Here are the most important points while using a garbage disposal properly. Please read carefully!
- Keep it clean
As much as you want to grind food waste and rinse down the drain, remember to keep the machine’s grinding chamber clean. The unit can begin generating awful odor over time due to wastes that have accumulated within the blades. Therefore, pour some dish soap and run the machine for about a minute while adding a little cold water. Some people may not find time to do this due to tight schedules, but you can clean the unit especially after washing dishes. It will take you less than 5 minutes to do the job, and maintain the good condition of your machine.
- Run the unit regularly
For the small families that don’t cook too often, even a good garbage disposal may corrode over time if it stays for a long time without being used. It is recommended to use it regularly to prevent rust since the moving parts will be kept active. Running the disposal regularly helps remove the stuck waste materials, hence preventing accumulation of materials within the blade. Even though stainless steel grinding chambers are rust resistant, keeping it for a long time without running may corrode the parts.
- Use cold water while grinding
When the machine is grinding waste, you should ensure a strong stream of cold water is flowing into it. Remember some food waste contain oils and can cause a clog in the pipes during the process. Cold water makes the oils solidify so that they are chopped easily before entering the pipes.
- Grind some scouring materials
Not all food waste is ideal to put into a disposal, but some materials are essential to polish the blades. Small pieces of egg shells, soft chicken bones, and fruit peels are ideal for sharpening the blades. They also help in rubbing the walls of the grinding chamber, thus cleaning the unit further.
- Put small pieces of food waste
Putting large pieces of food waste can overwhelm the grinding blades, and probably cause a clog. You should cut the pieces into smaller bits and then put into the machine one at a time. A large amount may cause the unit to jam, causing problems that may require entire unit replacement or repair work.
Things NOT to Do While Using a Garbage Disposal
- Don’t grind paper, plastic, glass, or metal
Plastic, glass, and metal are hard materials that cannot be grinded by the disposal’s blades. Putting such items will definitely destroy the unit. Remember, such breakdown will require a plumber to install a new disposal. Paper material is also prohibited in the disposal since paper tends to stick when wet. If wet papers accumulate within the grinding chamber, you will call a plumber to unscramble at a fee.
- Don’t grind candle wax
Anything greasy is dangerous to the unit because it will cause clog the pipes as well. Apart from candle wax, avoid grinding any combustible material since the machine utilizes electricity in its operation. Any spark may lead to a fire.
- Avoid grinding cigarette butts
Some people think that cigarette butts can be disposed of through a disposal, but that is not true. These butts can jam the unit because they cannot be chopped appropriately. Basically, many of them will be left inside the grinding chamber. Continuous accumulation may lead to jamming issues. In case they pass into the pipes, they may cause serious clogging, which in turn may lead to plumbing costs.
- Avoid pouring fat, oil, or grease into the machine
As said earlier, grease is harmful to the disposal. Fat stuff tends to accumulate gradually, and eventually, obstruct the ability to grind waste. Also, the accumulated fats, oils, or grease may clog the drains causing stern plumbing issues.
- Use cold water NOT hot water when grinding waste
Cold water is recommended especially when grinding food waste that contains oils or fat. It makes the oils solidify and get chopped up easily, before entering the drains. Hot water is not ideal because it liquefies the oils, causing them to accumulate and clog the systems.
- Avoid grinding too much fibrous food waste
Fibrous materials such as celery stalks, corn husks, artichokes, and onion skins can entangle around the blades and cause jams. These materials should be cut into smaller pieces in order to reduce the stringy nature, and therefore avoid causing jams within the blades. Such materials can also cause a clog in the pipes.
- Let the motor and water run until grinding is finished
The motor should be left running until grinding is completed. Once it is over, allow the water to run for about 20 seconds after switching off the disposal. This helps flush out any remaining particles, instead of leaving them within the grinding chamber.
- Put small amount of potato peels at a time
Putting huge chunks of potato peels into the unit may cause the blades to jam. Potatoes produce thick paste when grinded and too much of it may stick on the blades. Ensure you cut them into smaller pieces, and then put a little amount at a time.
- Avoid putting expandable food waste
Examples of these include rice and pasta, as they tend to expand when soaked in water. If they expand while in the machine, probably they will cause the blades to jam. Also, they can cause severe clogs inside pipes.
- Don’t put too hard food waste
These include beef bones and pork bones since they can destroy the blades. Some high-end disposals can shred soft bones like chicken and fish bones. However, it is not advisable to grind bones using your disposal.