August 17, 2019

Garbage Disposals — Keep in Shape with Proper Care, Love and Feeding

In-Sink-Erator 444 Disposer 444 Garbage Disposer - Kitchen Sink DisposalAs the summer comes to an end and used exercise equipment appears more frequently on EBAY and Craigslist, there are other things that require calesthenics to keep in proper shape. Kitchen appliances. This will be the first in a series of easy maintenance tips designed to extend the life of your essential appliances.

Rosie Romero of the Arizona Republic writes:

The two most common types of garbage disposers are continuous feed and batch feed.

Continuous feed is the most popular. To operate, you just push the food down, then turn on the disposer while running water.

The batch feed is not as popular, but it’s great for homes with small children. The stopper must be on and locked in place before the disposer will turn on. This eliminates curious fingers from being hurt if the disposer is turned on accidentally.

The majority of disposers have 1/3 to 1 horsepower and last about 10 years.

A chamber of stainless steel (which is stronger than other materials and corrosion-resistant) with a 3/4-hp motor works well for most homeowners. (see pictured In-Sink-Erator)

Expect to pay $70 to $250 for a new unit. The more expensive models have higher horsepower, meaning they can chop through more materials, even small bones, and some can reduce noise. Also consider a disposer with an auto-reverse mode, which allows the blades to go in the opposite direction to clear jams.

This is a lot safer than using a fork or your hand, which I never would recommend.

The key tips:

  • Run the garbage disposal unit for 30 seconds when using, giving it plenty of time to chop up the food.
  • Always run water while using the disposer. This helps maintain the integrity of the blades while washing food particles out of the unit. Cold water should be used. This will coagulate any grease inside and make it easier for the disposer to chop.
  • You should continue to run water for a while after the unit is turned off to clear debris.
  • Occasionally add vinegar or citrus peels to maintain your disposer and keep gunk from building up. Citric acid is a natural cleaning agent and works well as a deodorizer.
  • Some chemicals, such as drain cleaners and bleach, can do more harm than good
  • It’s best to throw larger amounts of food into the garbage than down the drain.
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