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7 Things You Should NOT Put Down Your Garbage Disposal

peeled potatoes floating in a sinkGarbage disposals can be great appliances. If you have a more expensive one – one that will actually grind up food – then you are lucky.

Make sure you know the proper way to take care of garbage disposal and which foods should not be thrown into it. Garbage disposals can last between five and 10 years, depending on the quality of the appliance and the amount of time it gets used. When a garbage disposal is not operated or maintained properly, it can easily break down or clog and become a plumbing nightmare for a homeowner.

Here Are the Top Seven Things Not to Put in the Garbage Disposal

  • Vegetable peels and skins
  • Grease
  • Eggshells
  • Bones
  • Coffee grounds
  • Meat scraps
  • Citrus rinds

Many vegetables can be too stringy or fibrous to be mashed up and can cause a clogged drain. Meat scraps are a bad idea because they can contain bone and be too fibrous as well, causing parts to wrap around the blades of the disposal.

Of course, plenty of foods are totally fine to dump into the disposal.

It Is Always Smart to Clean Your Garbage Disposal. How Do You Do That?

Ice is an extremely effective and inexpensive method for cleaning your garbage disposal. It sharpens the blades and breaks up any grease build-up. Just toss a few ice cubes into the garbage disposal and run it. For best results, try this once or twice a month. Bleach and cut-up apples also work well to clean and deodorize your garbage disposal.

When Is It Time to Replace a Garbage Disposal?

Garbage disposal is a relatively simple machine that generally operates problem-free for many years. When it leaks or the motor burns up, it may be time to look into replacing it. You will know when there is a problem with disposal – most of the time, it’s because food has caused a jam or clog. When this happens, don’t continue to run the disposal. Continued use could damage the motor, causing even bigger problems. Before making necessary repairs, unplug the disposal or turn off the electrical circuit that powers it. If your disposal grinds poorly, make sure that you are running enough water during operation.

Follow the above tips for simple maintenance, but if these solutions don’t work, then it may be time to call a professional.

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