How to Clean Garbage Disposal

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Garbage disposals do the dirty jobs in your kitchen. They help you get rid of excess food materials by breaking them into bits that can go down the drain. However, the fact that it does your dirty job and is normally self-cleaning doesn’t mean it doesn’t need a little bit of cleaning once in a while. You should clean your garbage disposal regularly to keep it good condition and prevent it from developing a bad odor. This piece covers the step by step process to effectively deodorize and how to clean garbage disposal.

Cleaning garbage disposal

Although garbage disposal has been designed to clean up itself, this isn’t a permanent solution.You might have to step in once in a while. This is particularly needed when a large object gets lodged in your garbage disposal. It could also simply be a sort of general maintenance practice to prevent bad smell from developing.

A build-up of smelly slime can occur in garbage disposal unit. Mostly affected are the areas that don’t get thoroughly scrubbed as the disposal grinds during normal cleaning. The areas more prone to this are the underside parts of the rubber baffle. This is located at the opening of the drain or the sloped area just on top of the grinder chamber. So how do you go about this? Here are few tips on how to clean garbage disposal.

Getting started 

For your safety, the very first thing you should do before you start is to turn the unit off. Doing this will ensure that it doesn’t accidentally turn on while you are trying to clean it. Of course this can be quite dangerous. Just to be sure, you can unplug completely from the power socket rather than just turn off the fuse.

Directly removed objects lodged in the unit.

Sometimes large objects or food materials get lodged in the machine. In this case, getting it out directly might be necessary. You can make use of a tong or pliers to pull the stuck object out. You should try as much as possible not to stick your hands into the machine unless when absolutely required. If this is the case you should check again to ensure that the machine is indeed turned off.

Also Read: Kitchen Soap Dispenser Reviews

A simple flush 

Sometimes a simple flush is all you need to clean up your garbage disposal unit. It will get rid of loose dirt in the machine. To do this effectively, you shouldn’t just run the tap into the unit. Instead, stopper the drain first then add some dish-washing soap. Then run water into the unit for some minutes. Pull out the plug after this and turn on your garbage disposal. Hot water is more effective for doing this than cold water since hot water will help to get rid of oil or grease in the unit.

Scrub with a sponge or brush 

Another way to clean your garbage disposal is to scrub it using a soapy sponge or brush. To do this you can make use of a sponge with an abrasive side, an old toothbrush. There are also brushes made specifically for garbage disposal. Ensure that your scrub all the way in. Try to reach the area under the baffle and the top of the unit’s grinding chamber.

Use Ice cubes

Grinding cubes of ice inside your garbage disposal not only helps to remove debris and sludge. It can also help to sharpen the blades as well. You can also add a cup of rock salt along with the ice cubes you are pouring into the unit. Alternatively, instead of using frozen water you can freeze up vinegar instead. This not only cleans up your unit but also deodorizes it as well.

How to get rid of bad odor in your garbage disposal

How to get rid of bad odor

Rinsing with bleach: Bleach isn’t really good for your sink. It can harden up grease and oils. However, a little quantity of bleach (about a teaspoon in one gallon of water) can help clean up your garbage disposal. It will also kill off germs and help give your garbage disposal a fresh smell. Once poured in, let the solution sit in for about two minutes before rinsing it off with hot water.

DIY deodorants for your garbage disposal

Rather than use caustic bleach in your sink, you can make equally effective home-made cleaning and deodorizing agents. Examples of these includes:

Use a mixture of vinegar and baking soda. A mixture of baking soda and vinegar works as an effective cleaning agent. It is also effective for getting rid of bad odor as well. You need a cup of vinegar and 1/2 a cup of baking soda for this. First, pour the baking soda into the drain followed by white vinegar. Allow the mixture to sit in and fizzle for 5 -10 minutes. You can cover the drain with a stopper to keep the mixture in the sink. Turn on the garbage disposal unit and rinse off after a while with hot water.

Use Citrus Peels

Another well-known way of restoring your garbage disposal and give it a fresh smell is using citrus peels. All you need for this is a handful of citrus peels. Cut them into small bits and pour them in the garbage disposal along with cold water or even ice.

However, bear in mind that while citrus peel is only effective for getting rid of bad odor. it is not a cleaning agent. Thus you should only use this method in combination with any of the cleaning methods described earlier.


While sufficient knowledge on how to clean garbage disposal s recommended, it is also very important that you keep your garbage disposal unit in good working condition. To do this you should avoid practices that can cause damage. This includes never putting non-biodegradable materials in your garbage disposal. You should also keep greasy food or chunks of food that are too large-sized away among other precautions.

1 thought on “How to Clean Garbage Disposal”

  1. Hi

    Such an awesome article about garbage disposal cleaning . Thanks for your helpful article and sharing. I’ll stay tuned for the next from you.


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