A garbage disposal can make food handling jobs a lot easier—having an simpler solution to dispose of all your food scraps and leftovers can make your establishment’s routine more efficient.
If you want to maintain a garbage disposal and ensure it serves you for a long time, it’s essential to take proper care of it as even the most durable and powerful disposals have their limits, which if ignored, over time can cause them to break down.
But how do you take care of a garbage disposal?
There aren’t any complex rules, but the following are some general do’s and don’ts that can make garbage disposal maintenance a lot easier.
Do make sure to use it often enough. When left unused, the garbage disposal can succumb to older leftovers forming strong and hard to clear obstructions.
Don’t over pour grease. Of course, there will inevitably be some grease with leftovers, but don’t make pouring grease into the disposal your primary option.
Do grind hard materials. While some say that you shouldn’t do it, why have a garbage disposal if you don’t use it for anything hard like bones or fruit pits? Doing this also has the added benefit of cleaning the inside walls and keeping it cleaner.
Don’t dispose of too many starchy foods. Banana and potato peels, or almost any peels for that matter, are not good matches with a garbage disposal if you want to use it for a long time. The starchiness of many vegetable and fruit peels can quickly form a thick and sticky paste, which can make cleaning the blades next to impossible. That doesn’t mean you can’t do it, just try to limit them, and if you have to do it often, make sure you clean it often as well (see below).
Do clean your blades with ice cubes. You should put a healthy dose of ice cubes down the garbage disposal at least once or twice per month—the smashed ice pieces will reach all the parts of the disposal, including hard-to-reach areas. This is probably the most effective way to clean a garbage disposal.
Don’t put glass, cigarette butts, and shells in the disposal. Glass or shells will inevitably damage it, sometimes even beyond repair, while cigarette butts will contaminate it with toxic chemicals and make it smell terrible, which will be very difficult to get out.
Do use lemons to take out nasty smells. Take a lemon, or even an orange/grapefruit, and run it through the garbage disposal—the acids will not only clean the walls, but will also kill any unwanted odors, as well as give the garbage disposal a nice, fruity smell that can last for quite some time.
Maintaining a garbage disposal that serves your industry needs for a long time is not easy—the stress that it has to withstand when dealing with various food scraps can, over time, make it less functional or break it altogether. Therefore a certain list of guidelines must be followed in its maintenance—regular cleaning, as well as limiting or completely avoiding running some materials through the garbage disposal are required to ensure its longevity.