Believe it or not, your garbage disposal isn’t a one-stop-shop for all things food waste.
For nearly 100 years, the garbage disposal—which was invented by John W. Hammes in the late 1920s—has steadily grown into one of the most installed kitchen appliances available. Mounted to the underside of a sink, a garbage disposal is designed to collect and grind solid food waste. Mechanical in nature, a spinning disc with blunt “teeth” turns rapidly, pulverizing food into tiny bits that get washed away with draining water.
A well-working garbage disposal not only helps with meal prep and cleanup, it works to prevent food waste from clogging the kitchen drain and proceeding pipes. But a garbage disposal is NOT a garbage can or trash receptacle! There are quite a few foods that should stay out of the kitchen drain. In fact, most clogs and kitchen sink issues are caused by improper foods—such as grease, potato peels, or hard-to-grind foods—going down the disposal.
Here are 5 tips to prolong the life of your garbage disposal:
1. DO install your garbage disposal properly. You will need access to the water shutoff valve, a wrench, and a power source. Need help? Action Drain & Plumbing is available to install or service garbage disposals in Spokane and the surrounding areas.
2. DO ensure the system is unplugged, the power switch is set to off, or the breaker is off if you are attempting to remove food debris in the sink or drain connected to your garbage disposal. Even though the “teeth” are blunt, the rotation of the disk is powerful and dangerous.
3. DO dispose of fruit and vegetable scraps, meat remains, leftovers, and ice with a steady stream of water. It is always best to leave the water running while the garbage disposal is on.
4. DO pay attention to what you put down the drain. Even though your garbage disposal is capable of pulverizing carrot bits and bacon grease, the drainage pipes are another story. A buildup of grease or sludge-like food waste can get lodged in pipes, causing blockages, backups, and clogs.
5. DO NOT put fats, oils, grease, starchy foods, fibrous vegetables and peels, large amounts of eggshells, or coffee grounds in your garbage disposal. They may go down well now, but they’ll likely come back to haunt you later. Put these items in the trash can or compost bin instead.
6. BONUS: When in doubt, throw it out!
When you follow the tips above, your garbage disposal will be in good working order for years to come—approximately 8-10 years on average! But if your garbage disposal grinds to a halt or your kitchen sink is clogged, Action Drain & Plumbing is here for you with high-quality, efficient drain cleaning or rooter services.