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How to Keep Garbage Disposals Sharp and Clean

Aug 2, 2023 | HVAC

Garbage disposals are instrumental in any kitchen, providing a convenient way for keeping the kitchen clean and the food waste minimal. As with any mechanical system, garbage disposals require a certain level of upkeep to ensure that they are sharp, clean, and efficient. As the top plumbers in Mobile, AL, we know all there is to know about keeping your disposal in tip-top condition. Below, we provide some of our top tips you can implement today to maintain your disposal in optimal condition. 

Garbage Disposal Maintenance Tips

Keeping up with your garbage disposal’s needs is easier than one would assume. By following the tips below, you will maximize the lifespan of your garbage disposal and have an excellent way to minimize food waste. 

1. Regular Cleaning 

One of the first habits to get into is performing a routine cleaning of the garbage disposal. Cleaning the garbage disposal is simple and easy to do. 

Follow these easy steps to clean your disposal:

  • Turn off the garbage disposal and unplug it. 
  • Scrub the inside of the disposal with a brush that has a long handle (or toothbrush)
  • Pour one part baking soda to one part vinegar down the disposal. Allow it to sit for a few minutes before running cold water to flush out all the gunk and dirt. 

2. Avoid Certain Items

Some things just do not belong in the garbage disposal. Thus, follow these guidelines the prevent clogs and dull blades:

  • It is best to avoid putting things like celery, corn husks, oil, and potato peels into the garbage disposal. They will clog the drain and even dull the blades. 
  • Also, refrain from throwing hard items like bones, plastic, or other things that will dull the blades. 

If something does get stuck in the disposal, we urge you to not stick your hand into the unit. Instead, follow these steps:

  • Turn off the power supply to the unit and unplug it.
  • Grab some pliers or tongs and extract the lodged object.
  • Restore the power to the unit and try to run the disposal. 

Sometimes this method doesn’t work and if that is the case for you, you may have to take apart the drain to extract the clog from the pile manually. 

3. Regular Use

Some people believe that if they minimize the use of the disposal unit, they will be able to keep it in its best condition longer. However, most plumbers in Mobile and other parts of the country will be quick to say that this belief is a myth. 

Make sure to use your garbage disposal regularly. This will prevent rust or corrosion from forming around its parts. After using the garbage disposal, make it a regular habit to run cold water through the system to flush out anything that is left over in the unit. 

4. Use Ice Cubes for Cleaning

One of the best ways to clean your garbage disposal is by flushing it with ice cubes. Follow the steps below: 

  • Grab a couple of ice cubes and throw them down the disposal
  • Run cold water down the disposal and work the disposal for 30-40 seconds, or until the disposal grinds up the ice. 

This method helps eliminate or loosen built-up residue while simultaneously sharpening the blades. 

5. Citrus Fruits

If you have a bit of smelly garbage disposal, which is very common after a meal, you can use citrus fruits to clean it and eliminate those odors. 

  • Cut up a lemon, lime, or orange
  • Throw the fruit into the disposal 
  • Run the disposal while allowing water to run through the system

After these three steps, you will be left with a naturally refreshed and clean disposal. 

6. Professional Maintenance 

Sometimes, nothing can beat a professional service provided by a local plumber in Mobile, AL. You will know that you’ll need to call a plumber to check out your garbage disposal when: 

  • It makes unusual noises
  • It is always clogging
  • It isn’t working properly

Call Hansen Super Techs for Top Plumbing Repairs

Have you tried all of our tips outlined above to no avail? Contact Hansen Super Techs for all issues related to your garbage disposal and we will provide all the troubleshooting required to restore it back to order.