Mastering ins and outs helps disposal to go with the flow

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Garbage disposals are handy for getting rid of food waste. But do you know what types of food to avoid putting into a disposal? How about mak-ing it smell better?

This week, “How To” expert Jeff Lee offers some insight on the ins and outs of the garbage disposal. While they’re great for get-ting rid of unwanted kitch-en refuse, there are some things that shouldn’t be ground up, and certain ways you’ll want to operate your disposal for the best trouble-free operation.

First off, before throw-ing anything into the dis-posal, start the water run-ning. It’ll help to flush it all away once the disposal cuts it all up. Also, once you’ve finished throwing stuff in there, let the water run for up to 30 seconds afterward for the same reason.

Follow directions in the garbage disposal man-ual as to what should not be put through the dis-posal. Do not grind large bones or fibrous materials like corn husks unless the manual says it’s OK. Only put a small amount of fibrous foods (celery, chard, asparagus ends, etc.) at a time through the garbage disposal with full water flow.

Don’t pour cooking grease down the disposal; it’ll only plug up your drain. Let it solidify in the fridge, and then you can pitch it from there. Always use cold water when run-ning your disposal.

Finally, there’s this cleaning tip from one of our readers. Toss in some ice cubes and let it grind them up. That will help keep the blades sharp and loosen any hard, stuck-on objects from them.

Lastly, if your disposal gets to smelling a bit funky, toss in a few citrus peels to get it smelling fresh again.

Ahhh … that’s better.