Thanks to garbage disposals, dealing with a bunch of rotting leftover food is not a particularly difficult task, though it does sometimes need to be handled with care. After a garbage disposal unit has ground up enough food, it would stand to reason that the cutting/grinding ring would become dulled and dirty. If you are suffering from a dull garbage disposal grinder, you have come to the right place!
The rotating plate and grinding ring can be sharpened through the ice, salt, and hot water. There are three different methods of sharpening garbage disposal, but the most commonly used tool is ice, and it is one of the easiest ways to sharpen garbage disposal. Garbage disposals don’t have blades.
Yes, that’s right, the appliance you’ve believed all your life to have blades does not. Despite this, however, the rotator and grinding ring that belongs to a disposal unit still need maintenance and plenty of cleaning and sharpening if it is to stay in tip-top shape. Here are some tips that everybody with a disposal unit should know!
How Does a Garbage Disposal Unit Actually Work?
Garbage disposal units are more grinders than cutters. These machines have a stationary shredder ring and two swiveling impellers fixed on a rotating turntable. When the disposal unit is running, these impellers throw the food wastes at the shredder ring which then breaks them down. However, for this to work efficiently, the shredder ring must be clean and sharp.
Adding greasy food wastes into the disposal unit will make these shredder rings blunt because these substances tend to stick between the teeth of the grinding ring. You should avoid throwing grease, oil, bones, rice, eggshells, and fibrous foods into your garbage disposal because they will either damage or clog the disposal, prohibiting further use.
Ways to Sharpen Garbage Disposal Blades
A garbage disposal may not have actual blades, but that does not mean you should neglect to sharpen the grinder ring. Rather than sharpening it though, you’re just cleaning it, and luckily, that is not very hard to do. Here are some ways you can clean the garbage disposal grinding ring as well as the rotating plate:
1. Using Ice Cubes
Using ice cubes is the easiest method you can use to sharpen and clean your garbage disposal blades. For this, all you have to do is keep the disposal running and add a handful of ice cubes. Let it run for a few minutes while running hot water through it. The ice cubes here work as an abrasive cleaner and remove any food residue that is sticking to the shredder teeth and rotating plate.
Using ice cubes is the most recommended method by experts for cleaning your disposal blades, primarily because the ice will melt rather than clog up your disposal. Most people have ice somewhere in their freezer, so this is likely the first method you will try. Luckily for you, it is the method that works the best, so use what ice you have to clean your garbage disposal.
2. Hot Water and Soap
Fill your sink to the maximum with some hot, soapy water. The water should be soapy, but do not use any chemicals that can damage the garbage disposal. Once you filled the sink, pull its plug and let the disposal fill. Immediately switch ON the disposal unit before all the soapy water drains out. Then run some cold water and keep the unit running for a few more minutes until all of the soap in the disposal is washed out.
Although the hot water and soap don’t sharpen the grinding ring or the spinning plate of the garbage disposal, it does clean them and make them work more efficiently. As the garbage disposal fills with soapy water, all of the grease that is sticking to the impellers and the shredder ring gets removed.
3. Vinegar and Baking Soda
Sprinkle 1-3 tablespoons of baking soda in the chamber of your garbage disposal. Wait 2-3 minutes, then slowly pour 1-3 cups of vinegar into the garbage disposal. After it has stopped bubbling, run hot water through it while the garbage disposal is running for 1-2 minutes.
The baking soda will absorb most of the grease and grime that has accumulated at the disposal, and the vinegar will dissolve the baking soda and clean out the rest of the grime. The vinegar will also remove any bad smells coming from the garbage disposal, so this method kills two birds with one stone.
What Not to Do
1. Use Glass
Do not put glass in your garbage disposal. The glass will not sharpen or clean the grinding ring or the rotating plate. Instead, the glass will be broken down only slightly and will clog your garbage disposal. It will also ruin it because no more food debris will be able to go into the collection chamber.
Once the glass is broken down, it is impossible to remove, even if you run water through the garbage disposal for a long time.
Food breaks down over time, and that is one of the reasons why garbage disposals work; the food inside them has a place to go as it dissolves and seemingly disappears. Glass won’t do that, even if it has been turned to dust.
Think of the sound that silverware makes when it is in a garbage disposal that is being run. It is not a pleasant sound, and it tends to hurt people’s ears and scare them. The same sound, or at least something similar, will be heard if you put glass in your garbage disposal.
2. Add Eggshells
Some people argue that eggshells in small quantities help clean disposal units. However, eggshells have a thin white membrane that will get caught on the garbage disposal’s grinding ring and prevent it from working properly.
This membrane will become sticky and slimy as it breaks down, and it will get stuck quite easily inside your disposal unit. Because of the eggshell membrane, do not put eggshells in the garbage disposal.
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