How to Clean Garbage Disposal: 3 Steps You Should Know

How to Clean Garbage Disposal

When you look at it, garbage disposals are amazing things. These appliances have made our lives much easier, and much simpler. Now, no matter how easy they made our lives, garbage disposals have their issues. Namely, while most are self-cleaning, you still need to clean them a little bit from time to time. If you don’t, you will definitely regret it, and the smell will be unbearable. So, without further ado, read on to find out what the top way to clean garbage disposal is.

Now, there are a couple of ways you can do it, and all of them are great. It just depends on which one suits you best.

Salt and Ice

One of the easier home remedies you can try is getting ice and some salt. This is great if you have sludge or debris that is simply compacted and stuck. Home remedies can sometimes rival the cleaner disposal chemicals. Of course, this does depend on the type of dirt.  Now, here what you need.

  • Two cups of ice
  • Cup of rock salt

First, you pour the ice down the disposal, and then immediately pour the salt as well. Turn on the garbage disposal, run some cold water and let the ice be crushed by the disposal. No need to crush the ice itself. The ice will help the salt bind and tear away any stubborn dirt.

Now if this doesn’t work and the dirt is extra stubborn, you have a couple of other options as well. For example, you can freeze some vinegar. Then just pop the vinegar ice cubes into the disposal and do the same thing as above. A nice factor is that this ice and vinegar will actually remove some of the rust from your garbage disposal blades. Finally, just scrub and clean the whole thing with a toothbrush (or whatever else is at hand).

A little elbow grease solves everything

Yup, if you want to clean your garbage disposal, you need to work at it. So, if something rather large has been lodged into your garbage disposal, you should first try to get it out manually. But, before you begin, you need to turn off the fuse that connects to your disposal. You can do this either by actually removing the fuse in your home or by switching and disconnecting the unit. However, for the latter to work, you need to actually be physically capable of doing this – some units don’t let you have this option.

Next, get some plier or tongs. We recommend you get a flashlight and shine down the drain. Try not to damage and blunt the grinder. Also, don’t use your hands unless you want to keep them. These things are sharp and have a lot of bacteria. You may end up with a nasty infection.

You can also get a tough (somewhat) abrasive sponge. It can do wonders and help you clean the whole thing up in a jiffy. However, it’s probably the most labor-intensive. But, it may be necessary if you have some really stubborn residue or dirt. Also, remember that you should be really careful with the blades of the thing.

Also, remember to wear gloves if you’re using some strong chemicals. Maybe even a face mask can be useful.

Really bad smell?

What to do if your garbage disposal is smelly, not just dirty? Well, in this section we will cover the good way to clean smelly garbage disposal. There are a couple of ways.

For example, good old baking soda and vinegar. Get some baking soda, like half a cup. Then, get a cup of vinegar. Pour and sprinkle the baking soda into the drain. Then slowly and easily pour the vinegar in, too. You will notice that his mixture has started to fizzle and to bubble up. Let this sit for like 5 to 10 minutes. In the meantime, we suggest you prepare some boiling water. This will remove any excess baking soda and will kill any bacteria and bad odors that may have remained.

Another good idea, which is also one of the best cleaner disposal units, is bleach. Now, don’t use it too much, since it can harden and ruin your unit. No, the finest way to clean disposal with bleach is to just get a tablespoon of bleach. Then mix it with a gallon of water. Let that sit and dilute. Then, after five minutes have passed, pour it down the drain. Then let another 5 minutes pass, and run some hot water.


Well, there you have it, folks. This should be everything you need to know about cleaning your garbage disposal. Just be careful, and try not to lose any fingers along the way.

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