Garbage disposals are great appliances to have.  But if you don’t operate or maintain it properly, it can require expensive repairs and cause drain nightmares.

Here are a few dos and don’ts to extend its life and prevent plumbing and drain mishaps:

DO’S:

  • Use a strong flow of cold water (never hot) when you grind food.
  • Grind peelings of citrus fruits to freshen up drain smells.
  • Grind some hard materials such as small chicken and fish bones.  The souring action created will clean the disposal walls.
  • Pour a little dish soap in the disposal after washing dishes and let the cold water run for a minute or so.
     

DON’TS:

  • Pour grease or fat into your garbage disposal.  It will impede its grinding ability and eventually clog the drain.
  • Use hot water with your disposal.  Hot water will cause grease to liquefy and clog the disposal.
  • Put expandable foods like rice in the disposal.  These food expand like t hey do in a pot and will clog your drain.
  • Grind fibrous materials like corn husks or onion skins.  These fibers can tangle and jam the disposal.

If you do have a clogged disposal or drain, call a professional plumber to fix it before it becomes a major problem.