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How to Use Your Garbage Disposal the Right Way

Written by Hanna Plumbing & Heating / November 16, 2018

We could write an entire series on the dos and don’ts of using your garbage disposal, but here are a few tips and tricks on how you can help prevent ruining your garbage disposal and how to know if there’s a problem. We tend to field more inquiries about broken garbage disposals around the holidays than any other time of the year. Many times, this is because we don’t always know what foods are “allowed” to be thrown down the garbage disposal. As a rule of thumb, if a baby can eat it, it’s safe for the garbage disposal. However, items such as eggshells, potato peels, bones, pasta, coffee, and anything greasy should stay clear.

Foods that are typically safe for your disposal include:
• Fruit scraps – especially citrus peels, are not only fine for your drain but can help keep your sink smelling fresh and clean.
Vegetable scraps – like fruit, most vegetables are safe to use in the garbage
disposal. However, fibrous fruits and vegetables should be avoided.
• Cooked meat – Cooked meat is typically fine to put down the garbage disposal. Be sure to cut it into small pieces so the disposal doesn’t have to work too hard to cut through it.

After the machine is finished grinding your food, be sure to run the garbage disposal for a minimum of 20 seconds with cold water, allowing you to flush your food out of your sink and preventing any foul smells.

Even if you do everything correctly, there’s always a possibility that your garbage disposal can malfunction or even break down entirely. There are a few tell-tale signs to take note of if your garbage disposal isn’t working and needs servicing:
• You turn on your garbage disposal and hear a hum, but your food doesn’t grind
• You find a leak originating from the garbage disposal under your sink
• Your sink experiences slow draining

If you notice any of these happening with your machine, call a trusted plumber immediately.

Need help with a garbage disposal repair or replacement? Call Hanna at (319) 377-2809.


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