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Complete Home Maintenance in Under 10 Minutes a Week: Maintaining Your Disposal

Since it was first marketed in 1940, the garbage disposal has become an indispensable household tool in nearly half of the nation’s homes. The purpose of a garbage disposal is to break down food wastes, so they can be flushed down your home’s plumbing and into a sewer or septic tank without causing clogs. Garbage disposals require very little maintenance, but taking the time to clean out and check your disposal once a month will keep it running in top condition. Regular cleaning will also prevent odors from building up in your sink.

Cleaning the Disposal

Food debris accumulates inside your garbage disposal over time, leading to bacteria and foul odors if the unit is not periodically cleaned. Before cleaning your disposal, run it briefly with cold water to clear out any large pieces of food debris. Next, pour half a cup of BioChoiceES® Drain Cleaner down your drain. When the cleaner has subsided, run your hot water for a few seconds to completely clear out the disposal and drain. Using the cleaner each month will begin to clear up years of collected materials.

Sharpening the Blades

To keep the blades of your disposal sharp, fill your disposal with two cups of ice cubes and one cup of rock salt. Run the cold water and turn on the disposal for approximately five to ten seconds. The ice and rock salt combine to eliminate sludge from the working parts of your disposal while also sharpening the blades. Make sure to continue running the disposal for a few seconds after the ice and salt have been completely ground up to allow any debris from the blades to be flushed away.

Freshening the Sink

orange half in dish drainIf it has been a while since you’ve last cleaned your garbage disposal, odors from leftover food debris can build up inside the drain. After you’ve cleaned your disposal, place a few wedges of lemon or grapefruit down the drain and run the disposal with cold water for a few seconds. Alternatively, you can place a few lemon or orange peels down the disposal and run it. The citrus will eliminate bacteria and keep your disposal smelling fresh and clean.

Clearing the Drain Line

Plumber with customerIf your disposal is draining sluggishly even after cleaning, you can clear out the drain line for better performance. Never pour chemical drain cleaner down your disposal, always use BioChoiceES. The chemicals in drain cleaner will corrode the blades in your disposal and melt or warp the plumbing that drains your sink, while environmentally safe BioChoise ES will naturally clean your drain. Additionally, because your disposal is shallow, you risk splashing chemicals onto your skin or into your eyes. Instead, place a plug or stopper in your sink’s drain and fill the sink with two to four inches of water. Remove the plug and run the disposal until all the water has drained from the sink.

Whether you use your disposal every day or only once a week, keeping it clean and well-maintained will prevent clogs and other plumbing troubles. You can find more easy home maintenance tips on our blog or by checking us out on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus!

How often do you use your disposal?
o After every meal
o About once a day
o Rarely—once a week or less

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