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Sunday, January 6, 2013

Do's and Don'ts of a Garbage Disposal

Garbage disposals are a great invention but they can also be a great pain in the neck.  I love the "no garbage can in the kitchen" idea and certainly do not miss any of those annoying smells if someone has "forgotten" to remove the smelly stuff.

However, trust me on this, when the garbage disposal becomes clogged and backed up it is hell.  I have had the experience of the backup going into the dishwasher and backing up out in the pipes underground.  Messy and expensive! 

I found these do's and don'ts with Lean Ingram of Life Goes Strong.  I understand she worked with a plumbing company to get the facts right.  Kudos!

Like pasta, rice expands in your kitchen pipes and could cause a clog. So keep it out of the garbage disposal.

Drain grease. Remember back in science, when you learned how some liquids become solids? Well, that's what happens when grease cools, and then you've got a big glob of solid grease that could block your pipes.
Chicken, turkey and other bones. Any bones that get in there will just jam up the machine. So keep your garbage disposal free of bones—including the ones in your hands!

Avoid putting veggies that are stringy or fibrous in the garbage disposal. These are things like celery and corn husks. Again, they can cause a clog.

Grinding metal is bad. Check first for any stray utensils or even aluminum foil in your garbage disposal before flipping the switch. Another options: invest in a Disposal Genie, which sits in the garbage disposal drain and prevents mystery objects (such as spoons) from falling in.

Never clean a garbage disposal using harsh chemicals. Not only could they harm your sink's pipes, they could ruin the blades on the garbage disposal.


Run cold water when running your garbage disposal. Keep the water running until after you turn off the disposal.

Even if you don't have anything to grind up, run your disposal at least once a week, just so the blades don't rust. Some people like to grind ice cubes to sharpen the blades.

Clean your disposal on a regular basis. Some plumbers recommend Borax to freshen up a disposal. Try grinding a small amount of lemon or orange peel."


As always, preventative maintenance is the key to keeping repair, mess and cost to a minimum.  I can even do that!

Today .... keep it simple and make it real.


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