Most kitchens these days have a garbage disposal. It can make clean up and food preparations a lot easier on you. Typically attached underneath a sink drain in the kitchen, the garbage disposal has a chopping type of mechanism, similar in looks to the four pronged blade in a blender. This mechanism chews up scraps of food you feed down the drain. You must run water from the kitchen sink as you use the garbage disposal as it will wash down the food particles chopped up by the blade. There is an arm type of mechanism which forcibly pushes the food particles and water down the drain.
Typically, the garbage disposal is hooked up with the dishwasher water supply. Often times, when the dishwasher drains, it will run through the disposal so that food particles from the plates, pans and glasses will wash away down the drain, just as if you used the disposal itself.
If you shop around for a new garbage disposal, you will discover some of these appliances that use electric motors to power the grinding mechanism and draining process. However, there is also a new type of garbage disposal which relies on the force of water from your water spout of your sink. If there is no power outlet available for your garbage disposal, the water powered option is your best bet.
Taking care of a garbage disposal will prolong its life, lasting over ten years if you do it right. Here are a few tips for operating your garbage disposal which will prolong its life:
1. Always run water before and after you grind food in the garbage disposal for proper drainage. If you forget to rinse, food trapped in the disposal will start to decay, causing a stink in your kitchen.
2. Only use cold water when grinding your food up in the disposal. The reason is that if there are any fats in the foods you grind up, they could melt in hot water, traveling through the pipes while cooling and eventually solidifying, causing a blockage.
3. Never use any chemicals such as drain cleaners or bleach in the garbage disposal as they may harm it or reduce its operational capabilities, not to mention contaminate the environment eventually.
4. Never put cooked or uncooked rice or pasta in the garbage disposal much less egg shells, coffee grounds, bones or fibrous vegetables and other foods. These can reduce the operating capacity of the appliance.
If something gets stuck in your garbage disposal, never use your hands to remove the item as the blades could harm you. Instead, use a pair of tongs to grab the item when possible. If your garbage disposal starts smelling less than fresh, cut up a piece of lemon and feed it down the drain while the warm water is running. Or, you can grind up a few ice cubes along with rock salt and baking soda while running the water. Either practice should neutralize the odors from the disposal. If you take care of your garbage disposal properly, you will be able to use it for years to come.