Most of us know that garbage disposals are an invaluable tool in a busy kitchen, especially when it comes to getting rid of peelings and food items that do not need to go in the trash. Unfortunately, not all of us understand that a garbage disposal is not another type of trashcan that is suitable for every type of garbage. By implementing these maintenance tips and tricks, you can keep your garbage disposal in good working condition for years to come.
No Pits, Seeds, or Grease
There are some food related items that should never be placed in a disposal. Hard items such as nut shells and fruit pits are prime examples. Along the same lines, large seeds that are somewhat tough should also be disposed of in some other matter. Above all, never pour grease or oil down the disposal. The grease buildup can clog the mechanism and cause the system to short out. As for the hard shells and pits, they will wreak havoc with the blades in the disposal and hasten the need for repairs.
Avoid Foods That Expand
We all know that the proper use of a disposal involves running water before, during, and after placing anything in the appliance. Not everyone thinks about what happens when those foods happen to expand from exposure to water. For example, what happens when cooked pasta or rice is placed in the disposal with all that water? It expands and can gum up the works. In a short period of time, the circuit breaker will flip and you’ll need to clean out the disposal and reset it before the next use.
Small Chunks Please
Cutting larger chunks of food into smaller and more manageable pieces is also a good way to extend the life of the disposal system. Larger pieces can clog the system and make it hard for the appliance to do the job. Too much of this sort of thing and the motor could burn out. Avoid the problem by taking the time to cut unused sections of celery, apples and other foods down to size.
A Little at a Time
Another major issue with disposal use is cramming too much into the device at one time. There’s actually no better way to wear down the components and cause the appliance to fail. Instead of dumping everything in at once, put a little in and let the unit do its thing. Once that round is completed, add a little more.
Keep it Fresh
Most of us know what can happen when the aroma wafting out of the disposal is less than pleasant. Fortunately, there are a few easy ways to remedy the situation. The rinds from citrus fruits can help to kill the odor and freshen things a bit. Another strategy is to inset a few ice cubes made with white vinegar. As the cubes are chopped, they melt and help to absorb the unpleasant odor. Treatments like these on a regular basis will help to maintain a fresh smell in the disposal and make the kitchen much more inviting.
Most of us realize how important it is to take care of the other appliances in the kitchen, like the oven and the refrigerator. The garbage disposal deserves the same care and consideration. Use it responsibly and take care of any issues that arise immediately. In return, the appliance will provide excellent service for many years to come.