Maybe it's the name "garbage disposal" that leads too many homeowners to think just about anythingcan be successfully swept into the receptacle where the impellers will grind it up and a stream of water will wash it away. Garbage disposals are certainly handy appliances, but the fact is, they are not designed to dispose of every kind of refuse generated in the kitchen.
Here's some basic information on how to keep your garbage disposal running right, without needing a call for repair or replacement.
KEEP THESE ITEMS OUT OF THE DISPOSAL
You know that potato peels, onion skins, banana peels, celery, corn husks and other fibrous foods can wrap around the impellers and entangle them, causing a malfunction. But you should also refrain from disposing of coffee grounds and starchy foods, which can form a block and clog up the unit.
Also, keep all the following out of the garbage disposal:
- Nonfood items such as plastic, glass, metal or paper
- Combustible items
- Cigarette butts
- Oil or grease
RUNNING YOUR GARBAGE DISPOSAL
If you want to keep your disposal in good running order, put these practices in place and stick to them.
- Always run a strong flow of cool water when you're disposing of anything. Allow the water to run at least 15 seconds after you turn off the motor.
- Cut any biodegradable item you are disposing of into smaller pieces.
- Not using the garbage disposal regularly can contribute to rust and corrosion.
- Add cleaning the disposal to your regular cleaning chores. Pour some dishwashing soap in the unit, turn on the cold water and the motor and let it run for 60 seconds or so. Occasionally, put some ice cubes and small pieces of lemon peel into the unit. Turn on the motor, allowing the cold water to run as the ice cubes are broken up. The ice cubes help clean the parts, while the lemon removes some of the food odors.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Diego and San Marcos, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).