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Garbage Disposal - The Do's & Dont's Around the Holidays

Do you want to avoid a plumbing disaster this holiday season? Think about it… you have got a lot of cooking to do and you wouldn’t want your garbage disposal getting stopped in the middle of it all. Well Deer Valley Plumbing is here to explain what kind of foods you should trash and what you can use the disposal to tear up. While we’re at it, we’ll give you a few simple ways to keep that thing clean and smelling good!

Garbage Disposal Do’s

It’s sometimes hard to remember that a garbage disposal is something that you want to take care of like your car. It may need an oil change every now and then (don’t pour engine oil down your drain) and it most certainly needs to be cleaned. Here is a list of things you should do to keep it running smoothly.

DO:

  • By pouring a some dish soap inside your disposal and letting it run for a minute or so while running cold water, you can keep your garbage disposal clean.
  • Use your disposal frequently. This will prevent corrosion and rust and assures that parts stay moving as well as prevents obstructions from gathering.
  • When grinding food, run cold water. Cold water will cause any oils or grease that might get into it to solidify, so that they can be chopped up before getting to the trap.
  • Grind hard materials such as small chicken and fish bones, egg shells, small fruit pits, etc. A scouring action happens with these particles inside the grind chamber which cleans the walls of the garbage disposal.
  • Before putting large items into the disposal, cut them into smaller pieces. Then, put them into the disposal one at a time.
  • Since Arizona is a big time citrus producer, why not use some of that fruit to your advantage? Run some water, turn on the disposal and then throw a couple pieces of orange (lemon, grapefruit, or lime) peels in. The peels help clean the blades and the oils keep it smelling fresh!

Garbage Disposal Don’ts

Remember this golden rule: do not put anything in a disposal that isn’t biodegradable food. They are for food scraps only. Items that are not food can damage your blades and the motor. If it’s questionable, just throw it away…now onto our list of Don’ts…

DON’T:

  • Don’t grind plastic, glass, metal or even paper.
  • Don’t grind anything that is ignitable, unless you want to blow up your sink.
  • Never pour oil, grease, or fat into your disposal or drain. Grease will slowly accumulate and interfere with your garbage disposal as well as clog drains.
  • Stay away from fibrous materials like celery stalks, artichokes, corn husks, and onion skins. Fiber from these can tangle and jam your disposal motor and block drains.
  • Don’t Turn the motor off before grinding is complete. When it is complete, let water run for at least 15 seconds afterward to flush out any other particles.
  • Don’t put too many potato peels in the disposal. The starch in the potatoes could turn into a thick paste which could cause your blades to stick.
  • Don’t put foods like rice or pasta in your garbage disposal. These kind of foods expand with water and are the cause of many jams and clogs.
  • Never grind large animal bones such beef or pork.
  • Don’t put coffee ground in your disposal. They won’t harm the garbage disposal but they can accumulate in pipes and drains, causing clogs.
  • When cleaning, stay away from harsh chemicals like bleach or drain cleaners. These types of cleaners can damage blades and pipes.

Call The Holiday Experts

Here at Deer Valley Plumbing, we know just what to do during the holidays to keep your kitchen operational! If you think your garbage disposal may cause a plumbing disaster, contact us and get it fixed before your in-laws come over! We do everything from installation, repair, replacement, and even troubleshooting for garbage disposals. All you need to do is call (602) 832-8418 and one of our plumbers will come by to your property to get it working perfectly.

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