Having a garbage disposal is very convenient in the kitchen, that is until there’s a problem with it. Just like other appliances in your home, it does require a little attention now and then. It is important to clean the garbage disposal in your kitchen regularly to keep it odor free and working properly. Even with water running through your disposal whenever you use your sink, it is not enough to wash away the residue that might be left from your kitchen waste. This residue can build up and breed mold and bacteria. It can also clog up your drain.
It isn’t difficult to clean your garbage disposal once you know what to do. And it also doesn’t require any special or expensive cleaners. Simply use items you probably already have in your kitchen or pantry. The most difficult part… remembering to do it on a regular basis before odors or other problems start. Here are some easy ways to clean the garbage disposal in your home.
Remember Safety First!
When you’re ready to clean the garbage disposal, you must turn off its power to prevent it from starting up unexpectedly while you are working on it. Most disposals plug into an electrical outlet under the sink. Once you have located the plug, unplug it. If you cannot find a plug, simply cut the power off from your home’s electrical panel. Turn on the garbage disposal to confirm that the power is off.
Never stick your hand down into the garbage disposal chamber. Shine a flashlight down your drain to check for any items that might be lodged in crevices around the disposal’s impellers or wrapped around them. Remove any debris with a pair of needle-nose pliers.
Cleaning the Blades
Next, you will want to clean the garbage disposal’s blades. Place two cups of ice in your drain, sprinkle a cup of rock salt or coarse sea salt over the ice and turn on your cold water. Restore power to your garbage disposal and turn it on and allow it to run until the sound of it grinding ice stops. This mixture of ice and salt provides just enough abrasiveness to remove debris from the disposal’s blades.
Deodorizing and Cleaning the Disposal Chamber
Pour half a cup of baking soda down your garbage disposal. Slowly pour half a cup of vinegar into the drain. Place your sink’s stopper in the drain to prevent the fizzing baking soda from coming up into your sink. When the fizzing stops, remove the stopper, run the hot water and turn the disposal on. If you have a double sink, perform these cleaning steps on both sides at the same time for the best results.
Grinding lemon, lime, or orange peels with a few ice cubes in your disposal is an easy way to quickly freshen it up. The oil from the peels as they grind makes a pleasant smell in your kitchen and acts as a natural cleaner. A good habit to start is to always dispose of your citrus peels this way to keep your drain fresh in-between cleanings.
If you’ve tried everything and just can’t get rid of an odor or your garbage disposal has seen better days, it’s time to contact Forrest Anderson Plumbing & Air Conditioning for service or to replace your garbage disposal.