Avoid These Common Garbage Disposal Mistakes

Fred's Appliance
March 13, 2014

A garbage disposal is a convenient home appliance that makes post-dinner cleanup just a little bit easier. Rather than going back and forth between the sink and trashcan, you can toss leftovers down into the garbage disposal and let it handle the job for you. Not only will this save you time and energy, but it can also save you money on trash bags. If you are thinking of installing a garbage disposal in your home, however, you’ll want to avoid making the following mistakes.

Flushing With Hot Water

When grinding leftover food in the garbage disposal, use cold water, not hot water. Some people naturally assume that hot water is a better choice for breaking up food, but it can actually lead to mechanical damage. Hot water melts the greasy waste and fatty material that’s accumulated inside the garbage disposal, which in turn may lead to clogged drain lines and decreased grinding ability.

Using cold water in a garbage disposal ensures that any greasy or fatty waste will remain solid. The blades will then chop up this waste into smaller pieces so it can flush through the drain line without backing up.

Not Cleaning On a Regular Basis

Garbage disposals take a lot of abuse over the years. Constantly chopping up and disposing of leftover food scraps will take its toll on the device’s mechanical components. Over time, its effectiveness will decrease, and depending on its level of “wear,” it may no longer chop up certain types of food.

The good news is that you can keep your garbage disposal working properly by cleaning it on a regular basis. Simply fill the sink with cold water, a cup of ice cubes, and a little bit of salt. Turn the garbage disposal on and wait for it to flush the sink. The combination of cold water, ice cubes and salt will clean grime and debris while sharping the garbage disposal’s blades in the process.

Pouring Grease, Oil or Animal Fat Down The Drain

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, you should never pour grease, oil or animal fat down the garbage disposal. It may not cause any initial problems, but it gradually accumulate around the blades and drain line, leading to a world of problems later. If some vegetable scraps are covered in oil, don’t take the risk of damaging your garbage disposal; toss them into the trash instead.

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