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How To Protect Your Kitchen Sink Plumbing And Garbage Disposal

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Your kitchen sink gets a great deal of use each day as you prepare and clean up after your meals. Because your kitchen sink's plumbing and garbage disposal can get used and abused, it is important to take care of them. Here are four tips to help protect them and keep them working well.

#1 Use Your Disposal for Disposal-Friendly Items

If you have a garbage disposal in your kitchen sink, it can be easy to get into the mindset that you can dump all leftover food down the disposal to get rid of it. The disposal is not meant to clean out your fridge of unwanted or moldy leftovers. 

There are some guidelines you should follow when you use your kitchen sink disposal. A good rule of thumb to use is if a baby can eat it, you can put it down your disposal. Included in appropriate items you can put down the disposal are water and other liquids, soft foods, ice, and chopped foods. Scrape the leftover food from your dirty plates and dispose of it and any other food items into your trash can.

#2 Put Grease and Oils in the Trash

You may already know you should not pour down your kitchen sink or disposal grease and fat leftover from cooking meat. When this hot oil mixes with water, it can solidify and stick to the insides of your kitchen plumbing. Then, as food particles are washed down the drain and into the pipes, they will stick onto the congealed grease. Over time, this build-up turns into a clog in your pipe.

The nearly 3,000 year old practice of swishing coconut oil or sesame oil in your mouth has become popular recently as a natural remedy to help against gingivitis, plaque, and bad breath. However, it is not a good idea to spit the used oil down your sink drain when you are finished as you do with mouthwash. The oil is warm when you spit it out and once it flows down into your kitchen sink's plumbing, it will cool and stick on the inside and attract food particles. Instead, spit any used oil into the trash when you are finished swishing it inside your mouth.

#3 Compost Most of Your Kitchen Garbage

When you are preparing a meal, do not put fruit or vegetable peelings, fruit pits, or stringy membranes from fruits or vegetables down the disposal. Instead, collect these organic scraps in an empty bucket or bowl in your kitchen. Also, add any egg shells, coffee grounds, and nut shells to your compost bucket. Be sure to crush egg shells into small pieces before composting them, and remove any produce stickers from your produce clippings and toss them in the trash. Then, you can use the scraps as an organic compost in your backyard garden. If you don't have a backyard garden, give them to a neighbor or friend who does. 

By composting much of your organic kitchen refuse, you will save your sink plumbing and disposal, and help add beneficial plant nutrients to your or a friend or neighbor's garden.

#4 Use a Sink Strainer Guard

As an added protection to your kitchen sink garbage disposal, consider purchasing a sink strainer guard to place over the opening of your disposal. This sink strainer guard will collect any non-disposable items that may fall into the sink. This can include items that will damage or break your disposal, such as metal screws, push pins, marbles, or anything else that may find its way into your disposal's opening. Children can sometimes toss items into the sink and a sink strainer will catch and prevent these items from getting into your disposal and causing damage.

These four tips can help keep your disposal and kitchen sink plumbing working well.


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