North Olmsted, Ohio... Grinding lemon peels make your garbage disposal smell better. Putting ice in a disposal will sharpen blades. Hot water should only be used when grinding food. We've all heard the myths, but what are the facts when dealing with disposals? Moen, the number one faucet brand in North America, is here to debunk the common misconceptions of using a garbage disposal, and help homeowners keep their disposal running smoothly.
Did you know that over half of Americans currently have a garbage disposal? According to a recent survey, commissioned by Moen and conducted online by Harris Poll among over 2,000 U.S. adults ages 18 and older, 58 percent of Americans say they currently have a garbage disposal in their home. That's a lot of hardware under the sink, and the potential for a number of questions about how to care for these valuable kitchen tools.
"To some, garbage disposals can seem like a daunting addition to the kitchen, in terms of care and maintenance," said Cassy Osborne, senior marketing manager at Moen. "That's why we're so excited to be in this category. For years, Moen has been a trusted brand -- and resource -- in the plumbing category. We see it as our duty to continue this tradition over to disposals and teach homeowners the ins and outs of product maintenance to help keep their machines running at peak performance."
Have you heard...?
Myth #1: Garbage disposals are bad for the environment.
While garbage disposals do use electricity and water to function properly, they save food scraps from heading to the landfill which is a big deal since food is the single largest material being disposed of each year. On top of that, the decomposition of trash once it's in a landfill will likely result in more damaging greenhouse gas emissions.* However, when food scraps are sent through a disposal, they're ground into particles small enough to be processed through the water treatment system.
The good news is, over half of Americans (55 percent) have purchased a garbage disposal, and of those, roughly two in five (39 percent) did so because it's easier to use the disposal rather than throw away waste, according to Moen's survey. It's not only convenient, but better for the earth!
Myth #2: Putting ice down the garbage disposal will help sharpen the blades.
According to Moen's recent survey, one in five Americans (20 percent) believe that putting ice down a garbage disposal will help sharpen the blades. This doesn't work, however, since there are no sharp "blades" in the disposal. Instead, disposals have small impellers that grate organic waste into small particles, like a cheese grater, allowing food particles to easily pass through plumbing.
Myth #3: You should always use hot water down the disposal.
It's true, hot water dissolves grease and according to Moen's survey, nearly one third of Americans (32 percent) believe hot water should always be used when running a garbage disposal. But, when it comes to your garbage disposal, you should always use cold water when grinding food scraps. By using cold water, you're keeping the fats solid as they travel through the pipes. If fat is melted with hot water as it enters the pipe system (at the disposal), you risk it cooling and hardening at some point. This means a potential coating of re-congealed fat on the insides of your pipes, resulting in clogs that could impact your home's entire plumbing system.
Myth #4: Lemons will help make my garbage disposal smell better.
Over half of Americans (58 percent) believe that putting lemons through a garbage disposal will make it smell better. While a lemon helps to alleviate stale food odors, with repeated use, the acidity of the fruit can eventually damage the metal inside of your machine. Instead, use ample amounts of water when using your disposal to fully flush out any remaining waste particles, keeping your unit from smelling badly.
"At the end of the day, you can listen to all the tales of disposal care, but if you don't have a reliable, quality machine, your care tactics won't make a difference," explained Osborne. "Look for a disposal with a powerful motor that operates quickly to effectively grind particles and help reduce jamming. With regular, and proper, use of your disposal, smells will be contained and you will be reducing the amount of stress on the environment by disposing of less trash into landfills. It's a win-win!"
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of Moen from May 24-26, 2016 among 2,026 U.S. adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Courtney McGeever, firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Guillemin, Rob. "Food Waste." The EPA Blog. EPA.gov, 10 May 2016. Web. 28 June 2016.