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DIY Garbage Disposal Maintenance

November 13, 2018 | Blog


As a commonly used kitchen appliance, the garbage disposal is one of the most compact yet durable plumbing appliances we use. We count on it to make our household duties less stressful, but failing to properly maintain it can leave you without your most useful appliance. In this blog, Mission AC & Plumbing teaches you some simple and effective ways you can keep your sink disposal clean and free of clogs.


Because garbage disposals come into contact with so much food waste, certain particles can become lodged under the blades. If you’re not regularly cleaning it, your disposal may begin to attract bugs, especially fruit flies. This can be an annoying issue to have in your kitchen, but solving this problem only takes a few household items and a bit of your time.

Set traps around your sink area to attract the fruit flies and make sure they’re not returning to your disposal. Fill a shallow bowl with apple cider vinegar and a few drops of dish soap. This is a simple yet effective method of ridding your kitchen of bugs. The pungent smell will cause them to gravitate to the trap you’ve set, and the dish soap will kill them when they come in contact with it.

Using liquid soap is an easy way to make sure your disposal blades stay clean after a long period of use. If you’ve been using your sink and disposal for awhile and you’re ready to sanitize it after a night of dishwashing, try running some cold water and soap down your drain to avoid a buildup of bacteria underneath the blades.

Sending lemon and orange peels down the disposal is an easy way to ensure a fresh sink that’s free of foul odors. They won’t clog your drain, and it will produce a strong smell of citrus within your sink. The texture of the peels also helps sharpen the blades of your disposal, helping it remain efficient. Taking just a little time out of your day to take care of your disposal every now and then can go a long way.

Clog Removal

At times, you may run into clogs that stop your disposal from working properly. Grease, fats and foreign objects can block your drain. Most of us make a concentrated effort to keep our drains and disposals clear of any potential clogs, but nearly everyone has had to deal with a drain clog before.

However, garbage disposal repair isn’t as difficult as you may think. Thankfully, there’s a relatively cheap and easy way to remove most clogs from your drainage. Follow these steps:

  1. Pour a generous amount of baking soda on each side of a double-basin sink. You’ll generally want to use half of the box for each side.
  2. Pour white vinegar on each side, and allow the mixture to sit in the drains for half an hour.
  3. Pour boiling water down each drain. Doing this will remove any basic clogs that may be lodged within your kitchen drains.

Have you already tried this and still have some sort of blockage in your drain? If so, it’s time for a visit from the plumber. Don’t wait to call professionals for help — leaving clogs untreated can cause the rest of your plumbing system to slow down and lose its efficiency.

Clog Avoidance

Garbage disposals are workhorses that can properly grind plenty of different foods and wastes. However, that doesn’t mean anything can be disposed of using a disposal. There are a few items that you’ll want to avoid if you’d like to make sure you don’t run into any clogging issues.

  • Potato peels. Grinding these up will create a thick paste that clogs your drains and stops your disposal from properly working.
  • Banana peels. Not only will this create a paste, but it will also create a stringy material that stops your disposal from working.
  • Expandable foods. These also cause clogs, so be sure to avoid letting these come in contact with your kitchen sink.

Regardless of what you’re trying to dispose of, it’s important to use plenty of water while the garbage disposal is operating to help it properly flush out after it’s done grinding up your wastes.

Above all else, remember that your garbage disposal is only meant for biodegradable food. While you may be trying to quickly dispose of paper, glass, or some other type of waste, the garbage disposal is not the place for this. Attempting to dispose of these types of materials can cause severe clogs in your drains and break your disposal. Your garbage disposal is an appliance you can count on for many years, but only if you properly clean and maintain it.

Mission AC & Plumbing – Plumbers in Houston

Mission AC & Plumbing is an experienced Houston plumbing company that’s here to help if you run into major clogging issues. Our team of technicians has the tools and expertise necessary to remove virtually any sort of blockage your plumbing system may run into.

Contact us today to schedule a service visit with our team.


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