This is going to be gross, but I think it’s something that a lot of new homeowners in fixer-uppers face. So I’m going to proceed, but consider yourself warned.
The double sink in my kitchen couldn’t have been that old; it was equipped with a disposal that I believe to be the original that they installed when they overhauled the kitchen, so it might be 7-8-10 years old, but no older than that. It was fit with the expected rubber guard to keep spoons and fingers from falling into the blades (and prevent disposal regurgitation).
Sorry, I just used the word regurgitation. I told you this was going to be gross. You see, my disposal’s rubber guard was disintegrating. That’s all it was; it wasn’t moldy, it wasn’t covered in food like this photo makes it look, it wasn’t unsanitary so to speak… it was just run down. And the flashlight used for the sake of taking a picture appears to have maddened it.
I Lysol’ed and bleach-sprayed it every time I cleaned up the kitchen, so I was never overly grossed out, although now thinking about it I’m vomiting in my mouth a little bit.
Sorry, really gross. But it gets better and IS SO EASY. Believe me.
That disposal seal was attached to the whole disposal unit, and despite trying to remove it from above, I wasn’t able to pry it out. What did work was removing the disposal itself (with the power turned off, if that’s something I need to remind you of), taking the disinigrating rubber seal out, and reattaching the unit beneath the sink.
The new guard? A $3 universal replacement you can find at any home improvement store. Fully (new) rubber, it stays put both when you’re pushing food through it, or grinding food beneath it, but can be extracted, cleaned, and replaced as easy as can be.
It’s actually an easier solution than having a built-in disposal guard, I’ve decided; I can totally remove it from the drain when I’m playing eggshell basketball or dumping leftovers that I’ve accidentally let spoil down the shoot without having to touch it with my own hands. Between the removable guard and the hand sprayer, I’m set.
For the win. Easy peasy. 10 minutes and $3. Enjoy. And you’re welcome.