How to Clean a Garbage Disposal

If you’re wondering how to clean a garbage disposal, you’ve come to the right place. Garbage disposals see a lot of junk, from eggshells and rotten milk to coffee grinds and food scraps. So, it makes sense that you’d need to clean it out every once in a while.

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If you’re looking to secure a clean garbage disposal, we can show you how below.

Benefits of Cleaning a Garbage Disposal

There are a few benefits that come when you clean a smelly garbage disposal. For one, it helps get rid of that awful scent coming from your kitchen sink. Food residue and even pieces can get trapped in your disposal, which leads to rotting and horrible odors.

Learning how to clean a stinky garbage disposal can also save you from future plumbing bills. When you keep your disposal clean, you ensure that it continues to work properly. Letting it go too long can cause food and waste build-up, which might lead to a clog or further damage.

Best Way to Clean a Garbage Disposal

Sometimes the best way to clean a garbage disposal is by using some everyday household products. Gather the following ingredients and we’ll get started:

  • Baking Soda
  • Ice
  • Vinegar
  • Dish Detergent
  • Rock Salt
  • Toothbrush

Your first step should always be to unplug the garbage disposal. This step is probably the most important!

Once your power is disconnected, use a flashlight to check the drain. Dislodge any large pieces or objects that are caught using plyers or tongs.

Then, pour a full tray of ice cubes into the drain, along with a half-cup of rock salt. Plug the disposal back in, run the water, and turn the disposal on for about 30 seconds.

Turn the disposal off and unplug it again. Pour one cup of vinegar along with a half cup of baking soda into the drain and let it sit for about 15 minutes. This will kill bacteria in your drain.

After the 15 minutes are up, combine vinegar and baking soda until you’ve made a paste. Dip your toothbrush into the paste and scrub the outer rim and neck of the garbage disposal.

Finally, plug the disposal back in, plug the drain, and fill the sink about halfway with warm, soapy water using the dish detergent.

Unplug the drain, run the disposal, and let the water run down.

Best Product to Clean a Garbage Disposal

If you prefer to use a specific cleaner make for your smelly garbage disposal, we suggest trying Plink. This popular cleanser is easy to use and will deodorize, remove buildup, and unclog your disposal without using any toxic or harmful ingredients.

Why Reviewers Like It

Reviewers love Plink because not only is it super easy to use, but it smells great. There’s no mixing, scrubbing, or unplugging involved, and it leaves the disposal smelling fresh every time.

Price Range

You can purchase Plink in a 20-pack for just about $10. Or, you can opt for a larger pack for around $15.

What Can I put In the Garbage Disposal?

Remember that the food waste disposer is not a trash can.

Good Bad
Cold water (hot water can cause overheating) Grease, oil, or fat (meat fats and cheese)
Small bits of food (left overs on your plate) Stringy or starchy vegetables (celery, etc.)
Breads (use plenty of water to avoid turning to paste) Pasta or rice (expandable foods)
Cooked vegetables and meat (they are soft enough to grind up) Hard stuff (bones, pits, and seeds)
Egg sheels (not the carton they come in) Glass, plastic, metal, or paper
Ice cubes and/or rock salt (this will not sharpen the blades) Large amounts of anything

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