A garbage disposal is a helpful appliance to have in your home. If you don't have one already, you can easily add one beneath your kitchen sink.
A disposal crushes leftover food from a meal and washes it away down the drain. The particles are so small that they will not clog your drain. This doesn't mean you can put anything and everything down your sink though. You will eventually have a clog if you attempt this.
See below for some helpful information about garbage disposals, including maintenance tasks and other tips to ensure it runs properly.
USE AS DIRECTED
Use your disposal as directed in the manufacturer's instructions. You wouldn't put metal in your microwave, so why would you try to put bones down your disposal? Anything too hard can cause problems with your disposal such as bending (or breaking) the blades, clogging the disposal, or causing a breakdown of the disposal from overheating.
Some things are not meant for your disposal. These include:
- Metal or glass items
- Bones or fruit pits
- Husks or other stringy items like celery
- Fats such as grease or oils (which should never be placed down the drain at all)
These are all items that should be left out of your disposal and your drain, as you can cause a clog.
KEEP BLADES IN GOOD SHAPE
Your disposal is only as good as the blades used to chop up the food items. If your blades are too dull, you might get a clog because the food will not be chopped up as well as it should. To keep the blades in good shape and as sharp as they were when you bought the appliance, use ice cubes in the disposal weekly. The ice will help sharpen the blades.
If you have broken blades, or the blades are in bad shape, you can replace these blades with the following steps:
- Turn off the power to the appliance by either shutting off the power at the fuse or by unplugging it.
- Use a bucket to catch water that may drip out of the pipe where the garbage disposal is located. Unscrew the pipe using a pipe wrench so you expose the disposal.
- Remove the disposal and locate the bolt holding the blades in place. Take off this bolt and remove the old blades.
- Add the new blades to the disposal and replace the bolt.
- Replace the garbage disposal and then the pipe beneath your sink.
- Turn on the water to check for leaks. If you have a water leak from the pipe, add tape around the pipe and then replace it again.
- Plug in the disposal and check to be sure it is working properly.
Although these steps are useful if needed, you will be better off using ice to sharpen the blades than having to replace the new blades periodically.
CLEAN THE DISPOSAL
Your garbage disposal is like any other appliance in your home. It should be cleaned in order to keep it running. Clean the disposal using a mixture of baking soda and vinegar. Sprinkle the baking soda around the drain, then add the vinegar. Watch it bubble and allow it to sit. After a few minutes, run hot water down the drain. This will help clean the drain and the disposal.
To remove stinky odors, you can cut up citrus fruit such as lemons or limes and place them in the disposal. Run the disposal with cold water and you'll have a fresher-smelling disposal.
For a deeper clean, use a toothbrush or scrub brush to get into the drain. Be sure to turn off the disposal before attempting to do this type of cleaning.
A garbage disposal can be a helpful appliance to have in your home. Ensure it works by using it properly. If you need parts for your disposal such as new blades, or for all of your appliance parts needs, call Appliance Parts Distributor to get the parts you need.