Did you know that on average, each American produces about 5.91 pounds of garbage every day, from which 1.51 pounds is recycled, and food waste accounts for about 1pound of it? So about 150,000 tons of food is thrown away each year in an American Household.
The most common way to throw that food waste is by throwing it in the trash with the rest of the garbage. However, this creates a rather ‘smelly’ situation, which can further lead to several problems. An alternative method to this is installing a garbage disposal system that makes your house more pleasant and hygienic to live in by reducing health risks.
What Is a Garbage Disposal System?
This might be a question you may or may not be wondering, so let’s give you a bit of context. A garbage disposal unit is a device that is set under the kitchen sink and is usually run by electricity.
It is situated between the sink trap and drain and shreds food thrown into the sink into tiny pieces so it can easily pass through the plumbing. The device has two blunt metal plates that force the food against the grinding chambers’ outer wall. And regardless of the metal teeth, this contraption is not dangerous in any way. Thus, you don’t have to potentially risk losing a limb.
Issues with Not Disposing of Food Waste Properly
Every Homeowner knows the importance of keeping your house clean and smelling good. One of the side effects of leaving your food waste in the trash bin is that it can cause your house to have a very bad odor as the food starts to rot.
This not only makes it difficult to live in that place but also can cause different bacteria and spores, and other harmful substances to grow that can start spreading around the house. This further leads to people living there feeling sick. So, all in all, it’s a safe and healthy bet to get a garbage disposal unit installed.
Problems with a Garbage Disposal System
Although this disposal system has several advantages, it also comes with its own set of issues to deal with. Like how sometimes the garbage disposal units get clogged with all the waste food, it constantly makes a humming noise. Other times the grinding sound might mean that some of the parts have moved incorrectly. Moreover, on some occasions, if the unit is clogged too much, it starts to leave a foul smell as well.
Even if you follow all the instructions given and do your absolute best in taking care of this unit, it’s still possible that things might take a bit of a turn. Due to this reason, plumbers have a love-hate reason with garbage disposal units because they can be really useful but can get clogged easily if not used properly. But most of the time, these bumps in the road can be fixed easily with at-home remedies.
How to Keep Your Garbage Disposal Clean?
One of the instances can be that your disposal is jammed up because it’s clogged. First and foremost, it’s recommended to put certain types of food waste down the drain, such as:
● Large bones
● Grease, Oil, and fat
● Stringy vegetables and fruits (e.g., Celery)
● Potato Peels
● Pits and Seeds
● Coffee grounds (Don’t be fooled by them)
● Bread, pasta, oats, and rice (they absorb water)
● Nuts and shells
● Non-food items
But even if your disposal is clogged, you can simply just turn it off at the unit and unclog the blades using your hands.
Precaution: Do wear gloves for this process! Or just simply use tongs or any pliers to help you with the process.
Also, use cold water before and during the use of the disposal to lubricate the metal blades that are present inside—an extra step to not let it clog.
On certain occasions, excess grease and gunk can be stuck on the splash guard (which is at the opening). This accumulation of gunk often leads to a bad smell coming from the sink, but it can be quickly solved. All you need is a toothbrush and grease-cutting kitchen cleaner. Just dip the brush in the cleaner and clean one guard at a time. You don’t even have to remove them! See quick and easy.
Another way to remove the smell is by cleaning it with cold water, lemon rinds, and a little bit of baking soda. The lemon has antibacterial properties, and it even acts as a scrub. This doesn’t even require any manual labor! Or you can simply just use ice and salt as an alternative too.
What Not to Do with the Garbage Disposal Unit
Just like there are several things you can do to keep your disposal unit clean, there are several things you SHOULDN’T do in order to maintain it as well. Such as, don’t put fibrous or starchy leftovers down the drain. This can cause them to get tangled up and, in turn, clogging it. If this happens, simply use the wrench that came with the garbage disposal.
Another important thing is not using hot water, especially if you have grease or fat stuck at the entrance, as it can melt it and make it even harder to get rid of.
So it can be easily said that these garbage disposal systems have a lot of benefits and make your life very easy and convenient. It has its issues (all good things do in life as we know it), but it’s not something that a few handy dandy tricks can’t fix and help you have a smooth ride.