Cleaning your garbage disposal is a small task that makes a huge difference. One of the most effective ways it can make a difference is by getting rid of any lingering odors that might be wafting through your home. When your sink starts to have some stink lines coming from it, that’s a sure sign you need to clean your garbage disposal.
One of the great things about garbage disposals is that they can usually clean themselves. The only time you need to worry about cleaning it is when some smells start to linger. However, when it’s that time, you’re going to need a few tools. They are:
- Rubber Gloves
- Sink Stopper
- Abrasive Sided Kitchen Sponge
- Dish Soap
- Rock Salt
- Citrus Peels
How to Clean a Garbage Disposal, Part 1: Scrubbing Instructions
It’s fairly easy to clean your garbage disposal, despite this, there are a few important steps to take.
Step One: Turn off the Power
This is arguably the most important step when it’s time to clean a garbage disposal. Forgetting this step could lead to a hospital visit instead of a clean sink.
Some garbage disposals can be turned off by unplugging a power switch. For others, you may need to locate the breaker box and disconnect the power there.
Finally, give the on/off switch a little flip to make sure the power is truly off.
Step Two: Clean the Sink Baffle
Don’t be baffled by the baffle. It’s the technical name for the rubber splash guard that sits in the mouth of your garbage disposal.
Run your sponge under some water to get it nice and wet. Now, soap up the abrasive side of the sponge and get to scrubbing.
Make sure to scrub between all the folds and creases as well as the underside. A lot of nasty buildup can hide there.
Don’t forget to routinely rinse the sponge.
Step Three: Scrub the Grinding Chamber
You’re not going to scrub the blades themselves; this is what the ice and salt are for. Instead, you’ll be scrubbing the walls of the grinding chamber.
Use the sponge and just start scrubbing from the top. Frequently rinse the sponge and scrub the walls until the sponge isn’t pulling up any disposal sediment.
Step Four: Add the Ice
For this step, simply fill the disposal with ice cubes.
You don’t need to fill it all the way to the top, but it never hurts to put in too much ice.
Step Five: Add the Salt and Run the Disposal
For this step, measure out a cup of salt. We recommend rock salt instead of traditional table salt.
After you add the salt, run some water. We recommend cold water. When water is too hot it can break up any oils and fats which could lead to a nasty backup.
Cold water is preferred because it keeps any fats and oils clumped together. This lets them travel through your plumbing system without adding to any backups.
How to Clean a Garbage Disposal, Part 2: Deodorizing
Now that you have a nice, clean garbage disposal, the last thing you need to do is deodorize it.
Our favorite way to naturally deodorize a garbage disposal is with citrus peels. Whether it’s orange, lemon, or lime, it doesn’t matter. Just choose the scent you like the most.
Keep in mind, these peels are not to clean your disposal, they just give a nice scent.
Simply grind some of the peels in your now clean disposal. This will eliminate any lingering scents and leave your sink smelling nice and fresh.