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Proper Care for Your Garbage Disposal


The garbage disposal in your kitchen sink is an easy piece of equipment to take for granted—until it stops working. Then you’ll find how much more cumbersome kitchen tasks are. Any garbage disposal will run down with time and need a replacement, and it’s difficult to avoid all repair issues. But you can give your garbage disposal a long service life with few repairs if you know how best to care for it. And a lot of that is knowing what doesn’t go into the garbage disposal.

We’ll get into the ways to properly take care of your disposal below. When you need help with your kitchen plumbing in Stow, OH, whether it’s to fix or replace the disposal or any other job, count on our experts. We’re here 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Don’t pour F.O.G down the disposal

FOG is an acronym for fats, oils, and grease. This sinister trio causes immense grief to kitchen plumbing. The problem is that FOG, when hot, is in liquid form, and this tricks people into thinking they can pour it down the disposal without trouble. But when FOG cools, it turns into a waxy solid that clings to drainpipe walls and can jam up a disposal. Pour out FOG into a separate receptacle and remove it to the trash.

Don’t treat the disposal as a garbage can

We wish garbage disposals had a different name because they can’t handle actual garbage. The name leads people to believe they can toss anything down them. This is important to know: only food waste goes into the disposal. Nothing inorganic should ever go down there. The disposal doesn’t have the ability to grind down objects like plastic and paper, and these can end up jamming the disposal’s moving parts.

Hard food waste doesn’t go in the disposal

The disposal can’t grind down all food waste. The harder food leftovers should go into the trash. But what counts as “hard”? There’s a simple rule: if your teeth can’t chew it, neither can the disposal. This includes meat bones, fruit pits, and especially unpopped popcorn kernels. The last is one of the most common troublesome items that gets dumped down disposals.

Watch out for stringy and water-absorbant food

There are a few other food items to keep from the disposal. Stringy foods like asparagus, celery, and onion skins can get caught in the disposal and cause it to burn out. Pasta and rice, which absorb water, are also problems because they’ll enlarge if they get caught in the disposal. 

Don’t use ice cubes to “sharpen the blades”

This is a major misconception. It’s not just that ice cube won’t sharpen the blades: there are no blades to sharpen. That’s not how a disposal works. It uses a rotating ring of blunt impellers to hurl food waste into a rotating outer grind ring. Putting ice cubes into the disposal can damage it, as ice cubes are too hard for it to manage. If you think your disposal is not working as well as it once did, call for repair people to look into it rather than trying this “solution.”

Call Crown Group Ohio 24/7 for your plumbing needs. We have served Stark and Summit counties since 1963.

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