A garbage disposal is an extremely convenient appliance to have in your kitchen. But if your disposal gets dirty, it can begin to jam and will give off some nasty odors. Because your disposal is connected to your pipes and hidden away under your sink, you might not know the best ways to keep it clean. So today we’re going to provide you with tips on how to clean a garbage disposal so that your unit continues to run efficiently and smell great!

How to clean a garbage disposal

There are many different ways that you can clean your garbage disposal. You might find that some work better than others, or that a combination of a few of the techniques listed below works best. Feel free to give all of these tips a shot and see which ones are the most effective in your home!

  • Add some dish soap after every use. Every time you are finished using your garbage disposal, pour some dish soap directly down the drain and let your disposal run for an extra minute or so. This is a good way to prevent bad odors from building up.
  • Grind a lemon or orange. Cut up a citrusy fruit like a lemon or an orange into small pieces and feed them to your disposal. Grinding the tough peels will help remove grime from your disposal’s blades and walls, and the natural aromas from the fruit will make your disposal smell great.
  • Grind a tray of ice cubes. Every week or two, feed a tray of ice cubes to your disposal and grind them up. This helps keep your blades sharp, and will also push off any food particles that are stuck to the insides of your unit.
  • Grind a tray of vinegar ice cubes. In addition to regular ice cubes, you can freeze a tray of vinegar ice cubes and grind them up. This is another way to get rid of odors from your disposal, and will also help sharpen the blades at the same time.
  • Fill the sink with water and drain it. If you suspect that things are starting to build up inside of your disposal, one way to flush your unit clean is to plug up your drain and fill up your sink with water and dish soap. After filling up your sink, remove the plug and let the water drain down into your disposal while keeping the unit running.
  • Try baking soda and vinegar. As we mentioned in our blog last week, baking soda and vinegar is an effective mixture for cleaning drains, and it can be used to clean you garbage disposal as well.
  • Use a safe store-bought cleaner. If you must resort to a store-bought cleaner, make sure that you do not use a chemical-based product that will corrode your disposal, its blades and your drains. Try using a safe cleaner like Borax instead.

If you have any questions about how to clean a garbage disposal, or if you’d like a plumbing system serviced or installed in your home, contact Cabrillo, your Bay Area plumbing, heating and air conditioning contractor.