Finding a fast, easy way to clean your garbage disposal might seem like a dream come true, but hacks claiming to leave your system like new can end up doing more harm than good. Before you head to TikTok or YouTube for a crash course in cleaning your garbage disposal, you might want to read up on why plumbing professionals advise against using these methods and what you can do instead to get your system squeaky clean!
Search for a garbage disposal cleaning hack online, and you’ll likely be led to a series of videos of DIYers shoving as many ice cubes as possible into their systems. After running the disposal, they turn on the hot water, causing a nasty, brown liquid to bubble up from the disposal. According to the videos, this liquid is evidence that the hack is doing its job and pulling the gunk from your drain. However, that’s not exactly the truth.
Stuffing ice cubes down the disposal to full capacity can actually clog your drain line. When this happens, and the hot water is turned on while your disposal is in use, the dark water that bubbles to the surface is actually wastewater backing up into your sink – gross.
Some homeowners may think that sending bleach, ammonia, or other abrasive liquids down their garbage disposal systems might be the most effective way to clean them. However, these cleaning agents can do more damage due to their increased corrosiveness compared to other cleaning methods. Using these substances repeatedly to clean your system can eat away at the garbage disposal and your pipes, leading them to break down prematurely over time.
While it’s rare that homeowners attempt to dislodge whatever blockage is affecting their garbage disposal by inserting their hands into their systems, it has happened. Contrary to popular belief, garbage disposals do not have blades. Instead, they have impellers that use centrifugal force to spin food against a stationary grind ring. You might not amputate a finger by sticking your hand down the disposal as you might think, but you still could end up with a nasty injury.
Your garbage disposal can be your best friend or your worst enemy. When it’s working, it’s a fantastic way to keep your drains unclogged and get rid of food waste without throwing it into the trash. When it’s not working, however, it can be a serious problem. Clogged or backed-up garbage disposals are never fun to deal with. You can potentially eliminate a call to the plumber, however, by keeping your garbage disposal in great shape with these tips from a previous blog.
Sometimes, the only way to remove a clog from your garbage disposal is through professional assistance. If your garbage disposal needs repair or maintenance, Terry’s Plumbing has the plumbing experts you need to get the job done right. Call us at (412) 364-9114 to schedule an appointment today!