User Tips for Household Trash Compactors

Your household trash compactor reduces the mass of your household garbage, which is a valuable task. Here are a few tips to help you efficiently and safely use your trash compactor.

Watch What You Throw in the Compactor Bin

Trash compactors can handle a variety of materials, but the appliances aren’t meant to compress all types of trash. Most trash compactors can compress normal kitchen trash including the following items:

  • Plastic bottles and containers
  • Cardboard boxes
  • Waxed cartons

Some trash compactors have strong enough gears to crush glass, but owners should think twice about throwing glass items into their trash compactors. Glass shards wedged at the edges of the compactor bag can cause cuts and lacerations on the hands of people who take the compacted trash bundles to outside garbage cans.

Other trash compactors can handle only certain types of glass, and may not be safe to use with all thicknesses or types of glass materials. Check with your trash compactor’s manufacturer to learn more about the approved trash processed of your particular appliance.

Never throw the following items in your trash compactor if you want to avoid trash-compactor-related leaks, jammed motors, fires, and other hazards:

  • Oils and grease
  • Wood products or wooden materials
  • Aerosol or pressurized cans
  • Toxic chemicals
  • Harsh cleaning agents
  • Batteries
  • Electronic items
  • Tapes or CDs

Never throw burning items into the trash compactor. Ensure that any recently lit candles, cigarette butts, incense sticks, and other burnable items are completely extinguished and cool to the touch before throwing them into the trash compactor bin.

Unplug Your Trash Compactor for Cleaning

When your trash compactor develops a foul odor, bacteria have latched on to food scraps inside the appliance. Food scraps and debris inside the trash compactor can clog up safety latches, jam bin slides, and grow all sorts of nasty microorganisms, too. Schedule routine cleaning of your trash compactor before the appliance smells to cut down on future odors.

Always unplug your trash compactor before cleaning the interior of the appliance. Wear strong, puncture-resistant gloves to avoid being stabbed by jagged pieces of trash.

Follow these steps to clean your trash compactor:

  • Remove the inner bag and bin.
  • Use a wet-dry vacuum to pull out loose debris from inside the compactor cabinet.
  • Use a wet sponge or cloth with warm, soapy water to scrub the inside and outside surfaces of the trash compactor.
  • Scrub the compactor bin, the ram (part that presses down trash), and other components of the appliance, being careful not to get any of the electrical components or controls wet.
  • Rinse soap off the inside and outside of the trash compactor with a damp cloth.
  • Apply antibacterial spray cleaner to the bin and the inside cabinet of the trash compactor.
  • Check any charcoal filters or other odor-control devices.
  • Let the inside of the compactor air-dry before replacing the bag and closing the unit.

Reduce odors and cleaning times by never throwing meat, poultry waste, onions, dirt, or pet waste into your trash compactor.

Schedule Maintenance for Safety Features and Glitches

Contact an appliance professional for routine maintenance on your trash compactor, and call the pros when your trash compactor stops working. Trash compactors have important safety features that should be inspected at least once a year to ensure the appliances are safe.

Contact a repair professional whenever your trash compactor has the following issues:

  • Won’t start with safety key
  • Drawer or door jams, sticks, or won’t close completely
  • Makes unusual noises
  • Does not flatten trash properly
  • Emits burning smell when operating

Stop using your trash compactor if you experience any of the above issues with your compactor. Call in the professionals to examine and repair your trash compactor before you use the appliance again.

If your household trash compactor in Central Ohio is giving you trouble, contact Capital City Appliance Service, Inc., right away to get to the bottom of the problem. We service and repair most brands of home trash compactors.

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