Garbage disposals are a huge convenience, however, the second your garbage disposal doesn’t work properly, life becomes much more difficult. Our Tampa plumbing service wants to help you make sure that your garbage disposal works properly for as long as possible with these tips.

The Garbage Disposal Is Not a Trash Can

While “garbage” is in the name, you should never put non-food items down your garbage disposal. You should also not expect your disposal to handle large quantities of food. It is only intended to handle small quantities of food at a time, such as what might be left on your plate after you’ve eaten a good meal. Our Tampa plumbers also want to note that certain foods should not be put down the disposal, including dry rice, dry pasta, fibrous foods like celery and corn husks, popcorn kernels, animal bones, grease, and oil.

Always Run Cold Water When You Run the Garbage Disposal

You want to run cold water whenever you put food down the garbage disposal and run the disposal immediately to clear it while the water is running. Cold water keeps food particles from sticking to the pipes and causing clogs. It also helps any grease that might be present in your food to solidify so that the disposal can process it.

Sharpen and Clean the Blades

Before we begin to explain this tip, our Tampa plumbing professionals want to remind you that you should never put your hand down the disposal drain. You can easily injure yourself even if the disposal is off.

So, if you can’t put your hands down the disposal, how can you sharpen the blades and clean them? Simple — our Tampa plumbers recommend that you put a few handfuls of ice into the disposal and run it to help keep the blades sharp. To clean the blades, you can use a mixture of baking soda and vinegar or you can use a lemon sliced into wedges. Put the lemon into the disposal a few slices at a time and run with water. For the baking soda solution, pour 1/4 of a cup of baking soda into the disposal. Follow this with 1/4 of a cup of vinegar. Allow the solution to foam, then run your disposal with cold water.

Call a Plumber

If something seems off about your garbage disposal, don’t hesitate to call one of our licensed plumbers in Tampa. We can help  diagnose and fix the problem quickly so that you can get back to your life.