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Keeping your disposal running!

There are two chores anyone can do at the sink. One of them is washing dishes, and one of them is grinding up organic waste in the garbage disposal! Needless to say, Iíll take disposing over dishwashing every time.

This is a good one, where do I begin? How about this, small bones are great to run through the disposal. Why? Well, besides the fact that they make a really cool grinding noise as they go down, they actually scrape away a lot of residue on the sides, keeping the grinding teeth from clogging with gunk. Now, we arenít talking about throwing giant steak bones in, but chicken bones, pieces of broken beef or deer bones, things like that.

If, by some chance, something gets accidentally thrown in, like a piece of silverware, it needs to come out ASAP. That means, turning off both the switch AND the circuit breaker before reaching in to get it. I cannot stress that enough, all the power to a garbage disposal goes off, from the breaker to the switch, before anyone attempts to retrieve an item from inside.

If the disposal gets jammed, hereís what you do. Make sure the switch is off, and then use the little wrench that comes with every disposal made. It inserts into the bottom of the unit, which we will be under the sink. You can take this wrench and move the inside of the unit back and forth until it frees up. If it jammed because of a bone or something organic, run cold water down the hatch, and flip the switch to let it grind away. If it jammed because of something metallic, it needs to come out, so follow the previous steps by turning off all power before removing.

Garbage disposals donít unclog very easily. So throwing grease, rice or noodles are about the worst things you can do. Sure, a few noodles here and some rice there, but disposing of an entire meal of cooked noodles is asking for trouble. Noodles grind up into a starchy paste that sets like concrete, and so does rice. To avoid cement pipe syndrome, make sure the cold water is blasting as you feed bit by bit of those foods down the mouth of the disposal.

Grease, on the other hand, clogs up the grinding teeth and lets everything slip away without being properly ground up. So, itís better to dispose of fryer grease or cooking lard by way of the garbage, not the garbage disposal.

Of course, one of the best things you can do for your disposal is to grind up lemons. Lemons are great for making your disposal smell good while the acids eat away gunk clogging the blades.

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