5 Easy Maintenance Tips to Avoid Garbage Disposal Repair

5 Easy Maintenance Tips to Avoid Garbage Disposal Repair

Maintaining a smelly, slow, or dirty garbage disposals doesn’t have to be a drain. Try our 5 easy maintenance tips to prevent garbage disposal repair.

Why is the garbage disposal making that noise?

We’ve all been there. A slow, noisy, or inefficient garbage disposal is a pain especially if your disposal is a repeat offender. 

Having your garbage disposal not working or your garbage disposal jammed can lead to sanitary issues and a very unpleasant smell penetrating the kitchen.

But maintaining your garbage disposal does not have to be expensive, time-consuming, and frustrating. If you follow a few simple tips, you can expect a high-functioning garbage disposal for years!

Keep reading for these 5 essential maintenance tips to avoid garbage disposal repair.

1. Use Plenty of Cold Water

You may be using your garbage disposal incorrectly and not even know it! Next time you put something in the disposal, start by running a steady stream of cold water for a few seconds as the food is added.

Next, keep the cold water running while the food particles are being broken down. Listen for a change in the sound of the disposal from a grinding noise to a softer, whirring sound. Turn off the disposal but keep the cold water running for about 15 seconds after the noise changes.

Running cold water will help flush out all the food particles from the disposal. The reason you want to use cold water is that hot water can melt down grease and fat and cause it to build up on the blades of the garbage disposal.

If you notice a back up of water in the sink you should still use cold running water to allow the disposal to suck up the excess standing water.

Over time, this cold water strategy should help you avoid garbage disposal repair.

2. Follow the Food Guidelines

While it would be convenient to be able to put everything into the garbage disposal, there are certain foods that should never be put inside your disposal.

Generally speaking, hard items like nuts, seeds, or kernels should never be put into the disposal. Leftover animal bones, banana peels, and eggshells should also be thrown away or composted instead of being put in the disposal.

Fibrous foods may be good for your health but they are not so good for your disposal. You can use that as a guideline if you find yourself wondering, can this be put down the disposal? 

These fibrous food items can cause the blades of the disposal to get jammed or slow down. Following the rules of what does and does not go into the disposal is one of the best ways to keep your disposal running smoothly.

Additionally, you should avoid putting paint, glue, or any other non-food items in the garbage disposal. These sticky art supplies can cause a build-up on the blades and jam the disposal.

3. Cut Food Into Smaller Pieces

If you want to dispose of items using the garbage disposal, make sure they are cut into smaller pieces first. Your disposal may seem very durable, but it does have its limits.

Cutting up food scraps, fruit and vegetable peels, or anything else that is going in your disposal will reduce the chances of clogging and build up.

If you have a large amount of food waste to be put in the disposal, feed it in small pieces and slowly. Be patient rather than shoving as much as you can down the drain at once.

Following this rule will help the longevity of your garbage disposal and save you money in repair costs.

4. Clean Your Disposal

Did you know that your garbage disposal needs to be cleaned regularly? Every once in a while, you should clean the inside of the disposal to keep it running properly. 

There are a few ways to clean your disposal. You can use baking soda inside the disposal followed by vinegar to remove the sludge that naturally builds up in the blades of the disposal. 

Never reach your hand into the disposal, even when cleaning it. It can be very dangerous to reach inside the disposal and this should only be done by a professional. 

You can also clean the disposal by putting ice cubes down the drain and running it. Use a drain cover when you put ice down the drain to avoid small pieces of ice shooting up from the sink. You can also add salt to this process to help clear out the disposal.

There are a few commercial products for disposal cleaning that you can use to remove grease and any unpleasant smells coming from the disposal. You can usually find these at a grocery store or hardware store.

5. Schedule Routine Maintenance 

Just like your car, your garbage disposal needs regular service to make sure that the pipes are clear and that there are no issues with the disposal. 

You can hire a professional plumber to perform service maintenance on the disposal approximately once every two years. They will be able to snake the drain to be sure there is no buildup or blockage in the pipes.

Feel free to ask the plumber questions about the state of the garbage disposal and any other advice they may have in taking care of the pipes and the disposal. Routine service for the disposal is relatively inexpensive, especially when compared to the cost of constantly having to fix disposal issues.

Avoid Garbage Disposal Repair

There you have it. Just follow these simple rules for your garbage disposal and you can avoid garbage disposal repair for years!

Taking care of this appliance is mostly about using it properly, cleaning it consistently, and taking caution.

If you ever have questions or concerns about your garbage disposal, you should call a professional. Do not attempt to fix your garbage disposal by yourself. It can be very dangerous and should always be addressed by a licensed plumber.

If you want to learn more about taking care of all your home plumbing needs, check out our website or schedule an appointment!