How to Clean Your Garbage Disposal

Опубликовал Admin
25-09-2016, 01:15
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Kitchen garbage disposals are wondrous appliances, helping to clean away unwanted food scraps in a jiffy. Even though they are normally self-cleaning, garbage disposals need a little love and attention from time to time. This keeps them in tip-top condition and prevents odors from forming. This article will provide you with easy step-by-step instructions on how to safely clean your garbage disposal and effectively eliminate odors, while also providing some useful info on garbage disposal maintenance.

Cleaning Your Garbage Disposal

  1. Physically remove lodged objects. If a large object has become lodged in your garbage disposal, you will need to remove it before proceeding with the cleaning process. First, it is important that you turn off the fuse that supplies power to the disposal unit. This is to ensure that it does not turn on during cleaning.
    • Use a pliers or tongs to remove the trapped object (you may need to shine a flash light down to see) , being careful to avoid damaging the grinder.
    • Avoid putting your hands down the garbage disposal if at all possible. If you do need to use your hands though, make sure to double check that the grinder won't turn on first.
  2. Flush with water. Simply flushing out the garbage disposal with water will help to remove any loose dirt or grime. Stopper the garbage disposal, add a squirt of dish soap and run the hot water until there is 2 to 4 inches (5.1 to 10.2 cm) sitting in the sink. Pull out the plug and turn on the garbage disposal, allowing the water to flush through.
    • Make sure to use hot water rather than cold, as the hot water will liquefy any oil or grease in the drain, allowing to to be flushed away.
    • Flushing your drain using this method is much more effective than simply running the tap, as it allows the entire garbage disposal to be rinsed out and purged of any built-up debris.
  3. Use ice cubes and salt. Grinding ice cubes and salt in your garbage disposal is a great way to remove tougher sludge and debris that has attached itself to the grinding elements. Pour two cups of ice into your garbage disposal, followed by one cup of rock salt.
    • Turn on the garbage disposal, run some cold water, and allow the ice and salt to be crushed by the blades.
    • An alternative to the ice and rock salt combination is to make freeze some white vinegar into ice cubes and crush these in the garbage disposal instead.
    • In addition to cleaning the garbage disposal, grinding ice will sharpen the blades and remove any unwanted odors.
  4. Scrub with an old toothbrush or scrub brush. It is also possible to manually clean the inside of your garbage disposal using an old toothbrush or even a scrub brush designed for garbage disposals. If possible, remove the screen from the top of the drain first, this will make it both easier to see and easier to clean.

Eliminating Odors

  1. Use citrus fruit peels. A great natural way to freshen up your garbage disposal and leave your kitchen smelling great is to grind up a handful of citrus peels. Any citrus fruit will do -- orange, lemon, grapefruit, lime. The citric acid in the peels will clean the blades and eliminate odors.
  2. Use baking soda and vinegar. Baking soda and vinegar make a great odor-busting combo. Sprinkle half a cup of baking soda into the drain, then gently pour a cup of white vinegar on top. The mixture will fizzle and bubble. Let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes, then rinse it down with very hot or boiling water, with the garbage disposal running.
  3. Rinse with a little bleach. Bleach is very effective at killing germs and will quickly freshen up your drain., however you don't want to use too much of it as it can also harden any grease in your disposal unit, making it difficult to remove.
    • Dilute a tablespoon of liquid chlorine bleach in a gallon of water and slowly pour it into your garbage disposal.
    • Allow the bleach to sit there for a minute or two, then turn on the hot water tap and leave it running for several minutes to flush away the bleach.
  4. Use Borax. Borax is a safe and natural cleaning product which will effectively clean the garbage disposal and minimize odors. Simply put 3 or 4 tablespoon of Borax into the garbage disposal and allow to sit for about an hour. Then flush away with very hot or boiling water.

Maintaining Your Garbage Disposal

  1. Only put biodegradable food items in your garbage disposal. The number one rule when it comes to garbage disposals is to avoid putting anything down there which is not biodegradable. The garbage disposal is not a trash can, and using to get rid of unsuitable items is a recipe for disaster. You can minimize damage and cut down on cleaning time by only using the garbage disposal for biodegradable food items. Things you should avoid putting down there include:
    • Fibrous materials such as onion skins, corn husks, artichokes and celery stalks. These can get tangled in the motor.
    • Starchy materials like potato peels. The starch may form a thick paste, causing the blades of the garbage disposal to stick.
    • Expandable food such as rice or pasta. These may expand from the water and clog the drains. Coffee grinds can also clog the drains.
    • You can however grind up items such as egg shells, small fish or chicken bones, and small fruit pits, as these will actually help in cleaning the garbage disposal.
  2. Run your garbage disposal for longer each time you use it. A mistake many people make is turning off their garbage disposal as soon as the grinding noises stop. It is better to leave the garbage disposal on (with the water running) for several seconds after the grinding noises subside, as there may still be small particles in the disposal unit which have not yet been cleared away.
  3. Avoid getting grease in your drain. It is not a good idea to pour any kind of oil, grease or fat into your garbage disposal. The grease can accumulate in the disposal unit, slowing down the motor and causing the drain to clog. Try to wipe off as much grease as possible from pans and roasting tins using paper towel, before rinsing.
  4. Cut large food items into smaller pieces. You can prevent large pieces of food from becoming stuck in your garbage disposal by cutting them into smaller pieces first. This is true for pieces of fruit and veg, or anything else you think your garbage disposal might have a hard time processing.


  • If your disposal has trouble grinding up the hard rind of lemon or lime, add a few ice cubes.
  • When cleaning your garbage disposal, turn on hot water and put some vegetable oil or any kind of oil down the disposal. Then keep the hot water running for about ten seconds after you've poured about 1/4 cup of oil down. After that you can pour some bleach down the drain, then keep running the water for about another two minutes.


  • Be absolutely certain that you have turned off the fuse which supplies power to the garbage disposal before putting your hands anywhere near it. There are very sharp blades down there and if it accidentally turns on when you are trying to clean it out, you could sustain a serious injury.
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