Follow These Guidelines to Keep Food Waste down and Money out of Your Garbage Disposal This Winter
The winter months here in New England bring more than just frigid temperatures and heating bills; it is also a time filled with travelling, cooking holiday meals and spending time with in-laws that may make you cringe when they aren’t looking. Since the winter months are often a busy time of year, home repairs and routine maintenance are often placed on the backburner, such as garbage disposal upkeep.
Garbage disposals are a great appliance to have in any kitchen, as they are not only environmentally-friendly, but they are a cost-efficient and convenient way to get rid of food scraps and waste. However, many everyday food items that are thrown down garbage disposals, such as egg shells and potato peels, can actually cause damage, blockages or malfunction to the drain pipes, disposal walls and blades, which can lead to costly repairs and even water damage. To avoid additional stress or costs during the winter months, keep in mind these helpful “do’s and don’ts” of garbage disposals and how to properly maintain them.
The “don’ts” of garbage disposals
Have you ever tossed egg shells or turkey grease from your Thanksgiving dinner down your garbage disposal? If so, you aren’t alone. However, these common food items may cause damage to your garbage disposal by clogging or blocking the drain pipes, jamming the disposal blades, or causing food waste to stick to the disposal walls resulting in an odor. To keep your garbage disposal running smoothly this winter and avoiding unexpected costly repairs, do not toss these common food items down your disposal:
- Potato peels
- Egg shells
- Glass, plastic or metal pieces
- Anything combustible or flammable (such as paint)
- Cigarette butts
- Fibrous foods such as corn husks, onions, celery stalks or banana peels
- Expandable foods such as rice or pasta
- Drain cleaners or bleach
- Large amounts of food that may clog the drain pipes or jam the disposal blades
- Fruit pits
Visit US Inspect for a more comprehensive list of food items to avoid throwing down your garbage disposal.
The “do’s” of garbage disposals
To prevent clogs, blockages and damage in your garbage disposal and drain pipes, remember to:
- Run the garbage disposal on a regular basis to prevent rust and food buildup.
- Cut large food items and scraps into smaller pieces to avoid getting jammed in the disposal blades or causing a blockage.
- Place food in the disposal slowly and one at a time.
- Run cold water when placing food in the disposal, as this will cause items to solidify and grind easier.
Garbage Disposal Maintenance to Aviod Water Damage
Now that you know the basic “do’s” and “don’ts” of using your garbage disposal, how exactly do you keep it clean? If grease and an occasionally celery stalk sneaks its way down the disposal, try cleaning it out by tossing a few ice cubes into the disposal. Ice cubes will help to sharpen the disposal blades and assist in cleaning-up any debris build-up, not to mention this is a cost-effective way of cleaning your disposal! To prevent those garbage disposal smells that have even your pets running, try pouring baking soda or lemon juice down your disposal to clean away food decay and waste buildup.
Keep your household and wallet happy this winter season by properly maintaining and using your garbage disposal, however, if your disposal starts experiencing issues such as leaking or you have water damage, contact the restoration experts at 603-641-6555.
Written by: K. Gnatowski