Garbage Disposal Maintenance – Part 1

The garbage disposal is one of those appliances that, if you have never owned one, you probably haven’t missed it too much.

But if you do a lot of cooking and food preparation, or even if it just came with your house or apartment, you know how useful and practical it is. Here we offer some tips on how to keep your disposal working efficiently.

  1. Be mindful of your drains. Run the disposal often to prevent clogging; when you do, use cold water because it helps solidify and break any grease in your garbage. Fill your sink when washing dishes; the increased water pressure when you drain helps keep it clear.
  1. Retrieval. If you lose something down the drain, turn the disposal off first, then use a tongs—not your fingers—to reach for the lost item.
  1. The reset button. Do you even know where the reset button is? It is important for maintenance and especially for early troubleshooting. It is usually a red button located on the unit under the sink. If your disposal stalls, turn it off, then press the reset button and hold it for a few seconds.
  1. Regular Maintenance is all-important. A good and easy way to clean your drain is to put a handful of ice cubes down the disposal, then run it; the ice shards help clean the disposal and sharpen the blades. If you add vinegar to the water, or even replace the water with pure vinegar, it will also disinfect the drain and kill odor-causing bacteria.

—Another easy cleanser is orange or lemon peels, which also add a nice scent.

— For stronger cleaning and deodorizing, try baking soda; pour half a cup or so down the drain and let it sit for a few hours, then run the disposal.

— If these steps don’t do the job, use a cleaner that has been proven safe, like Borax; throw in a couple of tablespoonfuls, let it sit for awhile, then add water to wash it out. Don’t use harsh cleansers, which can eat away at the disposal blades and your pipes.

  1. If these steps fail, you should probably call your professional plumbing expert. Albuquerque Plumbing Heating & Cooling can solve your disposal problems.
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