Cleaning Your Garbage Disposal

If you have a garbage disposal in your kitchen, then you know how amazingly useful they are in, not only helping us dispose of table scraps but also helping us keep our kitchen drain working properly, preventing blockages.

Surrounded by all the other duties of the kitchen, sometimes we tend to let the maintenance on the disposal waver to the side. Who can blame us? Tending to the garbage disposal is not usually something we are taught to do routinely and many people have little to no knowledge on how to maintain their disposal until a plumber has to come fix a problem.

A few problems that can occur when not maintained properly are not fun, mainly clogs & leaks, or worse, breaking down completely resulting in expensive plumbing bills.

Here is a list of  a few Dos and Don’ts to keep in mind when you are using your kitchen sink disposal:

  • Keep it clean: after washing dishes and cleaning sink, pour a little dish soap down the drain and run the disposal (with cold water running into the drain) for 1-2 minutes. Make this part of your routine after you do your dishes each day.
  • Keep it small: avoid large chunks/volume of food (and obviously, bone) in the disposal. If you have plenty table scraps, pour them down the disposal in intervals (remember, make sure the leftover scraps are small! if they are large or boney, make use of your left over plastic grocery bags and toss in your leftovers, tie it up and toss in your trashcan).
  • Keep it constant: run your disposal regularly to prevent obstructions from accumulating, including rust and corrosion. (If you have a dishwasher, always run your disposal before you start it up, it assures no build up in your pipes so leaks won’t occur)
  • Keep it rough (but not too rough): earlier I mentioned no bones, but a little abrasion is good, so small bones such as small chicken bones or fish bones can be ground up along with egg shells, fruit pits etc. The grinding action creates a scouring action that cleans your disposals walls, but, while you do this, be sure to…
  • Keep it cold: cold water causes any grease or oil to solidify, making it easier to scour off.

Never ever ever EVER:

  • NEVER grind anything plastic, glass, metal or paper (yes, paper! it may not be as bad as glass, but it will still clog and mess up your disposal),
  • NEVER pour oil, grease, fat etc.. into your drain, it will slowly accumulate and make it hard on your disposals grinding system leading to more clogs
  • NEVER use hot water when grinding left over table scraps. Hot water will make the grease in your leftover food liquify, causing the same issue mentioned above
  • NEVER grind up fibrous materials (celery stalks, onion skin, etc…) these fibers can tangle up in the disposal motor and cause blockages.
  • NEVER use bleach or harsh chemicals in your disposal! they will ruin your blades and pipes. Use less harsh or natural cleansers instead, such as soft scrub or barr keepers friend.

Lastly,  attention coffee drinkers,

  • NEVER pour coffee grinds down the disposal. Over time, they will accumulate in the drains and pipes, causing clogs.

Keep it fresh folks! above all, proper maintenance of your garbage disposal will help keep your kitchen fresh and sanitary, all things necessary for a clean kitchen.