5 Tips For Using Your Garbage Disposal Properly

5 Tips For Using Your Garbage Disposal Properly

Many homeowners rely on their garbage disposal, but do they use it the right way?

Your garbage disposal is a very convenient appliance, however, it is likely that you are not using it properly, putting both your appliance and plumbing system at risk of damage.

If you continue using bad habits with your garbage disposal, then you’ll probably put it out of commission sooner than you’d like.

That is unless you take advantage of some key tips for using your garbage disposal properly.

Below, we’ll cover five garbage disposal tips for a perfectly functional home!

1. Use Cold, Running Water Every Time

Turn on cold water every time you run your disposal.

Even when the motor stops grinding and simply whirs, keep cold water running for about 10-20 seconds, depending on how much food you’re grinding.

While hot or warm water might be a fantastic option for other maintenance tasks, it’s counterproductive for your grinding garbage. Hot/warm water can cause food particles to melt or emulsify.

When this happens, food may get stuck at the blades or in the pipes, and sticky, melty food leftovers can accumulate in your plumbing system and clog it.

Coldwater, on the other hand, makes your garbage disposal job easier, it may harden food particles and prevent them from setting in your plumbing’s interior surfaces.

2. Avoid Certain Foods

Your sink garbage disposal makes kitchen clean-up easier, but it can’t work its magic for every type of food item. There are certain foods that you should never put down at your disposal to ensure that you don’t prematurely shorten their lifespan.

In general, do not put hard, fibrous, or starchy foods at your disposal as hard foods are abrasive and can cause your appliance to break. Fibrous foods can wrap around and jam your disposal’s blades.

Starchy root vegetables and foods from starchy grains may gel food particles together, causing your disposal to clog.
In addition, oil and grease can solidify, causing food particles to stick to each other.

If you need an easy list, here are some examples of foods that you should never put down at your disposal:
● Animal fat
● Corn husks
● Seeds/kernels
● Eggshells
● Bones
● Coffee grounds
● Noodles
● Potatoes

So what foods can go in a garbage disposal?

Well, you can reserve your garbage disposal for softer foods, like fruit, vegetable, ice, and meat scraps easily qualify for garbage disposal.

3. Don’t Overload It

Don’t overextend your garbage disposal even if it seems convenient to do so at first. While it’s meant to make your food scraps easier for your plumbing to digest, you might thwart this benefit by overloading it.

Dispose of food in smaller batches, better yet cut larger food scraps into smaller pieces. All this will make it easier for your disposal to grind food with running water, which will also make disposal faster.

Breaking your disposal due to impatience isn’t worth the headache that comes after. Don’t push the limits of your disposal, which can get overworked, resulting in costly repairs.

4. Fully Grind Waste

As we’ve mentioned before, it’s important to run your disposal with cold water for 10-20 seconds, as this is crucial, even after you hear your blades’ soft whir.

Your blades might be done with your food particles, but your plumbing system isn’t. If you stop running your disposal with water after the blades stop grinding up food, then the particles remain in the pipes. They won’t move down unless some force urges them to, such as the aforementioned running water.

Don’t hesitate to use as much water as you need to move food down your pipes. Otherwise, food might get stuck against your pipes and gel together. If the problem worsens, you’ll have to call a plumber.

To take full advantage of your appliance, you have to complete the entire process. Avoid the extra technician bill by fully grinding and processing waste.

5. Clean & Maintain It Properly

The disposal’s role may help clear plumbing systems, but that doesn’t mean it’s impervious to buildup itself. Even if you’ve done everything else right, you still need to maintain it regularly.

Many homeowners don’t clean their garbage disposals at all, but they must clean them every two weeks. Luckily, there’s a quick and easy process for regular cleaning without intense labour.

An easy way to clean the garbage disposal you can pour a half-cup baking soda down the drain, then, pour vinegar on top. After the mixture foams, let it sit for five to ten minutes before running the disposal with cold water.

Don’t stick your hands down your drain during maintenance. If there’s any serious issue with your disposal, call a technician who will understand what safety protocols are best for the service in question.

It’s also important to run your disposal once every few days even without any waste to dispose of. Although this isn’t the same as cleaning it, running the disposal with water will soften any hardened particles, remove rust, etc, as avoiding disposal use can do more harm than good.

Need A Garbage Disposal Expert In Pickering?

For every homeowner, having a working garbage disposal is imperative for disposing of food waste and also keeping plumbing systems clear. However, the challenge lies in keeping this appliance in tip-top condition, they’ll need to maintain it and ensure that it’s always used properly.

At Caldwell Plumbing, we provide great plumbing services to locals in Pickering, Ontario. We service plenty of areas in the province, including, Oshawa, Durham Region, Ajax, and many more! If you live in the area and need an expert Pickering plumber by your side, schedule a free estimate with us today.