13 Tips for Garbage Disposal Maintenance

Garbage Disposal Maintenance

Regular maintenance of your garbage disposal helps ensure its efficient operation and longevity. Here are some tips for proper garbage disposal maintenance:

  1. Run Cold Water During Use:
    • Always run cold water while using the garbage disposal and continue running it for a few seconds after turning off the disposal. Cold water helps solidify grease and oils, making it easier for the disposal to grind them up.
  2. Use the Disposal Regularly:
    • Periodically using the garbage disposal helps prevent rust and corrosion. If left unused for an extended period, the disposal may become more prone to malfunctions.
  3. Cut Items Into Small Pieces:
    • Before putting food scraps into the disposal, cut them into smaller pieces. This makes it easier for the disposal blades to handle the waste, reducing the risk of clogs.
  4. Avoid Fibrous or Stringy Foods:
    • Refrain from putting fibrous or stringy foods (such as celery, corn husks, and onion skins) into the disposal. These items can tangle around the blades and cause blockages.
  5. Avoid Hard Items:
    • Do not put hard items like bones, fruit pits, or seafood shells into the disposal. The blades may not be strong enough to grind them, potentially damaging the disposal.
  6. Avoid Starchy Foods:
    • Starchy foods like pasta and rice can expand when exposed to water, leading to clogs. Minimize putting large quantities of these items down the disposal.
  7. Avoid Grease and Oil:
    • Do not pour grease, oil, or fat down the disposal. These substances can solidify and cause blockages over time. Instead, collect them in a container and dispose of them in the trash.
  8. Clean the Disposal:
    • Regularly clean the disposal to remove any buildup of debris or unpleasant odors. You can do this by grinding ice cubes and citrus peels or by using a mixture of baking soda and vinegar.
  9. Check for Leaks:
    • Periodically inspect the disposal and the connections for any signs of leaks. Leaks can lead to water damage and other issues if not addressed promptly.
  10. Use a Wrench for Stuck Rotors:
    • If the garbage disposal blades become stuck, use a hex wrench (often provided with the disposal) to manually rotate the blades. This can help dislodge any obstructions.
  11. Avoid Chemical Drain Cleaners:
    • Refrain from using chemical drain cleaners as they can be harsh on the disposal and may cause damage. Instead, use natural cleaning solutions like baking soda and vinegar.
  12. Reset the Disposal:
    • If the disposal stops working, check for a reset button on the bottom of the unit. Pressing this button can often restore power to the disposal.
  13. Professional Maintenance:
    • If you encounter persistent issues or suspect a more significant problem, consider seeking professional maintenance services. A plumber or appliance repair technician can inspect and address any issues with the garbage disposal.

By following these maintenance tips, you can keep your garbage disposal in good working condition and avoid common problems associated with neglect or misuse.