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How to Keep Your Garbage Disposal Running Smoothly

Updated: Feb 20

Garbage disposals are like the black holes of the kitchen: you drop food in, it disappears, and you hope it never comes back to haunt you. However, sometimes it does, in the form of a clogged, smelly mess that makes you want to tear your hair out. But fear not, my friends! With these tips, you can keep your garbage disposal running smoothly, and avoid any awkward dinner party moments where guests politely avoid using the bathroom near the kitchen.

food scraps falling down a garbage disposal with running water in the kitchen sink
Garbage disposal

How To Keep Your Garbage Disposal Running Smoothly

First of all, let's get the basics down. Never, ever, under any circumstances, should you put grease, oils, bones, or anything that resembles a metal chain down the disposal. These will cause a clog, or worse, break the blades. Instead, feed your disposal small bits of food at a time, and let the water run for at least 20 seconds after each use.

Next, to keep your disposal smelling fresh and clean, try dropping in some lemon or lime slices once a week, or grind up some ice cubes with a few tablespoons of salt to give it a deep clean. And for extra brownie points, every so often, pour some vinegar and baking soda down the disposal, let it sit for a few minutes, then run water through it. Voila! Your garbage disposal will be running like a charm.

In conclusion, with a little love and care, your garbage disposal can be your kitchen's best friend, not its worst enemy. So go forth, and dispose of your garbage with confidence!

Checking the reset button before calling a pro

Red GFI on electrical outlet
Resetting a tripped GFI

Before calling a professional to fix your garbage disposal, it is a good idea to check the recirculation button. The recirculation button, also known as the reset button, is located on the electrical outlet or on the bottom of the disposal unit and is usually red. If your disposal is making strange noises, not working at all, or has suddenly stopped, the recirculation button can be a simple solution.

Pressing the recirculation button resets the disposal's electrical circuit, which may solve the problem if it was caused by a temporary glitch. However, if the problem persists even after you have pressed the recirculation button, it is best to call a professional to diagnose and repair the issue.

It is important to note that attempting to fix a broken garbage disposal yourself can be dangerous, as the blades and electrical components can cause serious injury. So, if you are not confident in your DIY skills or the problem seems to be more complicated, it is always best to seek the help of a professional.

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