Few things can be more disgusting than a garbage disposal that needs repair. Your best-case scenario is a backed-up drain that makes your whole house smell. Worst-case is pureed pork on your ceiling. Either scenario requires immediate attention, but you can also take steps to avoid a smelly mess, by keeping your garbage disposal in tip-top running order.
Sharpening garbage disposal blades is a must. Dull blades will allow larger pieces of food to enter the drain, which can eventually lead to backups and leaks. Have your blades professionally sharpened maybe twice a year, depending on how much garbage you dispose of. Periodically run a handful of ice cubes through the disposal to clean the blades. Follow it up with some lemon or orange slices for odor control.
Be on the lookout for leaks. A leak can occur at any junction in the pipes below your sink leading to and from the disposal unit. Knowing how to repair a leaking garbage disposal can be as simple as tightening a few connections that may have come loose. If the problem persists, or if there is a crack in the body of the pipe itself, call in the pros.
Don’t forget: garbage disposal units are great at chopping up food bits, but they sometimes a little bit of help from us. Never try to force a large piece of food down the unit; break or cut it into smaller, more manageable chunks first. Avoid disposing of overly fibrous foods, like celery or banana peels. While it may seem natural to peel a potato into the sink and sweep the skins down the drain, most units will back up with such a load. Peel into a strainer and throw the peels away or compost them.
One the best tips to keeping your disposal running smoothly is to be ready in case of emergency. Find a repair service that specializes in home appliance repairs and keep their number handy. Their knowledge about how to repair a leaking garbage disposal, sharpen blades, and deal with impromptu food geysers makes them worth their weight in gold.