The holiday season is here and that means one thing, food and more food. Cooking is obviously part of the merry making and for that reason, you will need to be careful about how you use and care for your garbage disposal machine. Your garbage disposal is your kitchen’s workhorse and needs to be cared for to serve you well. When it breaks down, then you can be sure to have some serious drama in the kitchen. You can avoid all this by having it regularly maintained and by using it for the purposes it’s intended. Garbage disposal is not an all-garbage-fits machine. There are some types of disposables that cannot be ejected through the disposal. Read on to find out more.

How The Garbage Disposal Works

A garbage disposal works in a simple enough manner. The machine has an insulated, high-torque, electric motor which spins a circular turntable located above it. There are shredder rings that surround the turntable, which has several sharp slots. When scraps of food are fed through the disposer, they land on the turntable and with the help of a centrifugal force, the food pieces are propelled to the turntable’s perimeter via the shredder ring. The turntable utilizes swiveling lugs, which help the food pieces to go through the shredder. The foodstuff is expelled in liquid form into existing infrastructure such as waste water treatment and underground sewers for management of the same. Foodstuffs make up 10-20 percent of waste from households hence, garbage disposals allow for a reduction in the amount of waste that makes it to the landfills.

How to Use the Garbage Disposal

The garbage disposal is for biodegradable stuff only. Read the manual carefully to enlighten yourself on what can and cannot be disposed through it. When in use, you should have water flowing to it continuously and even 20 seconds after you are done using it. Do not be in a hurry to dispose off foodstuff, do it slowly and in small amounts.

How to Avoid Drain Clogs

As mentioned above, there are some things that cannot be ejected through the disposal machine and these include:

  • Grinding potato peels will form a mushy paste that will clog the drain
  • Grinding banana peels will also form a mushy paste with strings and which will definitely clog the drain
  • Eggshells and coffee grounds will form layers of tiny granules that will accumulate to form sludge and eventually block the pipes
  • Grinding glass in an attempt to clean the disposal will not sharpen the cutting blades, will not clean the drain, and will definitely not drain easily.

When your drain clogs, avoid doing the following:

  • Using your fingertips to pull out the clogging stuff; use a pair of tongs or pliers instead.
  • Pouring hot water will only make the melted fats to worsen the situation
  • Using commercial cleaner or bleach to clean the drain

How to Unclog Your Garbage Disposal

If the disposer dysfunctions suddenly, you will need to turn off the switch immediately before taking any actions. If it is not malfunctioning but instead, it emits a wretched smell, then it’s time to clean it up. There is no need to go into panic, you can use the everyday household stuff to give it a squeaky clean up.

  • Fill it up with a cup of rock salt and ice cubes then run it for 10-20 seconds.
  • Alternatively, prepare some vinegar ice cubes and use this on a weekly basis.
  • Try untangling any fibers using the wrench that came as part of the garbage disposal package when you purchased it. Use the wrench to turn the nut at the bottom, press the small red reset button located at the center, then restart by flipping the switch.

For a Fresh and Clean Disposer

You want to ensure that your garbage disposal does not create havoc in your kitchen or worse still, your entire house. For that, you need to keep it smelling clean and fresh.This is what you need to do:

  • Treat your disposer with a half cupful of vinegar and a handful of baking soda every month. Turn off the disposer before pouring this mixture, then let it set in the hopper for a few minutes.
  • Once the foaming is over, rinse using hot water that will run down the drain for a few seconds.
  • Maintain the disposer using ground lemon  or orange peels and ice cubes
  • Do not clean your disposer with water and bleach. Bleach is caustic and will only harden the grease present ion the drain lines. Bleach will also kill friendly, useful bacteria that are present in your septic tank, rendering the tank ineffective.

How to Avoid Clogging

  • Plenty of water is necessary for a clog-free disposer. Every time you use the garbage disposal, make sure you run plenty of water during and after use. Again, maintain it by regularly grinding pieces of lemon or orange peels in combination with ice cubes poured down the drain.
  • Wash your dishes with de-greasing dishwasher detergents. Grease traps bacteria in the drain pies which eventually cause foul odors to be emanated from the disposer. Accumulated grease in the drain pipes also contributes to stubborn clogging in the pipes.
  • As described above, avoid grinding up egg shells, coffee grounds, banana peels, and potato peels.

Garbage Disposal Repair

Sometimes the clogging in the disposer may lead up to more serious problems that you cannot handle. In such cases, it is advisable to call in a professional plumber to assess and diagnose the problem. Trying to fix a problem that you do not have experience in resolving can cost you more in damages and repairs. Look out for these tell tale signs before getting the plumber to resolve the issue:

  • Frequent clogs despite proper care and maintenance
  • Bad odors that persist even after thorough cleaning of the system
  • A leak that cannot be fixed easily
  • If you need to press the reset button several times
  • If the disposer refuses to turn on
  • If the disposer makes growling or crackling sounds that go on for days

If the plumber determines that the garbage disposal is beyond repair, or if costs of repair will eventually exceed those of purchasing another one, then you will need to get a new one installed. There are several top-of-the-line models available in the market and which come at affordable prices. Your plumber will give you advice on which garbage disposal to install and one that will give you longevity in service.

Bottom Line

Garbage disposal machine in good working condition will always give you a peace of mind, get a professional plumber, like Benjamin Franklin of Lake and Mendocino County, today to help you fix any problem with your machine. If you need help with any repair or replacement of your garbage disposal, give us a call at 707)-263-1629 or toll free at (877) 236-1776. You can also visit us online at