The Do’s and Don’ts of Kitchen Garbage Disposals

Friday, October 28, 2016

The Do's and Don'ts of Kitchen Garbage Disposals

If you have a garbage disposal in your kitchen, you know that it’s a great appliance that makes household duties less demanding. But if not operated or maintained properly, a garbage disposal can easily break down, block and clog the drains and cause a long list of expensive plumbing and drain nightmares.

Clogged drains are a major inconvenience and garbage disposal repair can be a costly proposition. Fortunately, most garbage disposal troubles are completely preventable and garbage disposal care and maintenance is extremely easy.

Keep your garbage disposal clean. Pour a little dish soap inside and let the garbage disposal run for a minute or so with some cold water after washing dishes and grind food waste with a strong flow of cold water. Why cold water? It will cause any grease or oils that may get into the unit to solidify, so that they can be chopped up before reaching the trap. Remember to cut large items into smaller pieces. Put them into the garbage disposal one at a time instead of trying to shove a large amount in at once.

The most important rule of thumb: don’t put anything in the garbage disposal that is not biodegradable food.A garbage disposal is not a trash can; it’s for food scraps only. Non food items can damage both blades and the motor. When in doubt, throw it out! Don’t grind coffee grounds, egg shells or extremely fibrous material like corn husks, celery stalks, onion or potato skins, and artichokes. Fibers from these can tangle and jam the garbage disposal motor and block drains. Don’t put large amounts of food down the garbage disposal. Feed food into the garbage disposal a little at a time with the cold water running; this will help the food scraps flow down freely through the drain pipes and plumbing.

Ice is an extremely effective and inexpensive method for cleaning your garbage disposal, sharpening the blades and breaking up any grease build-up which has accumulated. Just toss a few ice cubes into the garbage disposal and run it. As the garbage disposal chops into the ice cubes, the ice chips will effectively scour all the hard to reach areas of the unit, and melt down the drain. Try this once or twice a month to keep your garbage disposal in fine working order.

These are general maintenance tips and simple remedies for minor problems. If you try these solutions and they don’t work or if your problem seems to be getting worse, contact Keithley Plumbing. They have the tools and know-how to address almost every garbage disposal emergency.

Contact Keithley Plumbing at or by calling (626) 449-0387. They are located at 3579 E Foothill Blvd #227, Pasadena.

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