Your Plumber Salt Lake City

Garbage Disposals

Your Plumber Salt Lake City
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Your Plumber Salt Lake City realizes that you probably don’t think much about that loud thing living in your sink drain. You put stuff in and hope it goes down without plugging up. Uh oh… sometimes it doesn’t.

Garbage disposals can be pesky things. They have this magic like ability to take leftovers and make them disappear, but do you now how?

Once food goes in, it is ground up by spinning blades that shred and break things up. The ground up food is then pushed out into the drain.

black garbage disposal system mounted under sink
man under sink with wrench holding pipe from bottom of black garbage disposal
The food is ground up fine enough that it will move through the pipes easily, but that depends on what it is.

When those blades get stopped by things wrapping around them, you’ve got a problem. If the food thickens and smears, you could have a plug. And just because it goes down, that doesn’t mean all the odors go down with it.

Make smart decisions and know that there are things you should do and should not do. Wise use of your garbage disposal will lead to many years of happy grinding.

Call Your Plumber Salt Lake City with questions.

What Not To Do!

There are certain foods that don’t work well in a garbage disposal.

Pasta and rice

These foods tend to blend into a paste like material that can easily get stuck in the disposal and in the drain. It’s better to throw these out.

Oil, Grease, and Lard

It is so tempting to just dump that pan of grease down the drain after cooking your ground beef or bacon, but that is a mistake. These things thicken and smear on the inside of your drain and pipes. That can leave a smelly mess. They can also congeal which could lead to a nasty clog.

Corn Husks, Celery, and Potato Peels

These things seem innocent enough, but they can get wrapped around the blades and lead to jamming. It’s best to throw these things away because the repair is more expensive than a walk to the garbage can.

Anything that's not food

This may be mostly the kid’s doing, but watch what other things make it down the drain. The disposal does not do well with pencils, change, hair ties, rubber bands, silverware, or other non-food items.

Broom sticks???

Maybe this seems obvious, but don’t put broom sticks or your kitchen spoons down into the disposal. Sure, carefully retrieve something that accidentally fell down the drain, but don’t try using things to make the disposal move. We once heard of a home where they used a broom stick to get the disposal spinning. They would flip the switch, hear it trying to turn, then nudge it with their broom stick to get it spinning. If that is happening, you have problems. Don’t do that! Call us instead.

What You Should Do

Just as there are things you should know to not do with your garbage disposal, there are some things that you should be doing.

Clean your garbage disposal

After washing things down the drain, and even after washing dishes, you should put a little dish soap into the disposal and let it run for a few minutes with cold water. This will help clean any grease or grime that may have gotten on the insides.

Use Cold Water

This one may seem counterintuitive, but cold water is best. That’s because the cold water will keep any grease hardened, which allows it to be chopped up and more easily move through the pipes. Hot water will only turn it back into a liquid mess.

Baking soda and vinegar

The same magic solution we recommend for cleaning your drains and shower heads, baking soda and vinegar causes a cleaning reaction that is commonly used. It is safe, and get’s the job done.

Ice, Ice, Ice

Again, keep things cold. Ice is a good tool to harden and free up any gunk stuck to the blades, the ice also creates an abrasive material as it breaks apart. Feed a tray or so of ice cubes in and let it run with cold water until they are all gone.

When life gives you lemons

Use them to deodorize your disposal and drain. lemon is good at getting out the smell of seafood on your hands, so it makes sense it would help with the stuff going down your drain. Use this safe and natural deodorizer to freshen things up.
running water draining into sink
Whether you need a new disposal or want your broken one serviced, give Your Plumber Salt Lake City a call today!