If you have ever worked with a kitchen sink that doesn’t have a garbage disposal, you understand how nice this appliance can be.  Rather than having to carry all that nasty stuff to the trash you can just send it down the sink right?  (BTW that’s not exactly true, but I digress.)

What makes your garbage disposal work as well as it does is the ability to chop food into pieces small enough to send down the pipes.

How To Keep Your Garbage Disposal Blades SharpSo, when it comes to maintaining your garbage disposal one of the most important questions would seem to be how to keep your disposal blades sharp.  How can you make sure your blades are sharp?

First of all, we need to address the initial flaw in this question.  Your garbage disposal actually doesn’t have any blades.  The food is processed by a shredder ring covered with a number of spiny protrusions.  So rather than thinking of your garbage disposal as a collection of knives, think of it more like a cheese grater.  You can’t sharpen your cheese grater, but there is quite a bit you can do to keep it working and in peak condition.

Be careful what you send down the disposal.  Over time, grease can coat the shredder ring limiting its effectiveness.  Large items can take an extra long time to shred, making your disposal work harder.  Fibrous items like onion skins and corn husks   are very difficult to process and can cause a clog.  If you are trying to care for your garbage disposal, the first step is to be careful about the things you put in it.

Clean your disposal occasionally.  Even if you are very careful about what goes in your disposal, over time it can develop a buildup.  To clean your disposal consider putting ice, salt, and citrus slices down into the disposal and run it.  The ice and salt will clear the gunk and the citrus will give a better smell.  Another option is to fill your sink with hot water and soap.  Release the stopper, allow the water to run through, then run the disposal and cold water for a few minutes.  Either method should help keep your disposal running well.