Garbage disposals are the workhorses of the modern kitchen. They take a ridiculous amount of solid waste that would normally clog your sink and pulverize it into a fine liquid that can easily pass through your drain. Having a garbage disposal that operates correctly is essential to having a kitchen—and there can be trouble if yours isn’t. How can be sure your garbage disposal is functioning properly? Our experienced plumbers recommend performing simple maintenance like regular cleaning and removing items that do not belong.

Clean It Regularly

Your disposal may be a powerful chopping machine, but it can also fill with solid debris and sludge that can slow it down or keep it from being able to properly grind your waste. Our plumbing experts encourage you to give your disposal a good cleaning on a regular basis by placing two cups of ice in the disposal, pouring a cup of rock salt over the ice and running the unit while cold water is on until the ice breaks up. Cut-up citrus peels or vinegar can also work in the place of rock salt.

Remove these Items Immediately

Your Tampa Bay area drain cleaning team reminds you that your disposal can’t grind:

• Glass

• Metal

• Rubber objects

• Highly fibrous food materials like peach pits, avocado seeds, bones, shrimp shells, and corn husks.

These items must be physically removed for your garbage disposal to operate properly. To remove something, you should turn off the fuse that supplies power to your disposal to keep it from being able to turn on while you are working. Use tongs or pliers to remove the offending item. If you MUST use your hands, be absolutely certain that the power is completely off to the unit.

Grease is also bad for your disposal in quantities more than a tablespoon or two. It is impossible to remove grease the way you would the previous objects, so instead you must run your disposal with cold water and several tablespoons of a grease-fighting dish soap if it gets clogged with grease.