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5 Signs You Need to Clean Your Garbage Disposal

5 Signs You Need to Clean Your Garbage Disposal

Garbage disposals are an excellent way of managing kitchen waste. They grind food scraps into tiny particles that can be easily flushed down the drain, preventing clogs and other plumbing issues. Garbage disposals also make it easier to clean up after meals because food scraps don’t have to be scraped off plates or put in the trash.

1. Strange Odors

Garbage disposals can come in handy for quickly and efficiently disposing food scraps after meals. Unfortunately, sometimes these appliances can start to emit strange odors. If you have noticed an unpleasant smell coming from your garbage disposal, there are a few steps you can take to get rid of the odor.

The most common cause of odor from your garbage disposal is food debris and buildup inside the unit. To fix this, it’s essential to clean out the disposal regularly. A great way to do this is with a mixture of baking soda, vinegar, or an enzyme cleaner meant specifically for disposals. Pour 1/2 cup baking soda into the disposal, followed by 1 cup white vinegar. Let the mixture sit for a few hours before turning on the disposal and flushing it with hot water. This should help to eliminate any odors.

You can also use ice cubes to help clean your disposal blades and remove debris causing an odor. Put several cups of ice into the disposal, turn it on, and let it run until all the ice is gone. This helps to sharpen the blades and break down food particles stuck in the unit.

Finally, you want to make sure you’re not putting anything down your garbage disposal that could cause a foul smell or clog up the unit. Avoid pouring items like cooking oil, coffee grounds, eggshells, bones, and fibrous vegetables like celery. These items can cause a foul odor as they break down and require more frequent disposal cleaning.


2. Clogged Drains

Clogged drains are a common problem, especially in households with garbage disposals. If your sink drains slowly or not, the disposal is likely clogged with food waste and other debris.

Fortunately, unclogging isn’t too difficult and can usually be done without professional help.

To start, you should run hot water down the drain for several minutes. This will help soften and loosen up any debris blocking the pipes. Once the water has been running for a few minutes, use a plunger to clear any blockages from the pipes leading from your sink to your garbage disposal.

Ensure you cover both holes of the plunger so the air pressure can build up and push out debris.

If the plunger doesn’t work, you can also use a especially designed-cleaning device for disposals. These devices come in different shapes and sizes, but generally, they have long handles with flexible wires that can be fed into the disposal to fish out any blocked material. You should be able to find one of these devices at your local hardware store or online.

Once you’ve removed all of the clogs from your garbage disposal, it’s essential to take some preventative measures so that you don’t experience this problem again. Try not to put large pieces of food waste down the drain, as this can easily cause clogs. Also, run hot water down the drain periodically to help keep it clear of debris.

By taking these precautions and following the steps above, you should be able to unclog your garbage disposal and prevent future clogs successfully.

3. Leaking

A leaking garbage disposal can be a common yet annoying problem for many households. Fortunately, it is easy to identify the cause and take appropriate action to fix the issue.

The most common reason for a garbage disposal to leak is due to worn-out rubber seals or gaskets. These seals help create an airtight seal between the inner parts of the unit and its housing, so if they become worn out over time, they will no longer be able to prevent water from escaping. Replacing them is relatively inexpensive and not too tricky – unscrew the old ones and screw on new ones in their place.

In some cases, the leakage may come from a crack in the unit’s housing. This is a more severe issue that likely requires replacing the entire disposal. It can be challenging to tell if this is the source of the leak, so it’s worth checking for cracks before attempting any other action. Suppose you are unable to identify a crack visually. In that case, you may want to go ahead and replace the disposal unit altogether, as it could still be leaking from inside the housing even if there is no visible damage on the exterior.

It’s also important to note that sometimes leaks aren’t caused by faulty garbage disposal at all – they may be coming from one of the pipes connected to it. To determine this, turn off your water supply valve and check if the leak persists; if it does, the issue is likely with the disposal itself. If it stops, however, you know that your pipes are probably to blame and should be fixed or replaced as soon as possible.

In conclusion, dealing with a leaking garbage disposal can be a hassle, but luckily it’s usually an easy fix that doesn’t require too much effort or money. Before attempting any repairs yourself, make sure to identify the source of the leak so that you can take appropriate action to fix it quickly and efficiently. With some basic plumbing knowledge and a few simple tools, you can have your garbage disposal working like new again in no time!

And remember to check regularly for signs of wear and tear, such as cracks, to prevent future issues. By proactively addressing the issue quickly, you can help ensure that your garbage disposal continues to work correctly for many years.

4. Loud Noises

Garbage disposals are a great way to get rid of food scraps quickly and easily, but what do you do when yours starts making loud, grinding noises? It could be as simple as an object stuck inside the unit or a sign of something worse. We’ll explore some common causes of garbage disposal noise and how to fix them.

Objects Stuck Inside Unit – Objects like silverware, bones, or other small items can get stuck in your garbage disposal and cause loud grinding noises. If that’s the case, switch off the power and carefully use pliers to remove any large pieces that may have gotten lodged inside. Afterward, it would help if you used a cleaner like Bon Ami to remove any residue buildup and improve the grinding ability of your garbage disposal.

Sharp Blades: The garbage disposal blades can become dull over time, leading to loud clangs or thuds when you turn them on. If sharpening them doesn’t work, it may be time for a new garbage disposal. It would help if you always made sure that the blades were covered entirely before turning on your garbage disposal, as this can prevent noise from occurring.

Misaligned Parts: When components inside your unit come out of alignment, they can also cause loud noises. This is usually an easy fix and can be done by simply realigning the parts with a screwdriver. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, you can always call a professional.

Loud noises from your garbage disposal can be caused by objects stuck inside the unit, dull blades, or misaligned parts. The best way to prevent noise is to make sure that any oversized items are removed before turning on the garbage disposal and use a cleaner on it regularly. If none of these methods work, it might be time for a new garbage disposal.

5. Slow Draining

A slow-draining garbage disposal can be a real nuisance. If your sink takes longer than usual to drain, you may have a clog that needs to be addressed. Fortunately, several potential causes for slow-draining garbage disposal and fixes for each cause exist.

One of the most common causes of slow-draining garbage disposal is food waste stuck in the pipes or drains. This is usually pretty easy to fix; disassemble the drain trap and remove any food waste clogging up the pipe. Additionally, inspect the branch line going into your wall for any obstructions; these can quickly be cleared with a sink auger.

Another common cause of slow draining is a buildup of grease or another residue on the blades and walls of the disposal unit. To fix this, turn off the power to your garbage disposal and use a putty knife or brush to scrape away any gunk built up on the blades. After cleaning, run some water through it to ensure it’s working correctly.

When your garbage disposal is loud or slow draining, it can irritate you. Fortunately, there are several potential causes for these issues and easy fixes. Stopped-up pipes from food waste can often be cleared by disassembling the drain trap and inspecting the branch line for any obstructions.

A buildup of gunk on the blades and walls of the unit can also lead to slow draining, which can usually be prevented by regularly cleaning it. Following these tips can help ensure that your garbage disposal will work appropriately for many years.


John, Larry, Mike, owners of Western Rooter & Plumbing

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