Overland Park Home Maintenance – Garbage Disposal Maintenance

I remember growing up in a big 3 story house on Morningside Drive in Brookside and every year around the holidays, my mom would call Roto-Rooter. She loved the holidays and entertained constantly between Thanksgiving and Christmas. She had her annual Roz’s Christmas Tea and always had about 100 ladies attend.

Needless to say, every year the garbage disposal would get stopped up. She always claimed it was the help that did it as she knew she really couldn’t ever put anything down that thing that had any substance to it. She often wondered why they invented garbage disposals to begin with!

Here’s what I learned from Roz regarding the use and maintenance of your garbage disposal:

  • Keep it clean and running in tip top shape by running ice cubes through it on a regular basis. The ice will sharpen the blades and clean the hard to reach places. Chicken and fish bones will also help sharpen the blades.
  • Always run the garbage disposal using cold water not hot. Hot water will cause any grease to liquefy and will clog the drain for sure.
  • To remove stinky smells, occasionally use a lemon or orange or their skins and run them through. Be sure to cut them up into smaller pieces first.
  • Baking soda and vinegar also remove odors. Let the baking soda set for several hours before running cold water.

Never, ever put these things/foods down the garbage disposal:

  • Grease
  • Celery
  • Cabbage
  • Some types of lettuce
  • Potato peels
  • Rice and other starchy foods that expand in water
  • Coffee grounds
  • Steak bones or pork chop bones
  • Shrimp or crab shells
  • Too many things at once

Roz was the Martha Stewart and Heloise of her era. Trust me on this one, it pays to not put much down that contraption and when you do use it, don’t ever overload it. Add a little dish soap after finishing up the dishes and that will also help it stay sweet smelling.

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