You've Been Using Your Garbage Disposal Wrong All Along

We all have gaps in our knowledge. Some of us still don't know how to change a tire or write out a check without looking up a quick tutorial, but when it comes to the kitchen, there are more gaps than we all probably realize. For instance, most people who have a garbage disposal in their sink know to run the water in the sink while using the garbage disposal, but did you know that the garbage disposal is called a garburator in Canada (via CBC News)? 

Also, you probably don't know that the temperature of the water you run can actually impact the effectiveness of your garbage disposal. If you're the type to run the disposal with the water scalding hot, you might want to stop because, surprisingly, it could be indirectly damaging your disposal. While the water itself doesn't directly impact the machine, letting the water run too hot can start to melt and liquefy the food scraps you're disposing of, making it harder for the machine to do its job. 

How hot water could be damaging your garbage disposal

According to Best Life, using hot water when running the garbage disposal can cause the food waste you're disposing of to clump up into a paste. Specifically, it will liquefy any fats in the food, and it can happen pretty quickly. The fats then grip to the blades and, in turn, clog up the machine. So, for the sake of your smelly sink, here's how to use your garbage disposal to keep it in tip-top shape:

Start by running cool water. Turn the garbage disposal on and slowly add the food you're disposing of (don't dump it all in at once!). Let the disposal and cold water run until the food is gone, then turn off the disposal and let the cool water run until the drain is clear (via The Washington Post).

As a bonus, and to keep your smooth-running disposal clean and smelling fresh, never use harsh drain cleaners. Instead, use those same instructions, but instead of food, add some baking soda, a couple of chopped up lemon pieces, and a few ice cubes. The ice will help clear away any lingering food scraps and the lemon and baking soda will clean and eliminate odors (via Country Living).