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A Professional Guide To Proper Garbage Disposal Maintenance

Garbage disposals are a convenient tool to have at your disposal. However, what many homeowners don’t think about is that this tool is only reliable and helpful when it receives some routine TLC and maintenance. But don’t worry, this is not any long drawn out process or something that will require the services of a professional plumber from Action Air & Plumbing. Our expert service will only be needed if you ignore this warning and fail to properly clean your home’s garbage disposal regularly.

What Causes Garbage Disposal Odor And Attracts Gnats?

First, it is essential to know what is causing your odor and bug issues before you attempt to correct it. And in most cases, the nasty smell rolling out of your disposal is due to rotting food particles and mold. Most likely you are putting too much waste or the wrong types of waste into the disposal. 

When you overload it, there are pieces of food and debris that get stuck and begin to mold just as if they were sitting on your kitchen counter for days or weeks. Regular cleaning is the only way to avoid this nasty smell and decay that is also the cause of your gnat issue.

Items That Should Never Go Into A Garbage Disposal

While a garbage disposal is great for grinding up small bits of food washed-off dishes, it is not designed to handle large pieces of food or any foreign objects. And there are a few items that are particularly damaging when places in a garbage disposal including:

  • Stringy or fibrous foods like celery or dense vegetables like potatoes
  • Expandable things like rice or bread
  • Eggshells
  • Coffee grounds
  • Meat bones
  • Cooking oil or grease
  • Plastic or paper

Large pieces of food waste and any of the items listed above should always be placed in a garbage receptacle.

Weekly Garbage Disposal Cleaning

To ensure the longevity of your garbage disposal, you should complete the following cleaning process each week. This will remove any trapped food waste and help to eliminate the odor coming from your drain.

  1. ALWAYS disconnect the power to the disposal before any cleaning process. This is usually as easy as unplugging it from the outlet under the sink. If that is not possible, turn off the circuit breaker that is powering the disposal.
  2. Insert a sink auger into the disposal to break up any pieces of food debris that are stuck in the unit or the drain. Never insert your hands or other objects into the disposal.
  3. Flush the disposal with a strong stream of hot water to move all of the pieces of debris into and through the drain pipe. This cleaning will eliminate the odor of the rotting and moldy food particles and keep your disposal in good working order.

Odor Control Tips

Never use harsh chemical cleaners in an attempt to eliminate strong odors from your disposal. These caustic chemicals are likely to damage or destroy the moving parts inside the disposal and damage your drain pipes. Instead, try some of these simple methods that require basic items that you are sure to have in your home.

  • BAKING SODA AND VINEGAR – The acidity in the baking soda and vinegar solution will kill many types of odor-causing bacteria, including salmonella and E.coli. Pour half a cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by half a cup of vinegar. Allow the mixture to bubble for about 15 minutes and then rinse with hot water for one minute.
  • CITRUS- Putting citrus peels down your disposal will not kill bacteria or clean the unit. But the oils will help to cover any unpleasant odor.
  • ICE AND ROCK SALT – Insert about a dozen ice cubes into the garbage disposal, followed by a cup of rock salt. Next, turn on the water and let it continue to run as you turn on the disposal. Leave both on for about a minute. The rock salt and ice combination will scrub the inside of the disposal as it rotates, helping to reduce the odor and potential for damage from clogs.

These simple steps are a great way to avoid an annoying disposal or sink drain clog. However, if you continue to have issues, a call to the pros at (806) 787-6501 is the smart move. A Action Air & Plumbing plumber will arrive promptly and determine what is causing the problem and provide you with affordable and reliable solutions.

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Tiffany Bradley
Tiffany Bradley
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"Very prompt and courteous. Called me an hour before our scheduled window, asking if they could come ahead of time. Upon arrival, they listened to my description of the issue, my questions and concerns, then gave me sound advice. After clearing clogged drain, they stayed behind, cleaning up a mess that wasn’t their fault. They are MY guys from now on."
Kaz Surowiec
Kaz Surowiec
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"Very reliable technicians. After making the appointment they called before coming so I could be ready. They were punctual and knowledgeable. I highly recommend!"
Nathaniel Riley
Nathaniel Riley
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"They were quick and professional. When they ran into a problem, my plumbing is old, they reacted adapted and overcame. Keeping me informed the entire time."