BUNZL Cleaning & Hygiene Supplies Blog

What’s The Best Way To Clean A Waste Disposal?

Waste Disposal

Waste disposal units are a useful and common element of commercial and domestic kitchens around the world. Connecting to the drain pipe, a waste disposal unit uses sharp blades to break down food and other waste to dispose of it into the water system.

In America, 47% of homes have food waste disposers, but they haven’t been so popular on this side of the Atlantic – largely because until recently it was thought that food scraps could clog Britain’s sewage systems.

If you already have a food waste disposal unit or are thinking of buying one, you’ll be familiar with the convenience that they can bring to a kitchen. However, government figures show that 7,747,000 tonnes of biodegradable municipal waste were sent to landfill in 2016, where it degrades slowly creating greenhouse gases such as methane which can be harmful to the environment. By using waste disposal to dispose of food waste, less solid waste is collected and taken to a landfill, theoretically resulting in reduced emissions and lower costs to local authorities.  

Like any other part of your kitchen, it is best to devote some time each week into cleaning your waste disposal unit properly as regular cleaning and maintenance will keep unwanted smells at bay and extend the disposal system’s lifespan. Using bleach, borax or baking soda, you can remove trapped food particles with ease.

Cleaning Your Waste Disposal Unit

There are a few different ways to ensure your waste disposal is fully cleaned. Whether you’ve noticed bad smells, a build-up of sludge, or limescale, there’s always a cleaning method that will help.

Remove debris and sludge

It’s possible to remove debris and sludge from your food waste disposer easily. Simply put ice cubes and salt down the sinkhole and then fill it with 2 inches of cold water. Turn on the blades, and don’t turn them off until the water has run through. This will help ensure those small particles clear away.

Get rid of bad odours

There are many ways to get rid of bad odours in your food waste disposal unit. Adding citrus peels to the waste disposal will help to freshen things up. Baking soda or vinegar can also be used to eliminate smells. Sprinkle half a cup of baking soda into the drain and pour white vinegar on top. After the fizzing finishes, leave it for 10 minutes before rinsing with boiling water while the disposal blades are running.

Flush it out

Flushing the food waste disposal unit is an important step of cleaning it, and luckily, it’s the quickest method. Fill the sink with hot water mixed with dishwashing detergent or soap, ensuring it has reached 2-4 inches up the side, before turning on the waste disposal and letting the water run through. Alternatively, you can add 3 or 4 tablespoons of borax to the disposal an hour before flushing it with boiling water.

Tips To Maintain Your Waste Disposal

Never run fibrous or expandable foods through the unit

Some vegetables with starchy or fibrous particles aren’t suitable to be broken down in a waste disposal unit. You should also avoid disposing of food that changes size when hydrated, like pasta or rice, through the food disposal.

Avoid damaging waste disposal with hard food waste

Egg shells, small fish or chicken bones and small fruit pits are all thought to be generally unsuitable for disposal through a gwaste disposal unit as they can cause damage to the blades or the disposal mechanism itself.

Never pour fat or grease down the drain

Fat or grease should be wiped off pans and trays with kitchen roll that can be disposed of in the bin. Make sure to pour hot or boiling water down the sink to break down any fats that are on foodstuff you do dispose of, reducing the chance of a grease build up in the waste disposal unit, pipes, or sewers.

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