People tend to throw all kinds of greasy foods down their garbage disposal and then never think to actually clean it. When a sour odor then wafts up from there, they’re confused and somehow didn’t see it coming. Well, I’m here to tell you that you should include garbage disposal cleaning into your monthly routine to avoid that kind of thing from happening.
But first things first: How do garbage disposals work?
The basics are always the same: the upper hopper chamber is the part that processes the food, dishwasher water and debris, and the lower hopper chamber then collects the slurry and water before it pushes into the drain. There are no tiny little chopping knives involved in any kind of garbage disposal. What you’re thinking of is the plate or flywheel in the upper hopper chamber and the connected impeller blades leading down to it. These impeller blades crush whatever you’ve thrown in and pull the slurry down through the slits or holes in the flywheel.
Following this process, the slurry collected in the bottom hopper or disappears through the drain with the help of gravity and the impeller blades. Because of all of this, you should be mindful of what you toss into your garbage disposal. If it can’t easily be broken down, it will do nothing but clog up your drain and lead to a build-up of decomposing food waste.
Now, how do I clean it?
Start by running cold water and feeding two to four trays of ice cubes into the disposal at the fastest speed it can handle. This way, you’ll freeze the stuck debris and break it free from the impeller blades and off the flywheel. Throughout this process, you should keep the water running and even for another minute after to be sure.
A good way to take care of any unpleasant smell is to chop up a lemon and feed the tubes into the disposal. If the odor still linger, you can use a biodegradable drain cleaner, though not the sandy or bleach-containing ones since those will only cause corrosion and severely shorten your garbage disposal’s lifespan. Additionally, you can call in the appliance repair service in San Diego County to do the needful.
But what if it jams?
You should start by checking if it can spin freely by using a wrench on the flywheel at the bottom of the unit. If it can spin without trouble and only the disposal side is clogged while the other side drains, you’ll most likely need to take apart the pipes and clean them manually.
And most importantly: Always run water before, throughout and after you’re using your garbage disposal. If you use them right and go about period maintenance, your disposal should last you for years longer than would be the case for careless users.