Garbage disposals are a convenient appliance in any kitchen, but they can also become a source of frustration if they start to malfunction. A malfunctioning garbage disposal can cause clogs, unpleasant odors, and even leaks under your sink. In this article, we will discuss how to keep your garbage disposal running like new, so you can avoid these problems and enjoy the benefits of a well-functioning disposal.
What Causes Garbage Disposal Problems?
Before we dive into the tips for keeping your garbage disposal in good condition, let’s first understand what causes garbage disposal problems. The most common causes of issues with garbage disposals are:
- Overloading the disposal with too much food waste at once
- Putting non-food items such as paper, plastic, or metal in the disposal
- Pouring grease or oil down the drain
- Failing to run water while using the disposal
- Not cleaning the disposal regularly
These factors can cause a variety of issues such as clogs, dull blades, unpleasant odors, and leaks.
Tips for Keeping Your Garbage Disposal Running Smoothly
To keep your garbage disposal functioning properly, follow these tips:
1. Use Your Disposal Correctly
The first step in maintaining your garbage disposal is to use it correctly. Only put small amounts of food waste down the disposal at a time and run water while you do so. Avoid putting non-food items, grease, or oil in the disposal.
2. Run Cold Water
Always run cold water while using your garbage disposal. Cold water helps solidify any grease or oil that may be present, making it easier for the blades to chop up and preventing clogs.
3. Clean Your Disposal Regularly
Cleaning your disposal regularly will help keep it smelling fresh and prevent buildup on the blades. To clean your disposal, pour a cup of ice cubes and a cup of rock salt down the drain and run the disposal for a few seconds. This will help remove any debris that may be stuck on the blades.
4. Use Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruits such as lemons or limes can help keep your disposal smelling fresh. Cut a citrus fruit into small pieces and run them through the disposal while running cold water.
5. Use Baking Soda and Vinegar
Baking soda and vinegar are natural cleaners that can help break down food waste and prevent clogs. Pour half a cup of baking soda down the drain followed by a cup of vinegar. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes before running cold water and turning on the disposal.
6. Sharpen the Blades
Over time, the blades in your garbage disposal can become dull, making it harder for them to chop up food waste. To sharpen the blades, put a few ice cubes down the drain and run the disposal for a few seconds. The ice will help sharpen the blades, making them more efficient.
7. Call a Professional
If you have tried all of these tips and your garbage disposal is still not functioning properly, it may be time to call in a professional. A plumber or appliance repair technician can diagnose and fix any issues with your disposal.
A well-functioning garbage disposal is a valuable appliance in any kitchen. By following these tips, you can keep your garbage disposal running smoothly and avoid issues such as clogs, unpleasant odors, and leaks. Remember to use your disposal correctly, run cold water, clean it regularly, use citrus fruits and baking soda and vinegar, sharpen the blades, and call a professional if needed. With these tips, you can enjoy the convenience of a garbage disposal for years to come.