hand scraping what's left on a used dish into a sink with disposal unit
Photo: Courtesy of InSinkErator
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Avoid Garbage Disposal Breakdowns

No matter how delicious your meal, you'll inevitably end up with plenty of scraps. To make sure your disposer can keep up, grind hard materials, such as small bones, fruit pits, and ice before everything else. It helps scrape the inside of the disposer and pipes, removing any buildup. Run cold water down the drain for 30 seconds before and after each use to flush food waste through the plumbing system and keep debris from settling in the pipes.

Though the pull of the Thanksgiving nap may be strong, don't hurry through clean-up. Rushing is one of the main reasons homeowners overfill or jam their disposers. And never use the disposer like a garbage can. Avoid letting non-food items like tea bags, bread ties, and napkin rings fall into the sink where they can cause jams. Don't put grease or fat down the disposer or any drain. It can build up in pipes and cause blockage. Instead, pour grease into a glass jar or container, and then discard in the trash once it solidifies. To give your disposer a fresh scent, grind lemons and other citrus fruits.
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