Hot or Cold – Which Water Works Best Down Your Garbage Disposal
It is a love/hate relationship that I have with our garbage disposal unit in our kitchen sink. I love the fact that it makes cleaning up bits of food and cooking debris a snap. I hate the sound the unit makes when I forget there is a spoon in it. Since the garbage disposal is the most used kitchen appliance in the American home, trust me, if you have one it is, there are some things you need to know about making it work better for you.
You've probably heard a lot of myths and old wives' tales about what you can and can't put down the disposal. There are just as many myths about how much water, what kind of water, and what other liquids you should or shouldn't put in the disposal too.
Let's see if we can't clear some of those questions up. It could mean more efficient disposing and better functionality of your unit. And, if you've ever had to climb under your sink to replace your disposal then you already understand the reasoning behind wanting to keep it operating smoothly.
Hot Water or Cold Water?
Those are usually your choices when it comes to flushing out the disposal unit in your sink. Those who know, namely plumbers, say you should use cold water to wash the bits of food debris down the sink. The experts suggest running a strong stream of cold water at least 30 seconds before you start shoving food into the unit. Once the food has cleared continue to run the stream for about 30 more seconds to make sure the food debris has been flushed down your pipes.
Why not Hot Water?
Obviously, if you're cleaning your dishes or your sink you're going to use hot water. So, it's not all bad to have it drained down your disposal. The problem with grinding food debris in hot water is this. The warm water makes the grease in certain food a little more viscous. Which means it will flow well as long as the hot water is on. Once the water temperature or the pipe temperature cools back down, that grease will harden deep in your pipes and create a clog.
How About Ice Cubes?
Ice cubes in the disposal are not for the faint of heart. They can be quite loud and quite beneficial actually. The grinding of the ice actually helps to clean the disposal unit from the inside. Naturally, you'll want to flush the unit with regular cold water once the ice cubes have been ground.
Should I put Egg Shells Down the Disposal?
In a word no. Eggshells tend to disintegrate in a unique fashion when facing the impellers of the garbage disposal. The shells are pulverized into a sand-like substance that tends to build upon the edges of the disposal and the pipes leading from your sink. This can create slow draining over time so eggshells are not recommended to be disposed of this way.
What about Coffee Grinds?
Nope, you shouldn't put those down the disposal either. I know it's tempting the smell of coffee is so nice especially compared to your disposal smell but the grinds themselves tend to clump and form clogs further down the drain line so don't do that.
How about Chemicals and Paint?
No, just don't do that. Items like these are covered under what is considered to be the "Golden Rule" of garbage disposals. You didn't know there was such a rule did you? Well, there is and it eloquently suggests that you should only put food particles down the disposal. If you would eat it, you can put it down the disposal, otherwise, take it to the trash.
Different manufacturers offer different takes on some of these suggestions. We are just operating off of a consensus of several articles that we read on the subject. I would love to say we were researching this article but the fact is I was having an argument at my house and I wanted proof to back up my position. I was wrong.
But if you want to be right about keeping your house cool this summer and not having to pay so much for electricity, You might want to consider these household suggestions.