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Garbage disposals have become a constant in modern kitchens thanks to their ability to simplify the entire meal clean-up process. Many people, however, still don’t know how to use their garbage disposals efficiently. Here are seven ways you can learn more about your disposal and maximize its performance.

  1. Pasta, potatoes, rice, and beans should never go down the disposal. Even small amounts of these starchy items can quickly become swollen with water and clog up your disposal. Avoid putting these foods down your garbage disposal in order to keep it running smoothly.
  2. Your disposal shouldn’t be cleaned with bleach or drain cleaners. These chemicals are too strong for your garbage disposal and can actually cause damage to a garbage disposal’s blades and pipes over time. Baking soda, vinegar, boiling water, and ice are better for your garbage disposal or look for natural cleaning products that won’t harm your disposal system.
  3. Lemons and limes are great for cleaning your garbage disposal. After you’ve finished with your usual garbage disposal cleaning routine, place halves of lemon or lime in the disposal and run it. This will not only help to clean the disposal but will also give it a fresh, citrusy scent. For further details about this drain cleaning process, check out these Apartment Therapy instructions.
  4. Unless you’re cleaning the disposal, you should never use hot water. If your garbage disposal becomes clogged, don’t reach for the hot water knob. Hot water will only make clogs worse by causing the clogged food to form a paste that is difficult to remove from the disposal. Always opt for using cold water in your disposal unless you’re cleaning your system.
  5. If your disposal is taking longer than usual to break food down, it needs repairs. It’s likely that the disposal blades are dull or that there is some kind of electrical issue. A professional can sharpen the blades and ensure that every part of the disposal is still running smoothly. If your disposal is more than a few years old, it probably needs this maintenance.
  6. You should replace your disposal if you have to reset it before every use. Garbage disposals have reset buttons for a reason, and it may not be abnormal to have to flip the breaker to get your disposal to work every once in a while, but these instances should be exceptions and not the rule. If you have to reset and flip the breaker switch all the time, then your disposal may not be wired correctly, or it may just be too old to work efficiently. Consult a plumber or electrician to discuss replacement.
  7. If your water isn’t running, your garbage disposal shouldn’t be running, either. Always turn on cold water before you turn the disposal on and begin putting items down the drain. Additionally, you should keep the water running for a few minutes after you turn the disposal off – this will rise out any excess food waste left in the disposal.

Use these tips in your own kitchen to prolong the life of your disposal. If you have questions or concerns about your garbage disposal, contact HB Home to set up an appointment with a professional. We serve homes in Central PA and Baltimore (Baltimore County, Carroll County, and Howard County). Schedule online or give us a call! We also offer heating and cooling installation, repair, and maintenance.