The most important thing to remember in keeping your disposal running smoothly is to be careful what you put into it. Most models can't handle bones, and none of them can grind up silverware. The other major danger to disposals is grease. Always use cold water. It congeals the grease and allows it to flush smoothly away. If you get a greasy build-up, grind up a few ice cubes, which accomplishes the same effect. To clean your disposal, fill the sink with three inches of warm water with a cup of baking soda dissolved in it. Drain the sink with the disposal running. Never use lye or drain cleaners unless they're especially made for use in disposals. Grinding up citrus fruit peels is a good way to keep your whole sink area smelling fresh. In case your disposal jams, there's one thing you can try before calling for repairs: turn the unit off and use a dowel for leverage to try to push the mechanism counter-clockwise. Unless the mechanism is seriously jammed, this will often free the grinder blades.
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