Having a garbage disposal makes cleaning up after dinner so much simpler. Instead of scraping messy plates into the garbage, you can just send those little scraps down the sink. Even tasks like peeling apples become easier. However, garbage disposals do increase the chances of a clogged kitchen sink. You’ll want to follow these tips for using and caring for your garbage disposal if you don’t want clogs.
Don’t put fibrous foods down the disposal.
Fibrous foods like orange peels and squash don’t chop up well in the disposal. They tend to shred into long strings. If there’s anything sticky on the sides of the pipe leading from your kitchen drain, the long fibers from foods like this can get stuck and form a pretty stubborn clog. So, put anything fibrous in the trash rather than the disposal. Celery, potato peels, grapefruit peels, coconut rinds, and artichokes are other foods that shouldn’t go in the disposal.
Stay away from grease and greasy foods.
Pouring grease down any sink is a big no-no, and a garbage disposal does not change that. The grease may become cooled when it hits the pipe, congealing on its edges and forming a clog. Even a small amount of grease can lead to a clog as it grabs on to other food particles that are later sent down the drain. Greasy foods, like fat from the edge of a steak or the remnants of a fatty sauce, should not be put down the disposal, as they have the same effect.
Pour some dish soap down the disposal drain.
Every week or so, pour some dish soap down the disposal while it’s running and while running hot water. This will clean the disposal blades so that any gunk buildup does not become substantial enough to cause a clog. If any greasy buildup is starting to form in the pipes, the dish soap will help clear this out, too. If you’ve noticed any odors coming from the drain, you can pour some baking soda down with the soap. The baking soda’s grittiness will help scrub away buildup, and it will also neutralize nasty odors.
If your sink with the disposal does start working slowly or showing signs of a clog, call a plumber to clear it. This is not a repair you should attempt yourself because of the risk of cutting yourself on the blades. For more information, talk to a professional like Cleary Plumbing.