A garbage disposal will give you and your family countless years of use when it's properly maintained. Instead of having to stink up your house by throwing leftovers away in the trashcan, you can simply toss them down your kitchen sink. However, in order to prevent your pipes from clogging, it's important that you understand what the acceptable use of a garbage disposal is.
1. Avoid All Non-Food Items
A good rule of thumb to use with garbage disposals is to never toss any non-food items down it. This might sound like common sense, but you would be surprised at how many people throw toys, twist-ties, plastic bags and other non-food items down the garbage disposal. Doing so not only puts the integrity of your garbage disposal at risk, but it could also clog up your drain pipes and even damage your septic tank.
2. Avoid Bones
Whether it's from chicken, pork, fish or some other animal, you should never toss bones down a garbage disposal. When they come into contact with the blades, it could damage or break the motor completely. A broken motor is one of the worst types of problems to have with a garbage disposal, as the only remedy for the situation could be replacing the entire unit.
3. Avoid Grease
We know it's probably more convenient to throw your cooking grease down the garbage disposal, but doing so can damage both the unit and clog your pipes. Instead, either throw that grease outside or wait for it to cool and place it in the trash can.
4. Acceptable Items for a Garbage Disposal
Garbage disposals are ideal for vegetable peelings and leftover fruit fruit don't aren't extremely fibrous. If you have large chunks of vegetables leftover, cut them up into smaller portions before placing them into your garbage disposal. When used properly, garbage disposals will eat through these items like a hot knife going through butter.
5. Use Cold Water
When you want to use your garbage disposal, turn some cold water on before and after. Doing so will help cool the motor down and lubricate the pipes. Avoid using warm water as it could melt parts of the food onto the gears or pipes below.
If you follow the tips outlined above and use your garbage disposal in an acceptable manner, you'll get countless years of use out of it. On the other hand, if you're careless with your unit, you could find yourself with a broken garbage disposal and on the phone with a local repairman.