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Do you know how to properly maintain your garburator?

Having a garburator or garbage disposal in your kitchen is a great way to make clean up faster and easier. However, proper use of these appliances is necessary to prevent them from becoming blocked or breaking down. To prevent the inconvenience of clogged drains or expensive garbage disposal repair, follow these tips on the correct way to use and maintain your garburator or garbage disposal.

Things You Should Do

Follow the instruction manual for guidelines. The instruction manual will tell you which items are okay to grind up, and materials that are too hard and may dull the grinding blades. Some of these items include shells from shrimp, crabs, and other shellfish, un-popped popcorn kernels, and hard bones.

Use common sense when deciding which materials to put down your disposal. Non-food items and other trash (rubber bands, screws, glass, fabric, grease, etc.) should not be ground up because they not only risk damaging your disposal but they also pose a safety hazard.

Cut large items into smaller pieces for easier disposal. By avoiding placing overly large items into your disposal, you reduce the amount of work the blades have to do to break down the material.

Run cold water from the sink while the disposal is running. The disposal and water should be kept running for 30-60 seconds after the drain is cleaned. Cold water prevents the motor from overheating and lets the waste wash down the drain more easily.

Keep your disposal clean. The inside of the disposal around the sink opening can be wiped clean with a cloth or paper towel. Small pieces of citrus peels can be ground up to freshen the inside of the disposal and prevent unpleasant odors. Certain hard items such as small bones, egg shells, and small fruit pits, and even ice cubes can be placed in the disposal and they will clean the walls of the disposal as they are ground up.


Things You Should Not Do

Do not place fibrous or starchy materials in the disposal. Fibres can become wrapped around blades and starches can thicken and clog the disposal. Materials that should not be placed in your disposal include banana peels, celery, potato peels, corn cobs, and large fruit pits. Consider composting these materials instead.

Avoid running hot water into the disposal. Hot water can melt grease, which will solidify later and can clog your drain.

Don’t place materials that can expand into your disposal. Water causes foods like rice and pasta to expand, and if these expand inside your disposal they can jam or clog the blades.

Avoid using harsh chemicals to clean your disposal. The blades of your disposal and pipes of your sink can be damaged by certain household cleaners. Borax can be used to gently clean and sanitize your disposal and will also work to prevent mold.

Never place your hand into the disposal while it is plugged in. If an object falls into the disposal, make sure it is unplugged before reaching in to retrieve it. If possible, wear gloves you protect your hands from the blades.


If you are still having issues with your garburator or garbage disposal, or you have additional questions, call Ace Plumbing! We can provide additional tips on maintenance of your appliances and inspect any unresolved problems. 

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