Top 7 Ways to Extend the Life of Your Kitchen Garbage Disposal
Kitchen Garbage Disposals Are Run 15 Times Per Day or More
Garbage disposals get the most use of any appliance in the house. Think about it: You use your oven once during a meal. You open your refrigerator a few times during the day. You use your dishwasher a couple times each week. However, you run your garbage disposal multiple times before and after every meal: That’s 3 meals times multiplied by at least 5 garbage disposal runs per meal = approximately 15 times per day.
What would you do if your kitchen garbage disposal broke down?
First, you’d have those 15 garbage disposal loads of food per day in your trash can. Imagine the smell at that food began to rot. The smell would permeate your entire house and garage. Yuk! Second, your kitchen sink would likely clog because the drain was full of the last load of food that didn’t go down your garbage disposal…because that’s when it stopped working. Third, when you ran your dishwasher, which empties into the kitchen drain pipe…the dishwasher waste water built up and pooled in your kitchen sink. Now you no longer have use of your kitchen sink! This presents an additional level of problems. It’s estimated that 10 out of 10 people have experienced this frightening scenario more than once in their life. Have you?
Top 7 Ways to Avoid a Kitchen Garbage Disposal Breakdown
The good news is that you can prevent a garbage disposal breakdown! But it will take CONSISTENT DAILY practice observing the following Top 7 Garbage Disposal Use Best Practices By observing these Top 10 Garbage Disposal Best Practices, your garbage disposal will:
- Seldom, perhaps even NEVER break down
- Last longer, saving replacement costs
- Smell like a daisy
- Run more smoothly, efficiently and quietly
- Drain your kitchen sink more rapidly with less clogs time after time
1) Run cold water while grinding food in your kitchen garbage disposal:
Cold water causes food in the disposal to harden so your garbage disposal can grind it up more easily. Additionally, cold water for long continuous operation can help keep the garbage disposal motor from over-heating.
2) Run boiling water twice weekly down your kitchen garbage disposal:
Run very boiling water down your empty garbage disposal a couple times each week to help melt away grease that has built up in the garbage disposal and kitchen drain pipes.
3) Add dish soap to your kitchen garbage disposal boiling water maintenance runs:
Dish soap further dissolves grease to clean your disposal and kitchen drain.
4) Don’t Put BAD Stuff into Your Kitchen Garbage Disposal
Inspect EVERYTHING you are preparing to run down your garbage disposal before you dump it in. What is “BAD Stuff”?
- Metal and plastic: Plastic utensils, bottle lids…etc. These dull or ruin the blades of your kitchen garbage disposal and clog the drain. We’ve all had the frightening experience of a turning on the kitchen garbage disposal when the kitchen sink is half full of cloudy water only to discover that a utensil in the bottom of that mirk made its way into the kitchen garbage disposal. Remember to make a final utensil check before emptying that mirky sink water.
- Paper: Be sure to remove paper labels from fruits and vegetables before placing these into your kitchen garbage disposal. Remove those rubber bands that are used to bind vegetables such as green onions. These gum up the kitchen garbage disposal and clog your kitchen pipes. And…Bad Bad…remove metal twisty ties!
- Grease, fats, oils: Even though these may seem like harmless liquids, they quickly solidify and gum your pipes once they cool down. Remember, you’re normally running cold water in your kitchen garbage disposal. Pour grease into a metal can or plastic bottle and dump it into the trash can.
What is “Bad Stuff” (continued)?
- Fibrous foods: Celery, banana peels, carrots, pears, corn cobs, artichokes, fruit and vegetable peals, uncooked broccoli …etc. Talk about gumming up the works. Like hair in the brush of your vacuum cleaner, these can eventually force your kitchen garbage disposal to a grinding halt (forgive the pun)!
- Bones: These will surely dull and potentially break your kitchen garbage disposal blades.
- Hard foods: Walnut shells, almonds, peach pits…etc. As with bones, these also can damage your kitchen garbage disposal blades.
- Pasta and rice: These are one of your kitchen garbage disposal’s secret worst enemies. They look innocent and soft, yet they expand in the drain pipes and their starchy nature coats the drain pipes like clogged arteries…eventually constricting the flow of drain water. You kitchen garbage disposal will eventually have a heart attack!
- Egg shells and coffee grounds: These dull kitchen garbage disposal blades and collect in your drain pipes. Here’s a great tip for egg shells and coffee grounds: Mix them in a container, crush the shells and use them as an awesome compost fertilizer worked into the soil of your garden! If you have no garden, bag them up and put them into the trash.
5) Run citrus peels down your kitchen garbage disposal whenever you have them: Orange peels, lemon peels, lime peels…etc.
These are the exception to the bad fruit and vegetable peels mentioned above. Citrus peels are the mouthwash for your kitchen garbage disposal removing bad odors, helping clean the drain pipes and creating a pleasant aroma. Throwing citrus peels in the trash can is a waste of a great natural kitchen garbage disposal cleaner! Put lemon peels into your kitchen garbage disposal to keep it from becoming a lemon? Sorry again for the pun!
6) Feed waste slowly into your kitchen garbage disposal:
Dumping large amounts of waste all at once into your garbage disposal can jam the works and clog the drain pipe. Culprits are fruit and vegetables that have gone bad and chunks of leftover meat. Cut them up and feed them slowly into your kitchen garbage disposal. A friend once dumped an entire load of rotten broccoli into the garbage disposal all at once. Sudden failure!!
7) Leave your kitchen garbage disposal on for an additional 60 seconds:
Run your kitchen garbage disposal (and water) for 60 seconds after it has finished grinding its contents. Those ground up contents are still making their way down your kitchen drain and you need to make sure the drain is completely flushed. One additional tip: Run your kitchen garbage disposal at least twice weekly to keep it lubricated and running smoothly. Like a car that has been sitting in the garage for weeks while you are away from home, an idle kitchen garbage disposal is not a healthy kitchen garbage disposal.
However, What If Your Kitchen Garbage Disposal DOES Break Down?
Kitchen garbage disposals are not perpetual motion machines and do have a limited life span. Even though you can extend that life span following the Top 7 Kitchen Garbage Disposal Best Practices listed in this article, there will come a time when your kitchen garbage disposal stops working. First, locate the reset button under your kitchen garbage disposal. Many reset buttons are colored red to make them easy to find. Some are not. As an electrical appliance, your kitchen garbage disposal automatically shuts down when overheated. Make sure whatever caused your kitchen garbage disposal to stop is cleared out of the garbage disposal, then press the reset button, then turn the disposal back on. This can enable a restart, putting you back in business. If the reset button doesn’t work, check your circuit breaker to see if that has tripped to the off position. Turn it back on, then try running your kitchen garbage disposal. If neither of these measures work, your kitchen garbage disposal needs professional service and possibly replacement.
Contact Mastermind Mechanical for a quick friendly service and, if needed, quality replacement.
Replacing your old garbage disposal with a new modern garbage disposal can bring the following benefits:
- Smoother operation
- Quieter operation
- More energy efficient operation
- Avoidance of a pending breakdown disaster