Food Disposer

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  • This laundry aid is also an effective disinfectant, but be careful.


  1. Food disposers, also known as garbage disposals or food waste disposers, chop up food waste enabling it to be washed down the drain safely. Prevention and proper technique are the best methods to keep food disposers working well and smelling clean. Most disposers sold today are continuous-feed models, requiring users to run a stream of cold water during and after use of the machine.

    Cold water is best for two reasons: It keeps fats congealed so they flush away with the water, rather than getting deposited inside the drain pipes, and it helps cool the disposer's motor, extending its life.

  2. The disposer should be operated until all food clears from the grinding chamber. When this has happened, the disposer emits a steady hum without excess vibration or knocking sounds. If food scraps seem slow in clearing the grind chamber, slowly add a couple of handfuls of ice cubes while the chamber keeps spinning. Keep the water running while adding the cubes. Doing so will help clear the disposer completely and help to remove any greasy deposits.
  3. Continue running a full-strength stream of cold water for at least 15-20 seconds after shutting off the disposer to prevent food scraps from collecting around the moving parts of the disposer and in the drain and sink trap.
    Don’t allow a large amount of food to collect in the grinding chamber before using the disposer. Instead, operate it any time there are more than a few bits of food inside. Keeping the grind chamber clear will prevent most odor problems.
  4. Don’t try to grind large steak or turkey bones, which can damage the motor or cutting blades. Cornhusks and leaves are also a bad idea since these can clog the disposer and the drain line. These large objects also can be thrown out of the chamber at high speed, which may cause injury. Waste from these and similar items belongs in the garbage can.
  5. To deodorize a disposer, put the drain plug into the sink and dissolve half a cup of baking soda into 2-3 gallons (7-11 l) of cool water. Pull the stopper and start the disposer.

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