If you have a garbage disposal in your kitchen, you probably love being able to scrape your plates and toss your food garbage directly into your sink. However, if you don't take good care of your garbage disposal, it could fail on you when you least expect it. Luckily, following these tips will help you prevent a lot of common garbage disposal issues.
1. Run Water After Using Your Disposal
Even if your garbage disposal does a great job, there's a good chance that it will still leave food particles behind every now and then. It's always a good idea to leave your faucet running for several seconds after grinding up each batch of garbage to help prevent clogs.
2. Avoid Using Harsh Cleaners
Garbage disposals can get quite smelly and dirty due to all of the garbage that they see, and you could be tempted to use harsh cleaners to help clean them out. However, many cleaners can cause damage to the blades and system. Instead, simply use a combination of baking soda and vinegar -- followed by hot water -- to clean out your garbage disposal without causing damage.
3. Avoid Grease Clogs
Even though you might be able to flush a lot of food-related waste down your garbage disposal, you should still dispose of cooking oil and grease in a different manner. Grease can thicken up and can coat your blades and clog your pipes. Also, make sure that you use cold water when running your garbage disposal; then, if any grease does sneak its way into your garbage disposal, you don't have to worry about it liquefying and causing clogs and other damage.
4. Don't Grind Anything That You Can't Eat
Don't think that your garbage disposal is a catch-all for all small trash in your kitchen. Keep cigarette butts, paper towels, glass and other items out of your garbage disposal. Instead, use it for food only.
5. Be Careful with Expandable Foods
As you know, foods like rice and pasta can expand when they get wet. It's best to keep things like this out of your garbage disposal; otherwise, they could expand and take up space in your pipes, creating a clog.
Preventing garbage disposal issues in the first place can help keep your unit in good condition, cut down on aggravation and allow you to save on plumbing bills. Follow these tips, and remember to call a good plumber sooner rather than later if you do notice an issue.