Common Mistakes You Might Be Making With Your Garbage Disposal

The garbage disposal is considered to be a vital feature in any kitchen, but this device can often be unappreciated. Whether it is holiday festivities or simple family life, your garbage disposal is likely to be continually working hard. Unfortunately, there are some misconceptions about how garbage disposals should be safely used. So, here we’ll explore some common mistakes you might be making with your garbage disposal.

Image of a Whirlpool accessory

Performing the Wrong Operating Sequence

Many homeowners assume that they are operating their garbage disposal correctly, but there is actually a right and wrong operating sequence. For the best results, you should start running cold water. You can then switch the disposal on and gradually put any food in. Avoid dumping massive amounts of debris in at once, as this can cause a clog. Allow the disposal to continue running until all the food is gone. Turn off your disposal and allow the water to run for approximately 15 seconds to flush out the system.

Improper Cleaning

Due to the nature of their task, garbage disposals can sometimes get a little smelly. Any lingering food particles can start to emit an odor that is unappealing, particularly in your kitchen. Unfortunately, many homeowners resort to using harsh drain cleaning products or bleach to address this issue, and this is a mistake as it can erode some of the components. Instead, use some baking soda and a few slices of lemon to eliminate any ice cubes. As mentioned above, always ensure you allow the water to run to clear any bits of food caught inside.

Pouring Fats or Grease Down the Drain

Any form of fat, grease or oil is likely to solidify inside the pipes and create significant problems. Hardened fats can create a clog in the pipes and gum up the works of your disposal. So, think twice when dealing with grease or fats. Instead of putting it down the drain, place it into glass jars or spare cans to cool before you throw it in the trash.

Running Hot Water

When grinding waste, some homeowners assume that running hot water is more effective, but this can actually create more problems. Although you may try to avoid allowing grease and oils to enter the disposal, if you use hot water, it can melt any traces of fats and create a clog. It is far better to use cold water, as it will allow any grease or fats to travel through the pipe intact.

Treating Your Disposal Like a Trash Can

While you may think that your garbage disposal can handle anything, it is not a trash can. Garbage disposals are only designed to deal with food waste, so you should not put any nonfood items down the drain. Even small items such as twist ties, cigarettes, wooden matches or rubber bands can create massive problems for your disposal.

Not Resetting the Disposal

If your garbage disposal is not operating correctly and you suspect it is malfunctioning, you could try resetting the unit. You will need to turn off the disposal and press the red reset button located beneath the unit. This button is like a local circuit breaker and could help you to re-establish power. Many models of disposal are provided with a jam key that can be inserted into the disposal housing in a hole at the bottom. Rotating the key a few times may help you to clear a jam and restore functionality.

Garbage disposals are an essential feature of a busy, modern kitchen, but they need proper care to ensure continued operation. For a long-lasting solution to any disposal issues, you can rely on a home appliance expert for practical help and guidance.

For help with all your garbage disposal issues, be sure to speak to a professional home appliance repair service.