A garbage disposal is the most practical and environmentally friendly way of removing food waste. However, without regular cleaning and maintenance, your garbage disposal may begin to emit an unpleasant odor. This lingering smell is often an indication that your garbage disposal needs attention, as there are a number of complications that can occur. Your garbage disposal not working could be the result of clogged drains, blades not spinning correctly or a malfunction with the motor.

If left unchecked, the smell may not only get worse, but you will also likely end up paying to repair, or even replace, the damaged garbage disposal. This can be easily avoided, as garbage disposals are one of the easiest appliances in the home to clean and maintain. Maintenance is so easy that you can even use some food remnants to aid in the garbage disposal cleaning process.

Run Cold Water During Use

When using your garbage disposal, it is always important to run cold water while running – emphasis on COLD. Running cold water during use facilitates proper functionality in a number of ways. Oil or grease will harden in colder water, providing a solid product that the garbage disposal is then able to eliminate without clogging your drains. Similar to slick liquids, sticky foods or waste also pose a threat to your functioning garbage disposal, but by running cold water through your disposal, sticky substances are more likely to congeal, allowing easy passage through the disposal and drainage systems.

Once you turn off the garbage disposal and have ensured that the food waste has passed, it is then safe to run hot water through to help remove any residual grease.

Food for Thought

A garbage disposal is for food waste – nothing else. However, there are some foods that should never be put in your garbage disposal. Sinewy, or bulky, fruits and vegetables can sometimes get pulled into the inner working parts of a garbage disposal, where, if not properly cleaned, the waste will begin to spoil giving way to an easily-avoidable odor.

Though you will want to ensure all waste has been processed through your disposal, it is important to not overwork your garbage disposal. Instead of larger or bulky waste that require more time and effort to fully process, it would be beneficial to cut down into more manageable pieces.

Avoid putting bones into the garbage disposal at all costs as they can easily damage and dull the blades or clog the unit. There are certain foods that can actually work to your advantage, such as foods that are fragile but with sharp edges. These foods are not so hard as to damage the blades but the sharper edges often aid in cleaning the inside of the garbage disposal as the motor spins the blades.

Garbage Disposal Repair & Maintenance

Despite your best efforts, your garbage disposal still has the potential to break down, and may require repairs. Garbage disposals are both complex and dangerous, so attempting to repair the unit yourself is not recommended. There are many items to take into account when considering garbage disposal repair as you would be working with sharp, moving blades, rotating motors, electricity, and running water, components that could potentially cause harm or injury to yourself or others, or damage to your disposal unit or home.

Before attempting to repair or maintenance your garbage disposal, we hope you first consult a licensed professional who can provide you with advice and options.

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