Your kitchen sink and garbage disposal are one of the main access points for plumbing in your kitchen. How you care for these two interconnected components of your plumbing system can have major consequences regarding ease of use as well as the longevity and durability of the sink and garbage disposal.
As a homeowner, you should educate yourself about the correct way to clean and maintain these two parts of your plumbing system to avoid any problems or preventable mistakes. Here are some of the mistakes you should aim to avoid in caring for your kitchen sink and garbage disposal.
Scrubbing With Strong Abrasives
An abrasive cleaner can not only damage the finish on your sink, but also dull the finish on the inside of your garbage disposal as well. Because of their harsh nature, abrasive cleaning products cause the surfaces they touch wear down faster. Consequently, your sink and disposal may not last as long if you clean them with these types of cleaners.
If you need extra scrubbing power to clean your sink, consider using a gentler substance, such as baking soda plus a plastic scrubby or brush and some elbow grease. And make sure you know what your sink is made from. Some sinks, such as those made of cast iron, can be even more sensitive to abrasives, so you should avoid scrubbing them with even mild abrasives.
Applying Boiling Water
Using boiling water on a regular basis to clean your sink isn’t a great idea. The boiling temperatures can deteriorate pipe seals around the drains and garbage disposal (especially if your drains are clogged or running slow) and, if your sink is ceramic, may even cause cracks.
Some sinks may be okay with occasional boiling water (such as the water from draining your pasta) as long as the sink isn’t clogged and doesn’t have plastic drain pipes or plastic pipe seals. But if you have a ceramic sink, even occasional applications of boiling water could put your sink at risk because of its susceptibility to cracking.
Using Drain Chemicals
If your garbage disposal seems clogged or jammed, using chemical drain cleaners may sound like a bright idea. But actually, these types of cleaners can be even more corrosive than an abrasive type of sink cleaner. Drain cleaners have strong chemicals that are intended to eat right through clogs, and these chemicals can harm the metal in your disposal and sink.
Using the Same Cleaners on the Faucet
Unless your faucet is made of stainless steel, using your sink cleaner on it could be a mistake. Even relatively gentle abrasives (such as those safe for your sink) aren’t recommended for faucets with chrome finishes. Instead, simply use soap and water on the faucet body and handles.
Neglecting to Clean Your Dishwasher Drains
While your dishwasher may be a separate appliance from your disposal and sink, neglecting it can have a direct effect on the sink’s functionality. That’s because a clogged dishwasher drain can cause the entire sink drain to back up, making sink usage impossible until you get the clog removed.
Another way the dishwasher can flood the sink is through the air gap. A clog near the air gap (which is typically located near the faucet) can cause water to come out of the air gap into your sink. Either of these issues can be mitigated by having the dishwasher drain lines cleaned.
These mistakes can all cause problems with your sink or garbage disposal, so be sure to avoid them when caring for your kitchen’s plumbing fixtures and appliances.
Anytime you need help with a dishwasher drain, a clogged sink disposal, or some other drain or plumbing issue, Two Men and a Snake is here to help. We offer drain cleaning services, such as snaking and hyrdo jetting, and we can also provide plumbing services, from bathroom remodels to water heater installation to sump pump repairs. Get in touch today to learn more.