Garbage disposals seems like a fairly simple concept. Put in food-type garbage, switch it on and rinse it out, but the proper use and care of the garbage disposal is a bit more complex.
The concept of throwing food down the disposal is a bit of a misnomer. Plumbers recommend that the amount of food actually put down the garbage disposal be kept to a minimum, preferably only the amount that is captured in the strained when dishes are rinsed or washed.
That is why it is important to get the right size depending on amount of family members in the house when cooking dinner. A smaller size family will obviously need the smallest garbage disposal unit while a bigger size family will need a bigger size disposer.
Scrapping dishes into the garbage disposal can just lead to major plumbing headaches, especially if foods that are prone to clumping are disposed of this way. Pasta and rice are especially bad for the garbage disposal as they tend to expand and clump when water is added.
The grinding motion of the garbage disposal will make them into smaller hunks, but then as the hunks are flushed out of the garbage disposal and through the pipes to the local sewer system, the pasta bits may collect in pipe elbows until it clogs the drain.
Depending on where the clog occurs, this can mean backed up drains throughout the house or at least in the kitchen.
Meat, especially gristly or fatty pieces, should also never be put through the garbage disposal. Gristle can dull the blades of the garbage making them less effective and meat is harder to grind up, so there may again be hunks that collect in the drain pipes below the sink.
Another reason to avoid putting these various food down the garbage disposal is the smell that they generate. Even if the drains flush properly, bits of decaying food can collect in the garbage disposal leaving your clean kitchen smelling, well, rotten.
To avoid this problem, be sure to flush the garbage disposal with hot running water every time it is used.
In addition, periodically using it to grind up small amounts of orange peel or some other citrus fruit peel can help combat the odor.
While most grocery stores also sell scented garbage disposal fresheners, the same effect can be achieved with baking soda and white vinegar. Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda into the garbage disposal and then add about half a bottle of white vinegar. The chemical reaction between the two will strip away bacteria and other odor causing deposits within the garbage disposal. If you happen to have a stainless steel sink, the same mixture can be used to remove stains and odors from the sink.
Using the mixture about once a month can help keep the disposal smelling fresh or you can simply choose this solution when needed.
The care and use of a garbage disposal isn’t particularly complicated if you remember that it is no substitute for a trash can.Read More →