No kitchen is complete without that highly useful device that grinds up any morsels of food rinsed away by the faucet. Of course I am talking about the disposal. This machine has been keeping kitchen sink plumbing working since it was available for purchase around the 1940’s. However, a disposal can come with its own set of problems and can sometimes malfunction. Here are some tips you can use now to avoid garbage disposal repair later.
1. Use only when necessary
This piece of advice sounds like simple common sense but you’d be surprised how many people don’t completely understand the ideal way to utilize the device. You should run it only after you rinsed off dishes or thrown some biodegradable food scraps into the sink. Some people run it each and every time they use the sink and sometimes will even walk away for minutes at a time. This type of use wears down the motor very quickly.
2. Do no grind non-biodegradable foods
Anything that is synthetic and not biodegradable should be disposed of in the trash. This can include items like man made candies, especially gummies, play dough, clay, sand, etc. These items will wear down the motor, will likely still clog the plumbing system, and could possibly jam the unit.
3. Do not grind random items.
Some people imagine the disposal is like a wood chipper that can destroy any unwanted item. It is not! Avoid throwing things in the machine simply to dispose of it or destroy it. Not only will it likely fail, but it will damage or jam the machine requiring a repair some effort to dislodge items caught in the blades. This can me dangerous and time consuming if not done correctly.
4. Do not grind very fibrous rinds/fruits/veggies.
The unit gets its most use during cooking and preparation of food. Often times we may be in a hurry to rinse off the cutting board and may throw less than appropriate food items into the sink. Anything that is fibrous or contains a thick durable rind will damage the unit. Rinds can wedge themselves in the blades for a jam up or create friction that causes motor damage. When in doubt, throw items in the trash.
5. Avoid expandable foods and carbohydrates
Foods such as pastas and rice will absorb more water and expand inside the unit and the sink. This expansion can damage the unit in the long run as well as create foul smelling odors.
6. Make sure to rinse and clean out the unit
From time to time it will be important to rinse and clean out the unit to keep everything in fresh working order. Avoid using chemical de-clogging agents, they often do not work in the long run and cause more problems.
Use these tips to make sure your kitchen sink stays in top working order.