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5 Top Tips to Run Your Garbage Disposal the Right Way

A garbage disposal is a great way to get rid of expired food, peels, and leftovers. Many people don’t understand that a trash compactor and a garbage disposal are used in different ways. This confusion can cause people to use their garbage disposal incorrectly resulting in problems, such as chipped blades, clogged drains, and jams. Following these five simple tips will ensure that you use you garbage disposal correctly and minimize future problems. 1. Use Your Garbage Disposal Regularly It’s important to use your disposal regularly, even if you don’t have any reason to use it. Turn the water on and run your disposal at least every few days to give the disposal a small work out. Leaving your disposal unused for long periods of time can cause a number of issues, such as freezing up, corrosion, unpleasant odors and blockages from hardened leftover food. 2. Always Run Cold Water Through the Disposal A garbage disposal needs cold water to work effectively. Cold water will harden up the waste food; it will be easier to grind up and push through the drain pipe. Also one of the best ways to clean the disposal is with ice cubes from your freezer. Simply put a few handfuls of ice into the unit, then turn it on and run some cold water while the cubes grind. 3. Feed the Disposal with Smaller Pieces of Waste Even a high quality garbage disposal has its limits for dealing with food waste. No matter how powerful the motor and blades are, large pieces of vegetables, meat and fruit can cause problems. Be kind to your disposal, cut your waste up into smaller chunks and feed it a few pieces at a time. Overworking the disposal will cause frequent jams, and it could even break it entirely. 4. Run Your Disposal for Longer In this environmentally energy conscious age, it is common for most of us to use the bare minimum of energy and water. As laudable as this may be, it is not the best way to run a garbage disposal. If you turn off your disposal too early the ground up food will not be flushed out into the drain and clogs may be formed. Run the water for a little longer to ensure that the food is flushed out, add some dish soap to help clean the disposal and this will help to clean any food clinging to the sides. 5. Dish Soap Another method of disposal cleaning requires only hot water and dish soap. This method can be particularly helpful if you have noticed an unpleasant odor coming from your unit. Using the sink stopper, plug the disposal drain and add a generous squirt of dish detergent to the sink. Run hot water into the sink until it is at least halfway full. As you release the sink stopper, turn on the disposal and let the entire sink contents drain into the unit while it runs. This method helps fill the disposal with soapy water to reach the upper portions of the unit, which often don’t get cleaned by other methods. It also helps clean the disposal drain line, which can harbor food residue and odors. Using a Garbage Disposal When you’ve been using your garbage disposal incorrectly, you will notice a few problems. Firstly, it’s likely that your kitchen drain is filled with material and debris that will slow the flow of water from your sink out into the sewer line. Following the tips we have covered here will help, but it’s also a good idea to schedule some regular professional cleaning. A qualified local plumber can ensure that kitchen drain stays clear of clogs and works efficiently. By Giovanni Longo President Flood Brothers Plumbing Giovanni Longo is a 3rd generation master plumber who has been practicing his craft and trade in the greater Los Angeles area for well over a decade and a half. A plumbing and hydraulics-engineering innovator, Giovanni’s particular world-class expertise focuses on dealing with challenging sewer system designs as well as resolving complex commercial and residential draining issues. As a certified Flood Mitigation expert, he is also well versed in a wide variety of water damage and remediation solutions.