are some best practices for homeowners to pay attention to, as the disposal features sharp blades that chop and grind food waste and can be dangerous if used improperly.

Check out the following do’s and don’ts to ensure your disposal continues to function properly:

  • Do push waste down slowly rather than trying to jam a lot of stuff down at once, which will only clog the disposal. Run cold water before and while the disposal is on, and continue to flush it with water for 30 seconds after the waste has gone down the drain. Cold water is necessary to keep fats in solid form so the appliance or pipes don’t clog. The water also helps the appliance’s motor stay cool, which will keep it running more effectively in the long run.
  • Don’t put hard food items, such as bones, down your disposal. The appliance is meant to get rid of soft foods only. Hard foods will cause damage and render the disposal useless. Don’t put plastic or metal items down your disposal, either, or use it to get rid of fibrous foods, egg shells, rice, pasta or potato peels. Fibrous foods such as corn husks get tangled in the blades, while egg shells and potato peels create unwanted buildup. Pasta and rice will expand, which results in clogs.
  • Do check garbage disposals frequently for leaks, as they feature numerous parts that make easy leak sources. This includes pipe connections, flanges and gaskets. Always check for leaks to avoid mold and pest infestations under your sink.
  • Don’t pour bleach down your sink, which will damage disposal seals. If odor is an issue, grind citrus peels into the disposal, or use white vinegar and baking soda to clean it.

For information about taking care of garbage disposals, or for any other home comfort issue, contact Apollo Home Heating, Cooling and Plumbing. We’ve proudly served the greater Cincinnati area since 1910.

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