Your kitchen sink's garbage disposal performs the important task of managing waste before it enters your plumbing. Like any other fixture or tool within your house, your garbage disposal needs a little TLC from time to time to keep it running well. Be conscious of the way that you are using your garbage disposal so that it can serve you for years to come. Here are three tips for keeping your garbage disposal in good working shape.

Use your garbage disposal often to prevent clogs.

You should run your garbage disposal often to manage the amount of waste sitting in your drain. Ideally, you should run your garbage disposal after every load of dishes you wash. If you do not run your disposal often, solid waste can build up in your drain and also slip down into the pipes, creating a clog. Running your disposal often ensures that every bit of solid waste that enters your plumbing has been cut down to a manageable size, decreasing the incidence of clogs in your sink.

Run water down the drain when using the disposal.

Running water down the drain when using the garbage disposal is one of the best practices. The flow of water directs solid waste down the drain safely, keeping it from building up on your garbage disposal's blades. It is a very good idea to run cold water instead of hot water when using your garbage disposal, especially when it comes to dealing with fats and greases. Fats and greases are solid in cold temperatures and liquid in hot temperatures. It is better to keep fats and greases in their solid state so that they can be safely chopped up to travel down your pipes. If fats and greases are in their liquid state, then they can slip down your pipes and harden once they cool down, leading to a potential clog.

Be mindful of what you put down the drain.

While your garbage disposal is incredibly useful, there are times when you should scrape food scraps off your plate instead of putting them in the drain. Foods that are hard to chop up, such as bread, should be thrown away in the trash bin. Bread becomes mushy when wet and can get stuck in your drain or garbage disposal, becoming moldy and creating a gross smell. In terms of other foods, make sure that you only put small chunks of food that are easy to cut up through your garbage disposal.

For more information, contact a local plumbing company, like Action Plumbing Heating & Air Conditioning Inc.