How to prevent garbage disposal clogs

You can prevent garbage disposal clogs by watching the quantity the substance of the things that go down your drain. The term “garbage disposal” is misleading because it is most certainly not a garbage.

While some manufacturers may make claims to the contrary, garbage disposals are vulnerable to many objects. Be careful what goes down your garbage disposal this Thanksgiving.

Do NOT Put These Items Down the Garbage Disposal

  • Glass, metal, plastic, and paper
  • Grease, oils, fats, and cheeses
  • String vegetables (celery, corn husks, onion skins, etc.)
  • Starchy foods (pasta, rice, anything that expands when wet)
  • Large bones, pits, and seeds (small sardine bones are fine, but anything larger should be avoided)
  • Coffee grounds and egg shells (over time, these items will clog your disposal unit)
  • Excessive amounts of anything

How to Clean Your Garbage Disposal

Garbage disposal units are prone to waste buildup and odors. Follow these steps to clean and deodorize your garbage disposal unit (complete each step in order):

  • Use ice and citrus wedges. Many garbage disposal odors can be eliminated with some ice and citrus. Simply throw a couple ice cubes and a wedge or two of lime or lemon to quickly deodorize your unit.
  • Try baking soda and vinegar. Remember those science project volcanoes you made as a kid? The same ingredients are called for here. Pour about a half cup of baking soda into your disposal. Follow with a cup of vinegar and let the mixture sit for 20 minutes. The chemical reaction kills bacteria and helps maintain your unit without any toxic chemicals. During these 20 minutes, get out an old toothbrush and start scrubbing.
  • Use an old toothbrush. One of the main reasons why your garbage disposal might smell is a buildup of food inside the flap of the rubber splash guard. First, turn off power to the disposal at its source (there is a power switch on the garbage disposal unit). Next, take an old toothbrush and some dish soap and begin scrubbing the inside of the splash guard. Make sure you scrub down the inside and outside of the rubber flap.
  • Fill the sink with water and dish soap and let it drain with the garbage disposal on. After you have used ice and citrus, and cleaned the splash guard while the baking soda and vinegar sits, fill the sink with water. Once the sink is full to around the ¾ mark, mix in a small amount of dish soap and then remove the plug. As the water runs down, turn on the garbage disposal unit. Let the disposal run until all the water drains.
  • Periodically grind a lemon or lime wedge and some ice to keep your garbage disposal smelling citrusy.

If your are in need of a new garbage disposal or would like us to get yours working properly again, call the Tampa Bay plumbing experts at Cass Plumbing. You can reach us day or night at 813-265-9200.