Your garbage disposal unit often stays out of sight and out of mind until it clinks out a distress signal in the form of a troubling noise or, worse, a fully-fledged breakdown. However, with a little TLC, these kitchen workhorses can last for years, saving you a tidy sum in replacement and repair costs. Here are five practical tips to extend the life of your trusty disposal and, ultimately, keep your kitchen's cogs turning smoothly.
1. Watch What You Waste
Undoubtedly, the most straightforward advice is to monitor what you throw into the disposal. Stringy or fibrous foods like banana peels, potato skins, and onion layers can tangle around the motor, leading to seizing and potential damage. Grease and fats solidify inside pipes over time, which, when combined with other disposals, can form stubborn clogs. Even small bones should be avoided if you want to spare your disposal the extra grind — those bones are sturdy, but your motor might not be.
2. Regular Cleaning Keeps It Cheery
Just like any kitchen surface, your disposal requires regular cleaning to maintain hygiene and optimum moving conditions. A natural recipe involving vinegar and baking soda can eliminate odors and disrupt the build-up of grime around the blades. Routinely running cold water while your disposal unit is churning will solidify any remaining grease and carry it away. Remember, a clean disposal is a happy disposal!
3. Use It or Lose It
Surprisingly, the occasional use will keep your disposal in better shape than sparing use. Regular use prevents rust and corrosion that can accumulate with disuse, maintaining the sharpness and mobility of the blades. Don't let the fear of wear and tear keep you from flipping the switch; disposals are built for heavy-duty work and can handle the load with grace, if not encouraged.
4. Size Up Your Servings
Portion control isn't just for your waistline; it's for your disposal's benefit, too. Overloading your disposal can strain the motor and dull the blades, particularly when dealing with foods that require more chewing and less grinding. Be attentive to the motor's speed and sound — if it seems to be lagging, it's best to give it a break and let it catch up.
5. The Power of Professional Care
Finally, investing in occasional professional maintenance can prevent problems before they arise. A plumber can check for leaks, faulty electrical connections, or any signs of mechanical wear. This is especially true if you've inherited a disposal with your home and you're unsure of its history — a quick checkup can provide peace of mind and stave off any unforeseen repairs.
For more information, contact a company like A OK Appliance Service.