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Things You Should Never Put Down Your Garbage Disposal (And How To Clean It)

We are well in to 2018 and with the new year comes a whole new year of cooking, chopping, stirring, baking, and frying. Whether you are on a health-kick or cooking for your family, typically, the garbage disposal is our best kitchen friend when it comes to cleaning up messes. But even they have their limits. When they’ve had enough, they’ll be sure to let you know.

They might start to jam up a little, spring a leak, or even refuse to turn on. We’d like to say that each of these problems can be avoided, but that’s not entirely true. And when they’re not jammed, they might simply start to emit a not-so-festive odor. In that instance, it’s time for a little winter cleaning.

Let’s run through a few things you should never put own your garbage disposal.

Then, we’d like to give you the quick and dirty on getting it spic and span before all your friends and relatives arrive for the holidays.

Things You Should Never Put Down Your Garbage Disposal

  1. Bones – Number one on this list has to be bones. When you’re cleaning the turkey, don’t let any of those bones slip down the drain. They’re likely to do nothing more than spin around the blades. And, worst case scenario, if one of them happens to catch a blade, it may only fling back up and catch somebody in the eye. No matter what you do, avoid the bones.
  2. Corn husks – We still tease a pair of our friends who tossed a 12-inch corn husk down the garbage disposal. What do they think these things are made of? Diamond?!
  3. Fruit pits – Have you ever tried to cut through a peach pit? They’re hard as a rock and will not only survive a round with a set of garbage disposal blades, they might kick back up in the direction of the user, too.
  4. Coffee grinds – This one’s always a surprise to our clients. And rightly so. They seem so delicate and harmless. But, much like the coffee filters we clean out every morning, those coffee grinds are only going to pile up in a sludgy – eventually smelly – mess at the base of the drain.
  5. Potato peels – We included these in the list because, like the coffee grinds, they seem to be a perfect nominee for the garbage disposal. But, along the line of sludge and general smelliness, potato peels only accumulate into a soupy disaster that no one will enjoy.

Things You Should Never Put Down Your Drain

Aside from the items that will damage your garbage disposal blades – or slide right past them to accumulate into gunk and funk – there are two more items that do not pass go, simply for the havoc they’ll wreak on your pipes.

The two list-toppers there are:

  • Oil/Grease
  • Pasta

Pasta seems pretty harmless, doesn’t it? But, between the coffee grinds, the potato peels, the grease, and the pasta, you’ve worked yourself up to a major, major plumbing disaster in the form of clogged pipes.

If you feel this has become your fate, you might consider calling a local Las Vegas plumber to scoop you out of this mess.

Why Does My Garbage Disposal Stink?

Despite the machine’s efficiency in removing food waste, it can sometimes emit an offensive odor that lingers within your kitchen. However, these occurrences can be avoided with frequent cleaning and rinsing of your system. Garbage disposal smells are caused by food lying around the cutting blades of the appliance or in the drain pipes. Has the stench gotten out of control? Contact our garbage disposal experts today!

How to Clean Your Garbage Disposal

It seems like the garbage disposal doesn’t play well with others, doesn’t it? Well, sure, many of our kitchen favorites are safe to go for a ride down the disposal. And, every month or so, you might want to consider giving it a quick cleaning, along with all the pipes in its wake.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • boiled water
  • 2 cups ice
  • 1 cup sea salt
  • 1 lemon

Here’s the how-to:

  1. Sprinkle 1/2 cup baking soda down the drain.
  2. Top that off with your cup of white vinegar.

The two will start to fizzle and pop, which is a great sign they’re hard at work.

In the meantime, turn your kettle on to boil. Slowly pour that boiling water down the drain. Your baking soda/vinegar concoction will have done a nice job clearing away a lot of the sludge and grime.

And for the second act:

  1. Pour two cups of ice down the drain. That’ll just sit there for a moment.
  2. Top that off with your cup of sea salt.
  3. Run cold water over the mixture and turn on the garbage disposal.

This second round will wash away any remaining sediment.

Finally, we still have that one remaining lemon. You’ll notice lemons and limes were not on the “do not dispose” list. If you chop one of those up into quarters and send it on down the drain, you’ll top the entire operation off with a nice, lemony fresh scent.

And there you have it! Feel free to give this a go before the holidays and maybe again after, if your house is the main event this season.

Just like it’s nice to clean out our refrigerators, microwaves, and dishwashers from time to time, don’t forget about our trusty garbage disposals.

If you have any problems, this holiday season, we have emergency plumbing services that will meet your every need.

And, most of all, we wish you and your family the merriest, brightest, and healthiest holiday season yet!

Here is a simple and easy tip from Andy on how to clear up a garbage disposal, this holiday season.