How to Use a Garbage Disposal

Fall is a time when friends and family start to gather inside instead of out. The weather cools down. We spend more time at home. And the parties grow larger as we head into the holiday season.

Regardless if you’re cooking for two or a party of twenty, chances are there will be more food and plenty of dishwashing going on in the coming months. And while you’re in clean-up mode, what are you sending down the garbage disposal? Could your quick cleaning habits be causing you trouble? There are a few tips you should keep in mind.How To Use Your Garbage Disposal

Think before you stuff

If you’ve ever looked at a garbage disposal, you’ll know it isn’t a large appliance. It’s a few inches in diameter and is easily tucked underneath your counter. What goes into your garbage disposal must be ground up and sent through your pipes, which are even smaller in diameter. Can you really see a pile of chicken bones going through? Or a pile of rice or pasta? When in doubt, throw it away. You can also reduce what you send down the drain by starting a compost pile. Keep bits and pieces of food you would normally throw away and add it to a food compost, which will create nutrient-rich fertilizer for you to use in your garden next spring.

Use with water

Have you ever stuffed a blender with fruits and vegetables and turned it on? It becomes a glob that doesn’t move very fast and eventually clogs the blades. It needs moisture to keep it all running smoothly. Your garbage disposal acts in a similar way. A glob of food can easily become stuck on the blades and create a tight mess. By keeping the water moving throughout the process, your disposal will run better, and your pipes will drain. Turn on the water before you add food to the disposal. Turn the disposal on and run as the food moves through. When it sounds clear, turn it off and continue to let the water run for a few seconds to ensure it’s clear.

Clean it regularly

Yes, even your garbage disposal needs a little cleaning once in awhile. But avoid reaching for chemicals or solutions you find on the shelves of your big box stores. Instead, reach for a tray of ice cubes. Sending through a few ice cubes periodically will help keep the blades sharp and keep them clean and clear of debris. If you have a particular smelly odor coming from within, pour a little baking soda into the drain and let it set a few hours before adding water and ice.

Not only will these tips keep your garbage disposal working great for years, but it can also help you extend its life too. A quick sorting of scraps can save you from a clogged sink and a burned out motor. Your garbage disposal is a great tool to have if you use it the right way.

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