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A garbage disposal can make cleanup in the kitchen a snap, but, like all other appliances, these devices need to be treated with care and be given regular maintenance to keep them working well. Following a few simple rules will keep your blades sharp and effective.

Don’t Stress Your Disposal

It can seem like your disposal can handle anything you put in it. However, many food items that seem safe can actually cause damage to the blades, resulting in costly repairs. The following food items should be composted or put in the trash.

  • Rice and Pasta – Rice, pasta and grains swell up in water and will gum up your disposal’s blades. Don’t send these down your drain. Similarly, grainy waste, like coffee grounds or coffee, can also clog up your drains. Remember, if it’s a food item that easily absorbs water, keep it out of your disposal.
  • Stringy Produce – Celery and pineapple are often culprits when a disposal stops working. These fibrous fruits and veggies will wrap around a blade and keep it from doing its job. Not only can they cause problems instantly, but they are especially difficult to remove.
  • Bones – Fish bones are the only bones that should go down the drain. Chicken, cow and pig bones can bend or break disposal blades. If a piece of bone falls down the drain, do not run the disposal and do not try to remove the bone yourself.
  • Eggshells – Some home experts claim that eggshells can help sharpen a disposal’s blades. However, eggshells can also include a thin film that sticks to blades, blunting them. Instead, grind up eggshells to use in the garden, or, if your vet approves, to add to your pet’s food. Calcium-rich eggshells have a lot of uses.

Do Keep It Clean

Store-bought or DIY treatments can help keep a disposal sharp and smelling fresh. Throw lemon halves down your drain to get rid of nasty odors. Specially formulated products can also keep odors away while sharpening the blades. Simply turn on your disposal, with the water running, and toss in the product. Flushing your drains with hot water or with vinegar and baking soda will also help keep buildup from becoming a problem.

Do Get Expert Plumbing Maintenance

If a disposal isn’t running its best, find a professional to help with plumbing maintenance. A disposal can be extremely dangerous, so any maintenance that requires removing food particles or adjusting blades should be completed by a professional. The Sarasota, FL, area has numerous plumbers who are trained in working with disposals. These plumbers are trained in proper safety procedures, but they will also have easy access to spare disposal parts. Don’t wait until your drains are running slow to call Aqua Plumbing & Air for help. When it comes to disposals, it’s best to stay ahead of problems.

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