Your garbage disposal is a convenient tool that helps reduce a lot of your clean-up stress following meal times; instead of scraping each plate into the trash you can simply rinse each one into your disposal for faster clean-up. Garbage disposals also help speed up meal prep. However, a broken or ineffective garbage disposal can be a major frustration, and a smelly one is equally bothersome.
You can put some surprising things down your garbage disposal, but some types of food waste should never go down a disposal. For example, large meat bones shouldn’t go into the garbage disposal, but smaller bones from chicken wings can actually help clear away other food residue stuck in the disposal without dulling the blades. Other foods to avoid putting in your disposal include banana peels, seafood shells, potato skins, eggshells, and coffee grounds. These waste items may seem safe to grind but they can actually clog up your drain very quickly.
Keep It Sharp
Once a month, toss a tray full of ice cubes into your garbage disposal without the water running to grind up the cubes. The small ice chunks will actually help sharpen the blades. Once you rinse the ice chunks away, they will likely stick in the pipe and cause a brief clog but the ice will soon melt. Rock salt can also help keep the blades sharp and remove accumulated food residue.
Keep It Smelling Nice
Once a week or once a month (depending on how much food you put through your disposal), cut a lemon into small pieces and send it into the disposal. Other citrus fruits like limes, oranges, and grapefruits are also good choices, and their acidic properties will help remove food residue stuck in the disposal. Rinse the disposal afterward and your sink should have a fresh citrus scent. Another odor-fighting measure you can take includes pouring baking soda and then vinegar into your disposal and letting it mix while the disposal runs.