The Care And Feeding Of Your Garbage Disposal
How to Clean Your Disposal
Regular cleaning is necessary to ensure that your disposal doesn't harbor bacteria and to remove damaging build-up. There are a couple of methods for cleaning your disposal. One involves grinding up ice cubes, which cleans the disposal and sharpens the blades at the same time. Some experts suggest that the only way to get rid of potentially harmful bacteria is with bleach. They recommend a teaspoon of bleach followed by a liter of water. To remove scale from the unit's inside, others recommend pouring down a cup of vinegar and leaving it for an hour. If the disposal's smell is an issue, grind up a slice of lemon.
Proper Use of Your Garbage Disposal
Only put small amounts of food down the disposal and make sure each piece is fairly small. Cramming too much down at once can cause a clog in your pipes. Run cold water into the disposal while you're feeding food into it. Water helps to grind up the food and encourages the waste to keep moving through the pipes. Avoid adding overly fibrous materials like corn husks and artichokes, or hard items such as shells, large bones, glass, or metal objects. Even too much pasta all at once can create a clog.
How to Remove Blockages
Always reach for clogged items with a set of tongs or similar item. Never place your hand in the disposal. A short can occur and damage your hand. It is essential to remove a foreign object, however; it can dull the blades or jam the unit. If your disposal stops running altogether, you can press the reset button at the bottom of the unit under your sink. If that doesn't work, try flipping the wall switch on and off. This creates a jerking movement that may dislodge the object so that you can remove it with tongs.