Why you need to be concerned about the care and feeding of your garbage disposal. Most homeowners just think of this appliance as the easiest way to clean the sink of the debris left over from the dinner plates. Because of this attitude, most disposals are not running at peak efficiency. There are a few do's and dont's that should be followed as the easiest way to keep this handy appliance in good operating condition.
One of the things to help keep this food consumer going is to always make sure you keep it lubricated. Unlike other mechanical devices, this one uses water as a lubricant. The water should be turned on before the disposal is activated. It should continue to run for at least 30 seconds after all of the food items are processed.
The water running before is to make sure that the blades have sufficient lubricant upon start up. This is the time that can do the most damage and binding can occur. The water running after all the food has been processed is a dual purpose. To cool down the disposal and wash the processed food items far enough down the drains so they will not cause a clog in your system.
As for items that should be processed, they should be soft and easily malleable. This would eliminate the processing of all bones, unpopped pop corn kernels, and seed of any kind that are hard to semi-hard and most frozen foods. These items should be placed in the solid waste container.
Soft items that should also not go into the garbage disposal are long sections of celery. They are fibrous and are very difficult to pass through the blade in their entirety in one passing. Fat and gristle are other items that the blades have problems processing. They not only are difficult to pass beyond the blades, but grow bacteria on them when left on the blades and cause the dreaded disposal odor.
Items that are easy on your disposal are easily broken down ones like most vegetables, fruits and bread items that are left over in small qualities on the family dinner plates.
Egg shells play an important part of garbage disposal maintenance. This material is hard enough to not dissolve but brittle enough to break apart easily. This is the item that helps to keep the blades clean when they are being processed through them.
As for killing any bacteria in the garbage disposal, the use of vinegar is recommended. A weekly rinsing down the drain will help to keep your disposal clear of odor while still functioning at top efficiency.
These are just a few tips on the care and feeding of your garbage disposal that should be followed to help keep this appliance working efficiently for years to come.