Garbage Disposals


When I first started dating my wife, I asked her what one thing she would want if we got married and bought a house. I expected her to say a walk- in closet or a wood fireplace. Instead she surprised me with an unusual answer—a garbage disposal. I never grew up with a garbage disposal and if I didn’t install them on a regular basis, I wouldn’t have believed that this device even existed. Well, long story short, we moved in to our first apartment together and the first thing to be done was installing one. I thought it was the most ridiculous thing in the world, I mean how hard is it to clean the sink out after washing dishes. You stick your hand in the drain, pull out the scraps that are there and toss them in the garbage pail. Well, let me tell you, after having one now for six years, I couldn’t imagine my life without one. The convenience of being able to not scrape your plates after dinner and just see all the scraps go down the drain is definitely a bonus. Like all modern conveniences, these appliances do have their drawbacks, and the misconceptions that surround garbage disposals are always debated.

Let's start with the biggest misconception of all. You can’t put all food down your garbage disposal. Any kind of bone will seize up the motor in a matter of seconds. Banana and onion peels will also give you plenty of problems if you make a habit of throwing them in. Any type of nuts or fruit pits will also wreak havoc on it. All in all, it’s more important to control the quantity of what you dispose of more than anything else. Don’t overload the disposal or it will seize up. Make sure to run plenty of cold water as you run the appliance to make sure it “flushes” everything down. Soap and cold water are all you need to do to keep your disposal clean. The occasional lemon wedge will freshen it up and take care of any lingering food smell.

Another important thing to remember is to run your garbage disposal often. If you don’t use it every day, make sure you turn it on at least once a week to make sure it's in proper working order.

The last tip I will leave you with is something that you hopefully already know. Just because you have a garbage disposal, don’t think you can pour grease or other oily substances down. This will not only dull the blades, but it will cause waste line issues in the future. Keep the grease in a separate container and throw it in the compost or garbage. Following these tips will keep your disposal clean and fully functional. If you do run into problems, turn off the power to the unit before removing any kind of clog. If your unit seizes up, most models have a built in reset button on the bottom. This protects your disposal from any power overloads. Usually fixing it involves pressing the reset button before it will work.

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