Garbage Disposal Cleaning Tips

41718590 - disposer food waste machine for your kitchen.

The garbage disposal is an amazing kitchen tool. It takes care of tons of food items and keeps you from having to keep scraps in the garbage, where they could smell up the house. Although garbage disposals are mainly self-cleaning, they should be given a bit of extra care a few times a year. Keep reading for some easy ways to keep your disposal in top shape and odor free!

If there is something large trapped in the disposal, start by disconnecting the power source from the disposal so you do not accidentally turn it on. Use tongs or pliers to reach in and remove something. NEVER put your hand near the blades, even when it is disconnected.

Start by flushing out the disposal. Put a stopper in the drain and fill the sink with very hot water and dish soap. Let the sink fill to several inches, and then remove the drain stopper and turn the disposal on. This is a more powerful flush than just running the faucet and it helps to clean out debris.

Next, use ice cubes and rock salt to remove tougher particles and stuck on debris. Dump about two cups of ice into the disposal, followed by a cup of salt. Turn on the disposal. This helps to sharpen the blades while cleaning it out at the same time.

You can also opt to use a toothbrush or a long, thin scrub brush and actually scrub the inside of the disposal. This is effective for cleaning out grease or slime that has built up. Again, be sure to disconnect the unit from the power source beforehand.

Finish up the process by deodorizing the unit. The easiest way to do this is with citrus peels or even the whole fruit. Oranges, lemons, and limes all make the drain smell super fresh and the rough peels help clean the disposal walls. Just put peels or the cut up fruit down it and run it through.

If the disposal has a really bad smell and needs a more intensive deodorizer, you can pour enough baking soda down it to fill the drain. Then pour half a cup of vinegar in and let the mixture sit for about an hour. Run water down the drain for a full minute and any odors should be neutralized. Note that this method should only be used when necessary, as over-using vinegar can wear away at some of the internal components of the unit.

Make sure to only put biodegradable things down the disposal, and never put things like glass or metal in it. It is suggested that you run water down the drain whenever running the disposal, and run it five seconds longer than you think you need to in order to really break everything down. As with other appliances, a little bit of maintenance time can help keep the garbage disposal working properly for years to come.

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