After a long day at work and coming home to cook dinner, there is nothing worse than discovering your garbage disposal is clogged. None of the food you put down it is passing through the drain, and you’re left with tepid water in both sides of your sink. This problem is entirely preventable should you maintain your sink drain regularly.
Cleaning Your Sink
To keep your kitchen sink plumbing functioning optimally, you need to make a habit of cleaning your sink regularly. Cleaning your sink and disposal is fairly easy and can be done without using harmful cleaners or chemicals.
What You Need
- Liquid dish soap
- Distilled white vinegar
- Baking soda
- Sea salt
- Lemon (or lime)
- Old toothbrush
- Soft sponge
What to do:
For daily cleaning, use soap and a nylon sponge or rag to wipe down your sink. Be sure to avoid ammonia, bleach, or other abrasive cleaners on stainless steel. These can tarnish your sink’s finish.
For a deep cleaning:
- Wash out your sink and sprinkle baking soda on it.
- Scrub it until it becomes a paste.
- Let it sit for 20-30 minutes until it settles in and then rise with warm water.
Cleaning Your Garbage Disposal
Regularly cleaning your garbage disposal is imperative to break up food that has accumulated down there, especially grease and pasta. This will prevent what everyone dreads—a clogged kitchen sink.
What to do:
- Put a half cup of baking soda and 1 cup of vinegar down the sink and let sit until it fizzes.
- Boil water on your stove and then pour it down while the baking soda and vinegar fizz together.
- Add ice to the sink and run your garbage disposal until it fully grinds the ice. (You can add salt to help break up the ice.)
- Some people like to add chopped lemon or lime halves to the sink while the disposal runs. This helps your sink smell fresh and clean!
Prevent Your Sink from Clogging
There are several steps you can also take to prevent future sink clogging after each use.
Be careful what you put down there!
No-No’s: cooking grease, coffee grounds, anything stringy (banana peels, raw meat, etc.), potatoes, and pasta (which expands in water).
Use cold water!
Also, run cold water while you are grinding food waste, and keep it running a few seconds after you use the disposal. The cold water helps the grease in the sink solidify and break into smaller pieces. A tip for grease: put it in an old coffee container and then throw it in the trash. Whatever you do, keep grease out of your sink!
Clean every night!
Even if you’re exhausted, try to clean your sink habitually. Don’t let junk sit in your disposal overnight—it’s smelly and can cause a buildup.
These tips should help keep your garbage disposal smelling fresh and keep it running optimally. If you take care of your sink and garbage disposal, you’re less likely to need a kitchen plumbing repair. And, you can extend its lifespan. In the unfortunate case that you have a clogged sink, it is best to call a plumbing company to take care of it. We know the hassle and inconvenience having a clogged sink is and can help you with this plumbing repair in no time.