Most kitchen garbage disposals receive daily use, making cleanup after cooking and meals much easier. However, garbage disposals need regular cleaning and maintenance to ensure the mechanism and drain line remain clear. Maintaining your disposal is easy and requires only a few minutes each month to prevent clogs and other serious plumbing issues.
Clearing the Drain Line
Everything that goes down your disposal is transported away from your home through the sink’s drain line. Because food debris can easily build up inside the line and cause clogs, you should clear it periodically to prevent backups. To clear the drain line, plug the sink and fill it with two to four inches of cold water. Remove the plug and run your disposal until all the water has drained from the sink. If you do experience a slowdown in your drain’s performance, address the issue immediately. Use a plunger or a homemade natural drain cleaning solution to clear the clog.
Cleaning the Disposal
Your disposal uses a set of blades to chop up food into small pieces before it is flushed down the drain. Keeping these blades sharp and free of buildup will maintain your disposal and prevent clogs. To clean your disposal, fill the disposal drain with approximately two cups of ice cubes. Follow the ice with one cup of rock salt or white vinegar. Run the cold water, then turn on your disposal for ten to fifteen seconds until all the ice and salt have been cleared away. The ice and salt will remove debris from the blades and sharpen them as your disposal grinds them up.