Garbage disposals have become increasingly popular within the last decade. Since it has been out for so long and is so widespread, some misconceptions and myths surround its operation and maintenance. A very popular question regarding those myths is, how does ice sharpen garbage disposal blades?
Despite what you might know, garbage disposals actually don’t have any blades. They use impellers to crush the waste. Thus, there is no such method to sharpen the blades. However, there are certain maintenance tips and methods you can use to take care of your garbage disposal.
Today we will address this myth and share with you all the things you need to know to keep your garbage disposal functioning well.
Garbage Disposals Don’t Have Blades
It sounds hard to believe but, a garbage disposal does not operate with blades. The disposal has a rotating disk with impellers on it that catch the waste and spin them with great speed, thus crushing them and powdering them.
So, the impellers on the garbage disposal technically work like blades. However, they are not sharp, they are rather blunt. So, there is no practical need to sharpen them anyways.
How Does Ice Effect Garbage Disposals?
Since garbage disposals don’t have blades, using ice won’t sharpen anything. But, ice may have some impact on the maintenance of the disposal.
The impellers in the garbage disposal can get dirty over time and have some waste stuck between them. Getting that dirt off the impellers is a bit tricky and risky if you want to do it with your hands or any tools. Using sharp tools may damage the impellers, and using just your hand is too dangerous.
This is where ice cubes come in. Since ice cubes are solid yet made out of the water, they can be sliced down. So, they are safe to put in a garbage disposal. When an ice cube hits one of the impellers, it creates a vibration thanks to its hardness. This vibration helps shake off the dirt from the impellers, thus cleaning the impellers.
How to Sharpen Garbage Disposal Impellers or Blades?
As mentioned before, you can’t sharpen garbage disposal blades because they work by using impellers. But there are certain things you can do to improve the quality and effectiveness of the impellers to make sure your garbage disposal is working at its prime.
- Ice Cubes
Ice cubes are a surprisingly easy and effective way to keep your disposal running clean. Just simply grind up a handful of ice cubes (5-10 cubes) in the garbage disposal. But in this case, do not keep the water running while grinding because the water may cause the ice cubes to meltdown faster
- Cleaning Tools
You can use certain cleaning equipment such as thin brushes to clean the impellers. The handle of the brush has to be quite long since you don’t want to put your hand inside the disposal. Here’s what you will have to do once you have the tools-
- Turn off all power connections to the garbage disposal.
- Remove the baffle from the collar of the disposal. (You can do it by simply pulling it off)
- Use some light to look into the grinding chamber and see where the dirt is stuck.
- Take your preferred cleaning tool and insert it into the chamber.
- Start brushing away the dirt. Don’t use unnecessary force.
- After cleaning, put the baffle back on, turn on the power. Release the cold water tap and let the machine run for some time.
And that’s it. Turn off the machine when you’re done, and it is good as new.
This is a more advanced process. It is suggested only when your garbage disposal is not working properly at all. You may want to seek professional help with this one.
The process includes,
- Taking apart the garbage disposal.
- Separating the impeller disk from the motor.
- Cleaning or replacing the disk.
- Looking for other possible issues.
If you are not familiar with doing this kind of thing, we highly recommend you not try this and contact a repair service instead.
Garbage Disposal Maintenance
To keep your garbage disposal up and running for a long time, you must take proper care of it run maintenance sessions often. It doesn’t have to be anything too complicated. You can keep your disposal working at its peak with some simple methods.
How to Clean Garbage Disposal?
Keeping a disposal clean is arguably the most important step to its maintenance. And it is very easy to do. Here are some methods to clean your garbage disposal-
- Baking Soda, Bleach, and Ice
While everything is off, put some ice cubes into the grinding chamber along with a tablespoon of baking soda and a tablespoon of bleach. Add some more ice cubes to the mix and start the garbage disposal while the water is running. This thoroughly cleans your disposal along with any bacteria.
- Citrus Fruits
Grinding a citrus fruit can seriously reduce the amount of odor that is coming from your garbage disposal. It will also leave a fresh smell in the kitchen. Just take any citrus fruit such as lemon, orange, etc, and grind them in the disposal. That’s it.
- Vinegar Ice Cubes
This is similar to one of the previous methods of using ice cubes to clean garbage disposals. But for this case, you will use frozen vinegar cubes instead of water. Just take your ice cube tray, fill up a couple of slots with vinegar and freeze them. Then just grind them in the disposal like mentioned before.
How to Take Care of Garbage Disposal?
You won’t need to clean the disposal very often if you take good care of it in the first place. Taking good care of the machine is pretty simple and requires you to follow a couple of things to do and things to avoid.
Things to do
- Always use cold water while running the disposal.
- Keep the water running for a couple of minutes after the grinding is done.
- Use the garbage disposal regularly.
Things to Avoid
- Don’t put in oily food waste.
- Avoid grinding fibrous, slippery, or greasy vegetables. (Banana peels, lettuce, celery)
- Try not to put in large amounts of waste at once.
- Egg shells will only make your disposal dirtier as the membranes may get stuck in the impellers. So avoid putting them in.
After all the discussion here today, how does ice sharpen garbage disposal blades? The answer should be very obvious to you by now. We have explained the various methods to maintain, clean, and take care of your garbage disposal. We hope that you are now well informed regarding this matter and have benefited from our article.