Garbage disposals provide a convenient way to grind up and wash away food waste directly into the drain system. However, like any frequently used appliance, disposals require some periodic maintenance to prevent problems and keep them operating at peak performance.
Clean and deodorize regularly
Over time, food particles, grease, and grime coat the internal components of disposals. Clogged drains and bad odors are caused by this buildup. Deodorize and clean the disposal every 1-2 months to avoid issues.
- Ice cubes – Drop a few handfuls down the disposal while running cold water and let them grind away deposits.
- Baking soda and vinegar – Pour 1/2 cup baking soda into the disposal followed by 1 cup vinegar. Let fizz and bubble for 5 minutes then rinse with cold water for 2 minutes.
- Citrus peels – Toss used lemon, lime, and orange rinds into the disposal for a clean, fresh scent as they grind.
- Bleach – Disinfect with 1/4 cup of bleach once monthly. Run for 60 seconds after pouring in bleach then flush with cold water.
- Commercial disposal cleaners – Use monthly to freshen and break down greasy buildup.
Don’t use harsh chemicals
Avoid corrosive drain cleaners and harsh chemicals that damage disposal parts. Products containing Drano, sulfuric acid, lye, caustic potash, or hydrochloric acid wear away metal components and compromise safety.
Freshen with baking soda
For odor elimination between full cleanings, simply pour 1/4 cup baking soda into the empty disposal and let sit for a few hours before running the disposal. The baking soda will absorb and neutralize lingering odors.
Lubricate to prevent jams
Lubricating disposal units makes the internal shredding components operate smoothly to prevent jams. Every 3-4 months, turn on the disposal and slowly pour in 1/4 cup of vegetable oil while running cold water. Let the oil circulate for 30 seconds before turning the disposal off.
Use cold water only
Always run cold water when operating the disposal and for a full 60 seconds after turning off the disposal. Cold water hardens fats and greases so they grind up better. Hot water liquefies greases which re-solidify as clogs. For more details, click here Vaucluse plumber.
Know when to replace
The average lifespan of garbage disposals is 10-12 years. Excessively noisy units, leak, jam frequently, or have corroded components should be replaced. Newer energy-efficient models operate much more smoothly and quietly.
Upgrade to a higher horsepower model
Higher horsepower disposals grind larger amounts of waste faster and easier. For frequent-use households, 1 HP or even 1-1/2 HP units are preferable over lower 1/3 or 1/2 HP models.
Maintain proper use habits
Curb disposal misuse by household members leads to problems. Run water before and after use. Space waste additions 5-10 seconds apart. Avoid cramming in large masses. Wait for the grinding sounds to cease before turning it off.