How to Deep Clean Your Garbage Disposal

September 15, 2019

For many of us, a kitchen garbage disposal is a convenient and fast way to get rid of food scraps that didn’t quite make it into the trash can. The more you use the disposal, however, the more likely it is that food bits will lodge themselves into the machinery and drain. This can cause a strong, unpleasant odor that you should address as soon as you notice it. While common, and generally not harmful, it’s unwise to let additional food particles build up in your sink and plumbing.

With this in mind, here’s a guide to garbage disposal deep cleaning:

  • Scrub down everything you can see: Using a sponge, dish wand or scrubbing cloth, use antibacterial dish soap and water to clean every visible part of the sink and drain you can see. Pay special attention to the rim around the drain, where food can get trapped, as well as the food trap if you have one. Do not reach into the drain or go near the garbage disposal blades.
  • Lemon and citrus peel: Lemons and other citrus fruits neutralize odors (and make your kitchen smell great). Drop a few peels into the garbage disposal while it’s running and enjoy the fresh new scent.
  • Soak your sink: You should already be running the water when you use the garbage disposal—it helps dislodge any food particles that would otherwise get stuck in the machinery. Sometimes soaking the disposal can help. Plug the drain and fill up your sink about halfway with hot water and some vinegar. Let it soak for 10 to 15 minutes, then start the disposal and unplug the drain. This can help remove any stuck, dried-on food bits. To prevent future incidents, regularly flush the disposal by running hot water and the disposal for a full minute about once per week.
  • Ice and salt: If you have wet, smelly residue in your garbage disposal, dump a cup of ice and a half cup of coarse kosher salt into the disposal, then turn it on. Salt is a natural abrasive cleaner that will help get rid of any sliminess.
  • Baking soda and vinegar: This is a last resort cleaner, since vinegar can destroy the rubber elements of your garbage disposal. Fill the disposal with a cup of baking soda (or however much it takes to top it off completely), then follow it up with a half cup of vinegar. Be aware that it will foam up rapidly. Let the mixture sit for an hour, then rinse down the drain with hot water while the disposal is running.

Garbage disposal deep cleaning

If your garbage disposal needs more TLC than you can provide on your own, call Rooter Express. We offer a complete array of plumbing services, including drain cleaning. Our family owned and operated business has been serving the area for over 20 years, offering affordable prices and superior service. We offer emergency and after-hours services so you never have to wait. Call us today to schedule your first appointment.

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