How to Clean the Garbage Disposal

In millennial households, garbage disposals are indispensable. The normal grinding action of the disposal is not always successful in effectively breaking down every other object and food thrown into the disposal.

Over time, a stinky slime might develop on the undersides of the rubber around the drain opening, thus clogging the water, and creating a foul smell, and that becomes rather inconvenient.

How Often Should the Garbage Disposal be Cleaned?

Garbage disposals are used every day, multiple times, in every household. Keeping this clean is a primary activity that should be included in household chores.

The garbage disposals should be cleaned every week to avoid water clogging and stinky, rancid smell.

What are the Ingredients Needed?

The various ingredients needed to clean and maintain the garbage disposals are dish soap, baking soda, white vinegar, rock salt, ice, bleach solution, kitchen sponge, and citrus peels.

All of these can be used in different circumstances and with different combinations in order to break the blockage, remove odor, or maybe simply clean the disposal.

Garbage Disposal

What are the Various Methods Useful for Garbage Disposal Cleaning?

There are various methods for cleaning and removing odor from garbage disposal.

These depend on the kind of problem, blockage, or availability of materials.

Soapy Kitchen Sponge: It is wise to unplug the disposal from the sink’s outlet or at least turn off the disposal’s breaker in the panel, although this method does not need your hand to come into direct contact with the grinding teeth.

Dish soap needs to be applied to a sponge or a scrub and just be swiped around repeatedly on top of the grinding chamber in order to remove oil, grease, dirt, or any kind of sediment.

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This method will take care of your grinding tool of the garbage disposal if done frequently.

In case you want to take a step forward and clean the drainage pipe, there are various methods to do that.

Flushing: Flushing is the basic and the most common way of cleaning garbage disposals.

When segments and dirt accumulate in the drainage pipes, it is recommended that you use hot water to flush away everything, in place of cold water.

It is generally recommended that you add a few drops of liquid soap in at least 4 inches of hot water and pull out the plug to let it all sink in, literally.

Hot water liquifies and removes all kinds of grease, oil, or even debris if they build up.

Ice, Vinegar, and Rock Salt: For this method, you need to switch on the garbage disposal and use its grinding technology.

Firstly, you have to switch on the garbage disposal and let some cold water run through.

Then you have to put ice cubes and salt and let that be crushed by the blades.

An alternative is also to freeze some white vinegar and use those ice cubes to be crushed in order to clean the pipe and the garbage disposal.

Ice cubes, the weather of water or vinegar, not only clean the garbage disposal and the pipe but also make sure the blades are sharpened, and any kind of foul odor is removed.

Baking Soda and Vinegar: For this task, about half a cup of baking soda and vinegar, each will be required.

Put the stopper over the drain opening to let the baking soda and vinegar mix and fizz, and trap the solution inside the disposal.

A waiting time of 5 to 10 minutes is suggested, after which the stopper needs to be removed, and the disposal has to be flashed abruptly with hot water to clean the garbage disposal.

In case you have two basins, this step needs to be done simultaneously in order to get the best cleaning for both the garbage disposals.

Pliers and Tongs: Large items that are sediments that can cause a clog and should be removed manually while keeping in mind safety precautions and careful action.

These include plastics, forks, spoons, etc. However, one should definitely avoid putting down hands inside the garbage disposal or the drainage pipe.

Pliers and tongs can also be used to remove trapped objects.

One should keep in mind to take care of and flashlight in order to not damage the mechanism or tool of the grinder.

Additional Steps for Removing Odor and Further Maintenance

Removing Odor or Deodorizing: More than often, the garbage disposals are not just clogged or blocked but also have a foul and unpleasant odor.

It also develops into a perfect environment for mold and bacteria to grow and make the kitchen unhealthy and dangerous.

To remove that and deodorize, various useful ingredients like lemon, vinegar, citrus peels, bleach, ice cubes, etc. can be used.

However, it should be kept in mind that cleaning the garbage disposal is required before deodorizing.

The rancid odor is generally pulverized by the disposal mechanism, but at times manual effort is required to keep your kitchen fresh and clean.

Regular Maintenance: Systematic and regular maintenance of the garbage disposal often eradicates the requirement of heavy cleaning or frequent servicing.

Before using the appliance, it is always recommended to turn on medium to strong cold-water flow and for at least 15 seconds after the food grinding stops.

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Some amount of ice cubes can regularly be put into the disposal in order to remove everyday substances.

It is recommended that you do not put a lot of grease, fat, and handfuls of vegetable peels all at once because these reportedly affect the drain line and result in clogging and odor.

Readily available disposal cleaners and de-greasers can be used occasionally to eliminate grease or oil, which causes a pungent smell in place of random harsh cleaning solutions.

Wrapping Up

It is important to remember to always switch off the garbage disposal before cleaning it because the sharp ends might cause significant injuries.

Taking the suggestions of a professional plumber in order to best maintain drains and garbage disposals is a good way of looking after the appliance.