The last thing you want to find when you come home is a sink backed up from a clogged drain or malfunctioning garbage disposal. Here’s the bad news. By the time you reach that point, there’s nothing to do but call the plumber and cross your fingers.
The good news? It’s not hard to maintain a clean garbage disposal and sink drain. Keep the flow going by following these simple rules.
For a Clean Drain…
Watch what you put down there. Bacon grease, coffee grounds, eggshells, and other gritty or fatty remnants can cause some serious clogs. Toss that stuff in the trash instead.
Run hot water through the sink after each use. It’s simple and effective. Hot water carries the oils from your foods down and away, so they won’t congeal inside your pipes and cause blockages.
Occasionally flush the drain with salt and boiling water. Once in a while – the more often, the better – pour a half cup of salt down your drain and follow it with boiling water. Repeat this two or three times. The abrasiveness of the salt will help the boiling water scrape away any buildup in your drain.
Unclog your drain with a sink plunger. If you’ve got something big like vegetable peels you may want to give the sink plunger a go. This is a mini version of a toilet plunger, and could save you a call to the plumber!
For a Clean Garbage Disposal…
Run cold water before, during, and after grinding disposables. If you want a clean garbage disposal, you need to rinse it. Let the water run for a second before you begin disposing, throughout the process, and for a good 15 to 20 seconds after you’ve turned it off. Use cold water rather than warm. Warm water will melt fat globules and leave some behind if you don’t repeat the process; cold water washes the fat down whole.
Run your garbage disposal daily. Food particles can corrode the blades of your garbage disposal. Run the disposal every time you wash the dishes to keep the blades sharp and gears turning. This is especially important if you’ve just eaten acidic foods, as they can be especially destructive.
Take your time. Feed your garbage disposal slowly. You don’t want to put that whole chunk of meatloaf or apple core down there. Too much food overworks your motors. Care for your garbage disposal, and it will take care of you!
Don’t put stringy or hard foods in your garbage disposal. Throw away your peach pits and old celery. Hard foods can break your blades, while stringy foods are more likely to wind around the blades or stick to your pipes. The exception? Ice cubes and lemon or orange peels. These harder foods maintain a clean garbage disposal – and the peels smell good, too!
If you’re having trouble with your drain or disposals right now, don’t worry. At Newcomb and Company, we’re experts at all things overflowing, and we’re here to give you a hand. Contact us today, and we’ll get you sorted.