Ever had a garbage disposal break? This basically grinds everything to a halt and leaves you with a hefty repair bill. But what if you could avoid all of your garbage disposal problems? At Benjamin Franklin, we’re all about saving you money. Just keep reading to discover our top garbage disposal maintenance tips!
Most issues with a garbage disposal come, of course, because the disposal itself is clogged and nasty. It didn’t get that way on its own. It all comes down to what you’ve been putting in there!
For instance, many homeowners make the rookie mistake of putting their coffee grounds in there. The grounds may seem too small to do much damage, but they actually create fine, granular waste that is really difficult to clean out and sticks to your pipes.
Try to avoid grinding things like potato peelings and banana peels as well. Each of these things creates a sticky paste when it is ground up that will clog your pipes. And for the banana peels, they up the ante by creating that paste along with annoying strings of fiber.
And whatever you do, don’t pour ground glass in there. Some people think this will clean the pipes and sharpen the blades, but it doesn’t do that. Instead, it just puts a bunch of hard material in your pipes that is nearly impossible to drain!
It may sound pretty basic, but there are many essential safety tips that surround garbage disposal maintenance. Following these garbage disposal maintenance tips is the key to keeping your disposal running really well while also keeping all of your fingers!
For instance, the biggest tip is to always make sure that you switch the power to “off” before you start doing anything. It’s a little morbid, but you don’t want a malfunction to occur when your hand is deep in the disposal and it still has power running to it!
Speaking of your fingers, try to avoid sticking those in the disposal whenever possible. Many people like to reach in and try to pull clogging materials out with their fingers. However, pliers or tongs will do a better job. They are longer and thinner, and it’s much safer than sticking your fingers in there.
Finally, when in doubt, trust your instincts. If you’re worried that the maintenance or repair job will be dangerous or simply more complicated than you are ready to take on, don’t forget that you can call a professional at any time!
Many of the tips on this list are things that homeowners do periodically. Realistically, that translates to “when I remember or if I already think there is a problem.”
Of course, one of the best maintenance tips is to create a regular maintenance routine for yourself. This can keep your disposal clean and running well and help you avoid any surprise catastrophes down the line.
We recommend doing the following at least once a month. Freeze some vinegar into ice cubes and then run those cubes through the disposal. The ice is able to help keep your blades really sharp while the vinegar will do wonders for the foul odor your disposal sometimes gets.
Of course, there are some odors that are a little too strong for that vinegar you’re packing. This is why we recommend another once a month routine. Pour baking soda into your drain, let it sit for at least three hours, and then run your water and garbage disposal at the same time. For stronger odors, feel free to let the baking soda sit for a little bit longer.
There are a lot of garbage disposal myths that center around what you should and shouldn’t pour in there. Fear not! We’re here to bust the myths and give you the honest truth about what should (and what shouldn’t) be going down your drain.
For basic cleaning, pouring down a little bit of dish soap is fine. The soap, some cold water, and letting the disposal run for a minute or so goes a long way towards cleaning the whole thing.
However, you should never pour bleach in there. Bleach actually hardens the grease that you are trying to clean while damaging your pipes. And on top of everything else, it destroys some of the “good” bacteria that you actually want your drain to have!
Notice earlier that we said cold water. This is because hot water is actually really bad for clogged drains: if you have any fats stuck down in there, the hot water will simply melt it. And in case this isn’t obvious, melted fat simply makes the clog worse than ever!
Like we just said, fat is bad for the disposal, so try not to pour any fat down in it. And while you’re at it, avoid pouring any grease or oil in there as well. Grease actually accumulates on your pipes over time, and it can end up clogging drains and even making your disposal run less efficiently.
Earlier, we mentioned vinegar ice cubes once a month as a good maintenance tip to help remove odors from the disposal. However, regular ice cubes are also great for maintenance, and you can run them through the disposal far more often.
The ice helps to sharpen your blades without leaving anything that won’t easily drain (like glass). On top of that, the ice chips and melting ice can help to clean and scour the various areas of the disposal that would otherwise be impossible to reach.
All it takes is a few ice cubes as well. That makes this one of the easiest and most inexpensive maintenance tips!
All of these are simple garbage disposal maintenance tips that anyone can handle themselves. But if a part fails on your disposal, this is not a DIY repair job. It’s time to call the pros!
At Benjamin Franklin, we offer you the best deals on both part replacements and repair jobs. If you want to get it right and still save money, then you know who to call!