Does your garbage disposal get a workout everyday? Do you take this wonderful invention for granted? Did you know there are some rules of maintenance that need to be followed to keep your disposal in good health?
Keep anything too hard out of the disposal – this is very important. Hard items will cause your shredder to become dull and less efficient. Check your manual for a list of items to avoid, but in general do not stuff bones, un-popped popcorn kernels and hard shells from shellfish into your disposal.
Do not put fibrous or starchy items in the disposal – both can cause particularly stubborn drain blockages (fibers get tangled, and starches get thick). The following items should just be thrown in the trash or composted – banana peels, celery, potato peelings, coffee grounds in large quantities, egg shells, corn cobs, artichokes, fruit pits and onion skins.
Avoid putting trash down the disposal – common sense will go a long way but here is another list of items to avoid: hair, rubber bands, twist ties, glass, screws, nails, tacks, cigarette butts, plastic bottle caps and grease.
Cut large items into smaller pieces before you put them in the disposal. If the items are really big then consider composting them instead.
Run cold water while the disposal is on – keep disposer and water running for 30 to 60 seconds AFTER the waste matter has cleared your drain. The waste still has a distance to go. Cold water keeps the motor, bearings and shredder assembly from overheating. It also lets the waste go down easier because the water is pushing it down. Don’t use hot water, because it can melt fat and allow it to re-solidify as a blockage further down in the drain.