garbage disposal

Maintaining Your Garbage Disposal

Take care of your garbage disposal today to prevent further issues

General Electric first introduced the garbage disposal to American homes in 1935.  Today, it is estimated that 50% of U.S. households have one.  If yours is one of them, it is certain that the garbage disposal is among your favorite time-saving devices when tackling chores.  However, to keep your garbage disposal running in peak form requires some maintenance steps on your part.  Once garbage disposal breaks down, it can block and clog drains and pipes, and these issues will require a plumber to fix.

Primarily, it’s very important to keep your garbage disposal clean, as any items you grind will leave residue behind.  A good time to clean the disposal is immediately after washing the dishes.  Just squeeze some dish soap inside the disposal, then run it for approximately a minute simultaneously with some cold tap water.  At least once per month, throw some ice cubes into the disposal and grind them.  The resulting ice chips will cleanse all of the hard to reach places in the unit, and then safely melt away.  As a bonus, the ice helps sharpen the blades of the disposal and remove any grease build-up present.

If you find that your garbage disposal is producing an odor, there are a few things you can try.  First, know it is safe to grind a whole lemon or orange.  Citrus fruits contain oils which will help clean the walls of the disposal in addition to giving off a pleasant scent.  Another option to try is freezing vinegar into ice cubes and grinding them in the disposal, as the vinegar will serve as a natural bacteria killer.  Finally, if the above suggestions fail, it is acceptable to use the cleaning agent Borax.  Just put 4 tablespoons in the drain, let it sit for an hour, then flush it with hot water.