The most likely cause of garbage disposal backups are clogged pipes. At Herrema Plumbing we have done many garbage disposal repairs for homeowners who were using them improperly. To avoid a backup and costly repairs, you can check out our simple tips below to prolong the life of your garbage disposal. At Herrema Plumbing, we are dedicated to serving our clients throughout the Grand Rapids area. 

Grind Ice with Table Salt

This may seem strange to those who have never tried this method before, but grinding ice with table salt can be a great way to clean out your garbage disposal. You can try this to get rid of food scraps that are still sitting inside your garbage disposal or clinging to the underside of the blades. We recommend putting two cups of ice into your garbage disposal, followed by one cup of rock salt. Added benefits of this method include eliminating odors from your garbage disposal and sharpening the blades for future use. 

Run Cold Water

In general, we discourage clients from putting meat down the garbage disposal. However, if you do find yourself having to grind up meat in the garbage disposal, it helps to run cold water to keep grease and fat in solid form. This will help them move along in your home’s pipes so they don’t get stuck and cause blockages. Do NOT run hot water as this can cause the grease and fat to stick to the interior of your pipes. 

Don’t Put in Trash

Garbage disposals were built to grind up food scraps, not garbage. Plastic, rubber bands, plant trimmings, cigarette butts, and other items that belong in your trash can damage the inside of your garbage disposal. Another common mistake homeowners make while cooking is putting eggshells down the drain. The little broken up pieces can compact together against the pipe walls, creating blockages. 

Don’t Cram in Vegetable Peelings

Vegetable peelings have the tendency to stick along the sides of pipes, which can cause clogs. These pipe obstructions can not only cause your garbage disposal to back up, but can also make your sink smell like rotten decomposing vegetables. If you absolutely have to put vegetable peelings in the garbage disposal, make sure to run cold water and only put in a few peelings at a time. This will give your garbage disposal a chance to grind up the food scraps properly. 

If you are interested in our garbage disposal installation and repair services, please feel free to call our office at (616) 452-8669. At Herrema Plumbing, we are dedicated to keeping our clients’ homes functional with plumbing that works.