The actions you take have a direct impact on the lifespan of your McHenry appliances. And while you might not think of your garbage disposal is something you should worry about, it’s an appliance that deserves some attention. If you don’t call a drain cleaner for garbage disposal cleaning or take other measures to maintain your disposal, it won’t last long, and neither will your plumbing.


Why Garbage Disposal Care Matters

By itself, your garbage disposal isn’t a very expensive piece of equipment. So why does it matter if you don’t try to extend its lifespan? If you don’t take care of your disposal, you can spend a few hundred dollars and replace it. 

Although you might not have a problem with that, you probably don’t want to spend thousands of dollars replacing your plumbing. And failing to care for your garbage disposal could result in just that.

Your garbage disposal is a part of your home’s plumbing. When you put something into your disposal, it makes its way through a complex series of pipes. Although the disposal grinds up objects, it doesn’t make them disappear. In one form or another, the foods you place into the garbage disposal end up in your plumbing system.


Preventing Clogs

Overall, proper garbage disposal care is one of the more effective ways to prevent clogs. In addition to using a professional drain cleaner to clear your pipes, caring for your garbage disposal saves your plumbing. 

People don’t always realize how damaging clogs can be to their plumbing. Although a clog starts small, it grows over time. Eventually, water won’t be able to move past the blockage, and pressure will build up. When a clog remains in your pipes for a long enough period of time, it could cause a leak. 


How to Care for Your Garbage Disposal

Are you ready to start caring for your disposal? You may already be following these tips, or you might not be doing anything to help your disposal. Either way, now is the right time to get started. It’s not too late to save your disposal and your plumbing.


Keep Fibrous Foods Out

The fibers in certain foods catch on the blades of your garbage disposal. While this doesn’t directly affect your plumbing, it does threaten your disposal. Banana peels, celery, and corn husks catch on the blades of your disposal and keep them from turning. 

Before you put food in your disposal, ask yourself this question. Is it fibrous? If the answer is yes, throw the item in the garbage.


Skip the Bones and Eggshells

Similarly, bones and eggshells can break your garbage disposal. Once again, take the extra time to place these items in your garbage can. A few seconds more isn’t much when it saves you from a repair.


Keep Starchy Food and Coffee Grinds Away

Although coffee grinds and starchy foods are no match for your garbage disposal, they can wreak havoc in your pipes. They become thick when wet and accumulate other debris.  


Run the Disposal Frequently

You might not need to use the disposal to grind up food every day, but you should still run the appliance. Try to use your garbage disposal at least once every three days, or the blades could rust. Additionally, using the disposal cleans off any food that may be leftover from a previous use. 

Simply run cold water down the drain, turn on the disposal, and turn it off. Then, turn the water off. 


Don’t Throw Out Potato Peels

Peeling your potatoes in the sink is an easy way to prevent a mess, but be careful what you do with those potato peels. Contrary to popular belief, potato peels are not garbage disposal-friendly. 


Turn Off the Disposal for Repairs

 If you have a DIY repair to perform on your disposal, remember to turn the unit off. You should either unplug the disposal or switch off the breaker to the disposal. 

This tip also applies to removing clogs from the disposal. Even if you can see the clog, don’t pull it out with your fingers. Either shut off the disposal or use pliers to remove the scraps. Your fingers won’t be in harm’s way and you can prevent a serious accident.


Use the Right Tools

If you have a tangle around your blades, use the proper tool. Your disposal probably came with a wrench, and that wrench fits the nut on the unit. Once you turn the nut, you can hit the reset button and restart it. 

The right tools are also necessary for clog removal. As much as you might want to use a drain cleaner to unclog your disposal drain, don’t do it. In addition to corroding your pipes, the cleaner could splash up and hit you. Hire a professional drain cleaner to remove stubborn clogs. 


Use Lemons to Eliminate Odors

To minimize smells in the kitchen, use lemon wedges to freshen up your disposal. Cut the wedges small enough to go into your disposal and run warm water. The citric acid kills bacteria, and the lemon peels scrub the blades clean.

With that said, don’t use hot water to clean your garbage disposal. If you have grease in your pipes, the water will melt the grease and cause it to accumulate further down the plumbing. Your blockage could be harder to reach. 


Clean with Ice

You can give your garbage disposal a deep clean once every two weeks with ice cubes and rock salt. After you do this, you can scrub your blades with a toothbrush. Just make sure you turn the unit off before you scrub.


Hire a Drain Cleaner for Garbage Disposal Clogs

Perhaps the best thing you can do for your plumbing is to call in a professional if you suspect a clog. Regardless of the level of care you give your disposal, you could have a clog in your pipes. The most effective way to remove it is to work with a professional. 

Here at J. Blanton Plumbing, we can remove the most stubborn blockages in McHenry. When you need a drain cleaner for garbage disposal clogs, give us a call right away.