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Perez Plumbing, Inc. Home Tips

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Getting Rid of Garbage Disposal Odor

A kitchen can be sparkling clean, but if a bad odor lingers, even the cleanest kitchen won't seem quite as clean. Kitchen garbage disposals are usually forgotten about - until they develop a bad odor. Bad odors from garbage disposals aren't uncommon. With food being disposed of on a daily basis, it's no wonder why garbage disposals develop bad odors from time to time. Old food gets trapped in crevices, on the splash guard, and odor-causing bacteria eventually begins to form. Bacteria are responsible for creating foul odors, and if you get rid of bacteria, you'll get rid of the odors. 

Cleaning the Disposal: Before getting rid of garbage disposal odors it's important first clean the garbage disposal. If you don't clean it first, you'll end up covering up odors instead of getting rid of them. Your dirty garbage disposal will go from smelling like something rotten to something rotten and whatever you're using to cover up the bad smell. About once a month, simply fill the disposer side of the sink with hot water and add about 1/8 cup of grease-cutting dishwashing liquid. After the sink is full, remove the stopper, and turn on the disposal while continuing to run hot water. The hot water combined with a degreaser will effectively clean away grease and grime, and it will also help clean out the pipes in the process.

Vinegar Ice: You wouldn't want to put this ice in a glass of cola, but ice made with vinegar does wonders for smelly garbage disposals. Fill an ice tray with a mixture of white vinegar and water. Freeze this concoction, and put it down your smelly disposal while running cold water. The ice will help sharpen the blades, and the vinegar will deodorize the unit. Make a tray of vinegar ice every other week so your garbage disposal continues to smell clean and fresh. Just make sure you label this ice so someone doesn't get an unpleasant surprise. 

Citrus Peel: Don't waste your money buying expensive garbage disposal deodorizers. Once the unit is clean, consider deodorizing it by tossing in lemon, lime, or orange peels. Your garbage disposal will smell as fresh as a citrus grove. Do this once every couple of weeks along with regular cleaning, and your disposal won't have a chance to develop a bad odor.

Mint Extract: If you prefer the scent of mint over citrus, give your disposer a fresh clean scent with a little mint extract. After the garbage disposal has been cleaned, pour several drops of mint extract into the unit. Allow the mint extract to remain in the disposer a few hours before turning it on and rinsing it away. Your disposer will smell fresh and clean for days.

Splash Guard Cleaning: Sometimes bad odors aren't coming from inside the disposer, but actually from the underside of the splash guard. The rubber splash guard eventually becomes covered with grime and slime. Periodically wipe the underside of the splash guard with deodorizing kitchen cleaner or a mixture of bleach and water. This alone might solve your smelly garbage disposal problem. 

Preventing Clogged Toilets and Toilet Warranties

It starts with simple changes! Anything that isn't biodegradable should be put in the trash can instead of the toilet. Or it should be recycled when possible. The theory goes, if you don't know, don't flush. And if there's plastic in it, definitely don't flush it. Wastes that belong in the trash can instead of in the toilet include medications, cotton swabs, cotton balls, bandage wrappers, and wipes of any kind (baby wipes or cleaning cloths). Condoms too! They go in the trash. And, disposable diapers and mini-pads are definite trash items. You'll also conserve water by not using your toilet as a trash can. Each unnecessary flush of trash uses at least 1.6 gallons of water or more depending on your toilet.

Beyond Toilets: Flushing the wrong thing down the toilet can damage your household plumbing, your environment, and your wastewater treatment system. But what goes down sinks and other household drains is also a waste issue. The disposal rules for toilets also apply to drains.

The Trash Can: List If it isn't biodegradable, put it in the trash can instead of the toilet. Or recycle it.

These wastes go in the trash: tampons, condoms, unused medications, cotton swabs, cotton balls, bandages and wrappers, wipes of any kind (even if they say flushable), disposable diapers, nursing pads, mini or maxi-pads, and kitty litter.

Toilet Warranties: DO NOT put cleaning agents such as chlorine pucks or cleaners in your toilet tank, as this deteriorates the rubber flapper and plastic parts of the working pieces. In many cases, your toilet warranty will become void if these cleaning agents are used.

Added Note: Please do not use any type of blue cleaner (tablets or liquid) in your toilet tank, plumbers hate it. One reason is that, if a repair is needed on the interior of the tank, the plumbers' hands will turn Smurf Blue. The other is that, although it may look pretty in the bowl, if not careful it will stain grout lines and walls if the toilet needs to be removed for a repair or replaced.

Flushing a Residential Water Heater

Flushing your residential water heater is something that should be done on a regular basis.


The procedure is as follows:

1) Turn off the power at the breaker and/or place the water heater in the OFF position.  

2) Hook a garden hose up to the bottom drain valve. Place the garden hose in a position to allow full discharge of the water through the hose ( in the yard or flower bed or the bathtub)  

3) Open the drain valve wide open. Do not close off the incoming cold water supply to the heater.

4) Run the water out of the hose until the water runs clear.

5) Once the water is clear, shut off the bottom drain valve and remove the garden hose.

* Be advised, that you should always seek a professional for your plumbing concerns.

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