How To Clean A Garbage Disposal

Your garbage disposal is like the toilet of your kitchen. It is the one fixture that takes more abuse than any other fixture in the kitchen and it can develop some odors rather quickly. The disposal begins to emit odors over time because sludge and grime will build-up on the internal parts along with tiny food bits that didn’t flush all the way out. It’s necessary to clean the disposal from time to time so these odors don’t get out of hand. Below we are going to teach you how to clean a garbage disposal properly.

What’s Needed?

  • Baking Soda
  • Vinegar
  • Rock Salt
  • Ice
  • Lemon/Orange peels
  • Old toothbrush

Methods To Clean A Garbage Disposal

To clean the blades, fill the disposal two-thirds of the way with ice cubes. Then pour about half a cup of rock salt on top of the ice in the disposal. Now start running the disposal while running the water half-open. The mixture should clean the blades. If the disposal is really dirty you might want to do it twice.

To clean the walls, turn off the disposal and the water. Add a half cup of baking soda into the disposal and then pour in one cup of vinegar. The mixture will cause a fizzy reaction inside of the disposal. Let it sit for at least 15 minutes. The reaction of the two products will kill any odor-causing bacteria and sanitize the inside of the disposal. After sitting, run water while running the disposal until the drain is clear of the mixture.

To clean the disposal opening, turn off the power to the disposal and unplug it. Usually the plug is located just below the kitchen sink. Mix some baking soda and vinegar into a paste and use the old toothbrush to scrub the opening parts of the disposal. Usually there is a rubber guard in the opening that gets coated with grime. Scrub everything really good. When done scrubbing, plug the disposal back in, fill up the sink with water and then release the water and run the disposal to suck it all down. Once the water is gone you can turn off the disposal.

For extra freshness, you can place small citrus peels into the disposal and run it to chop them up. The zest from the citrus peels will create a nice citrus aroma that provides a nice finishing touch. Then flush the disposal with water for 30 seconds.

How Often Should A Garbage Disposal Be Cleaned?

The answer to this question varies depending on many factors. One good rule of thumb is if you smell odors often then you probably aren’t cleaning it enough. Once every week or so is probably a good schedule to follow for most people though.

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