6 Tips for Prolonging the Life of Your Garbage Disposal

6 Tips for Prolonging the Life of Your Garbage Disposal

Longer Garbage Disposal Lifespan 

If you own a garbage disposal, you already know that it helps to make kitchen clean-up quick and easy. You also know that you no longer worry about clogging your pipes because of food scraps that have been accidentally washed down your kitchen sink. But what you may not know is that if they’re not properly cared for, garbage disposals won’t last more than a few years.

As with any other household appliance or motorized device, a garbage disposal needs minor but continual maintenance if you want it to last. We’ve even made a list of things to avoid throwing into the garbage disposal, but how can you prolong the life of your garbage disposal? Here are six tips.

  1. Use cold water instead of hot.

It may sound counterintuitive — doesn’t hot water clean better than cold? — but using cold water while running your disposal is best. That’s because hot water softens food waste, making it stick to the blades and making it harder to break up and flush away, whereas cold water solidifies it and helps prime it for grinding.

  1. Pour boiling water through it once a month.

The corollary to tip number one is this: boil a kettle of water and pour it down your disposal every few weeks to loosen and wash away anything that’s become really stuck on the blades or in your pipes.

  1. Keep the disposal running for a minute after it sounds empty.

You know what your disposal sounds like when it’s done grinding up food waste. When you start to hear that sound, don’t turn it off. Instead, keep it on and keep the cold water running for another minute, just to make sure it’s fully emptied out and all of the food particles are flushed out of your pipes.

  1. Use it for small amounts of food only.

Garbage disposals aren’t designed as a catch-all for your kitchen trash; they’re not built to handle hard items like bones, and large quantities of anything may be too much for its blades to grind up. Scraping off the small bits of food left on your dinner plates is fine, and food waste that’s cut into smaller pieces will usually be OK, but big pieces and big amounts will overwork your disposal and could lead to clogs.

  1. Clean it with ice.

Throwing an ice cube or two in your running disposal can help remove debris stuck to the blades. You don’t want to do this too often, though; once a week for heavily used disposals should be fine. And if you want to rid your disposal of odors, make ice cubes out of lemon juice and use those.

  1. Run your disposal regularly.

Your disposal is made mostly of metal, and it regularly comes in contact with water. If it’s not run regularly, it can rust and become useless. Even if you don’t use yours to grind up food all that often, run it regularly with running water to prevent rust buildup.

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