Keeping your home and kitchen clean is an essential aspect of maintaining good health and hygiene. One of the most critical components of any kitchen is the garbage disposal. Garbage disposals are convenient and efficient appliances that make it easy to get rid of food waste quickly. However, just like any other appliance, garbage disposals require regular maintenance to function correctly. In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about garbage disposal maintenance to keep your home and kitchen fresh and clean.
Know Your Garbage Disposal
Before we dive into garbage disposal maintenance tips, it is crucial to understand how garbage disposals work. A garbage disposal is an electrical appliance installed under your kitchen sink. It is designed to grind up food waste into small particles that can flow through your plumbing system. Garbage disposals have sharp blades that chop up food waste when turned on. However, it is essential to know what kind of waste your garbage disposal can handle. Not all food waste is suitable for garbage disposals, and putting the wrong things down your disposal can cause serious problems. Always read the manufacturer’s instructions and avoid putting non-food items, fats, oils, and fibrous foods like celery and artichokes into your disposal.
One of the most crucial aspects of garbage disposal maintenance is regular cleaning. Over time, food waste and grease can build up in your disposal and cause unpleasant odors, clogs, and even damage the blades. To keep your garbage disposal running smoothly, we recommend cleaning it at least once a week. Here’s how:
Turn off the power: Before cleaning your garbage disposal, make sure to turn off the power. Unplug the unit or turn off the circuit breaker to avoid accidents.
Remove any large debris: Use tongs or pliers to remove any large food waste or debris stuck in the disposal.
Use ice and rock salt: Fill your sink with ice and rock salt and turn on the disposal. The ice will help clean the blades, and the salt will help remove any debris and odors.
Use baking soda and vinegar: After the ice and salt, pour a cup of baking soda and a cup of vinegar down the disposal. Let it sit for a few minutes before flushing it with hot water.
Sharpen the Blades
Garbage disposals have sharp blades that chop up food waste, but over time, these blades can become dull. Dull blades can cause your disposal to work harder, leading to clogs and malfunctions. To keep your blades sharp, we recommend sharpening them every few months. Here’s how:
Turn off the power: As with cleaning, make sure to turn off the power before sharpening your blades.
Use a hex key: Most garbage disposals come with a hex key. Insert the hex key into the center of the disposal underneath your sink, and turn it back and forth to sharpen the blades.
In addition to regular cleaning and sharpening, there are a few other things you can do to keep your garbage disposal in top condition:
Run cold water: Always run cold water when using your disposal. Cold water helps solidify any grease or oil, making it easier for the disposal to chop it up.
Use it regularly: Garbage disposals need to be used regularly to keep them in good condition. Using your disposal every day or every other day can help prevent clogs and keep the blades sharp.
Avoid overloading: Don’t overload your garbage disposal. Only put small amounts of food waste into the disposal at a time to avoid clogs and damage to the blades.