A great kitchen is nothing without a great sink, and a great sink is nothing without a great garbage disposal. Garbage disposals help you get rid of food waste and can keep your kitchen plumbing clog free. When the disposal stops working, though, that can lead to larger problems. That is why you need to keep your disposal in tip-top shape.

What NOT to put down your garbage disposal:

  • Coffee grounds – Yes, you can pour the old coffee down the drain, but don’t do the same with coffee grounds. Those coffee grounds can cause wear and tear on the blades.
  • Egg shells – Dropping the egg shell down the drain is easy, but the shell’s stringy membrane can wrap around the disposal itself, which can lead to a clog in your pipes.
  • Grease – Grease or oil siting for a period in your drain will eventually create a bad clog in your pipes.

Other foods, like pits from fruit or bones, are too large or too hard for your disposal. They will either create a jam in the drain, or the hardness will damage the blades. Either scenario could lead to an expensive repair.

So, how can you get ahead of the game and keep your garbage disposal functioning properly? The first step in garbage disposal cleaning is to flush it out with water. Letting the water run through the drain will loosen or dislodge any food waste, dirt, or grime. 

One of the best ways to do this is by plugging the opening to your disposal and then slightly filling the sink with a combination of warm water and dish soap. There should be enough water (roughly three inches deep) so it may flush through the pipes, pulling and grease or other buildups with it as it drains.

The next step is loud, but it works. Dump about two cups of ice and one cup of salt into the disposal and turn it on. Run the water throughout this process to help remove debris and sludge from the inner walls of the disposal. The ice will also add a second function of cleaning and sharpening your garbage disposal blades.

Finally, give your disposal a decent scrub. For this step, use a long-handled scrubber or an old toothbrush, and DO NOT put your hand into the garbage disposal. Reach the inner walls of the disposal thanks to the extra reach of your scrub brush and a bit of dish soap.

Give your sink and garbage disposal one last rinse to better prepare it for the next meal and the next round of dirty dishes. 

It does not take much to ensure that your garbage disposal stays clean and functional, but conversely, it does not take much to throw it all out of whack. When you need help with your garbage disposal or want to install a new garbage disposal, call Kellermeier Plumbing at 616-866-5134.

At Kellermeier Plumbing, we pride ourselves on being honest and upfront with our customers and strive to provide our clients with the highest level of service.