Garbage disposals are an extremely useful household tool. However, it is also an appliance we often take for granted. Sometimes we don’t realize the damage we’re causing it when we throw “everything and the kitchen sink” into it. Follow these guidelines to prolong the life of your garbage disposal.

• Never, ever put your hand in the garbage disposal to remove a clog. Always use tongs.

• Use plenty of cold water while running it to preserve the blades and allow for smooth disposal. Do not use hot water, for this can cause grease to liquefy and accumulate, causing clogs.

• Never overload your disposal. Cut larger items into smaller pieces and put them into the garbage disposal one at a time.

• Keep your garbage disposal clean. Here are some useful methods:
o Pour a little dish soap and let the disposal run for a minute with cold water
o Run it regularly! Infrequent use can cause rust and corrosion
o Grind citrus peels, such as lemons, to help eliminate foul smells
o Grind certain hard foods like egg shells or small fruit pits to clean disposal’s walls

• Never put the following items down your garbage disposal:
o Animal bones
o Glass, plastic, metal, or paper
o Anything combustible
o Animal fat, grease, or cooking oil. These solidify in cold pipes and cause clogs.
o Fibrous foods like corn husks or celery stalks. These can tangle and jam the motor.
o Potato peels. The starch turns into a thick paste and makes the blades stick.
o Expandable foods such as pasta and rice. They can expand in pipes and cause clogs.
o Coffee grounds. They accumulate in drains and pipes.
o Harsh chemicals, such as bleach or drain cleaners.

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