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Garbage Disposal Dos and Don’ts: How to Prevent Unnecessary Issues

Posted on February 4, 2014

Garbage disposals can be a real boon to Wichita kitchens for eliminating food waste. Scrape food waste in the drain, flip the switch and it all disappears, as if by magic. However, put the wrong item down your garbage disposal — say a piece of cutlery or a Brazil nut still in its shell — and hear the answering cacophony of protest. A few simple garbage disposal dos and don’ts will not only make your disposal run more smoothly and efficiently, it will eliminate potential disposal headaches and unnecessary preventable issues with this handy kitchen appliance.

The Don’ts

Some of these garbage disposal “don’ts” may seem blatantly obvious, but some may surprise you. Prevent unnecessary issues with your disposal and don’t:

  • Toss in fruit pits from peaches, nectarines, olives, plums, avocados, cherries and the like.
  • Pour grease down the disposal. Liquefied grease will eventually cool and solidify and clog up the disposal’s works.
  • Add expanding, potentially drain-clogging foods, such as rice, pasta or other very starchy foods.
  • Empty pipe-clogging coffee grounds into your disposal. Steer clear of disposing egg shells down the disposal as well; egg shells and the membrane lining the shells may twist themselves around disposal blades.
  • Try to cram or overfill the disposal. Overfilling a garbage disposal can harm the motor as it struggles to keep up with large wads of food scraps.
  • Use bleach to disinfect your disposal. Bleach will eventually corrode seals and gaskets.
  • Reach into the disposal with your fingers or place your hand down the drain. The blades of a disposal can’t discriminate between food scraps and human flesh.
  • Forget to keep impeller-binding dish rags, sponges and dish cloths well away from garbage disposals.

The Do’s

For your garbage disposal’s well-being, do remember to:

  • Examine your disposal for leaks to stave off problematic mold, mildew and under-cabinet wood rot.
  • Run cold water into the disposal while food scraps are grinding and continue to do so for 30 seconds after grinding is finished.

For professional advice concerning garbage disposals or other home comfort issues, contact Comfort Systems, serving the Wichita area since 1995.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Wichita, Kansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about garbage disposals and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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