Having a garbage disposal is a nice convenience. The biggest benefit is to be able to flush food scraps directly down the drain so you can keep food odors out of the garbage can. If you don't maintain and clean your garbage disposal from time to time, those odors that were flushed may start coming up from the drain. Maintenance will extend the life of your disposal and keep it working properly.
Choose carefully the foods you put down the disposal. Large bones from any type of meal should not be thrown down the garbage disposal. Smaller bones from fish and chicken can be disposed of in your garbage disposal. Potato or banana peels should not be put down the garbage disposal. Basically any type of starchy foods than can develop into a paste can slow down the blades, so avoid disposing of those types of food. Coffee grounds and eggshells should not be thrown down the garbage disposal either. They can accumulate in the pipes and cause clogs. Same for fat and grease, with the added odor that it will cause. Any type of fibrous vegetable also should not be disposed of in the garbage disposal. Vegetables like celery and asparagus can get tangled around the disposal's blade.
There are some items that you can grind in your disposal that will actually help it. As mentioned earlier, you can put small bones down the garbage disposal. The small bones will actually help clean the disposal by scouring the inside of it. Just like with the bones, ice cubes can do the same. Add some rock salt to the ice cubes you are grinding to really help clean out the pipes. If you have large pieces of food you are wanting to dispose of, it is best to chop them into smaller pieces to prevent clogs. To freshen your disposal, you can grind up citrus peels to clean and deodorize it!
If you are not already grinding the small things that can help your disposal, make sure you start doing it every other week to keep the disposal clean, fresh, and clog-free! If you have a disposal, but don't use it, you should start. A disposal that goes unused is prone to build up, odors, corrosion, or can even have mechanical issues. If you have a clog, you may be able to clear it by manually turning the blades. Most have a wrench attached to the bottom so that you can turn the blades from the outside. If you can see the reason behind the clog, you can remove it with tong or pliers that are long-handled. Never use drain cleaner for a clog and don't ever put your hand in to reach to clear it out.
Sutherlands can help with any of your garbage disposal issues. We have a variety of disposers to choose from if you would like to install one or replace yours!