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The Dos And Don'ts Of Using A Garbage Disposal

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A garbage disposal can definitely make life easier when it comes to cleaning up after a meal. However, if you want your garbage disposal to keep working properly, you need to make sure you're using it the right way and treating it with care. Follow these dos and don't to protect your disposal and the associated plumbing.

Do: Run the water while running the disposal.

Make sure you have the water turned on and running at a steady stream while you're running the disposal. This way, the chopped up food particles will flow freely through the pipes and are less likely to cause a clog. Use cold water, not hot water, as hot water can make food sticky and cause it to stick to the pipes more easily.

Don't: Grind up fibrous foods.

Fibrous foods like citrus rinds and nut shells should not go down the garbage disposal. They're very hard on the blade and may cause them to wear out prematurely. The "strings" in these materials can also get woven around the blades, causing them to seize up.

Do: "Clean" the disposal from time to time.

Small food particles can get stuck on the disposal's blades, leading to odors. A good way to get rid of these is to grind up a few handfuls of ice about once a week. The ice will "scrub" the grime off the blades. Follow the ice up with a handful of baking soda. Pour it down the drain with the disposal turned to "off," let it sit for an hour, and then rinse it away while running the disposal. The baking soda will absorb lingering odors.

Don't: Put grease or greasy foods down the disposal.

You probably know that grease should ever go down the drain. This rule still holds true when you have a garbage disposal. The disposal won't destroy the grease; it can still accumulate in the interior of your pipes, leading to clogs. Greasy foods like sauces and the fat trimmings from meat should not be put down the disposal, either.

Do: Avoid chopping up pasta and rice.

These foods can absorb water, causing clogs if they happen to get caught in the pipes. They're also starchy, and their starch can cling to the disposal blades leading to odors and premature dullness.

Follow these tips, and your garbage disposal should go on doing its job for many years to come. If you have issues, though, contact a professional who can complete a drain blockage clearing service