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How to Clean Your Garbage Disposal in 8 Natural Ways

Did you know that your home’s garbage disposal needs to be cleaned regularly? During use, food particles and residue can be left behind and cause the unit to have an unpleasant odor.
Food going into a garbage disposal

Image Source: Food Hacks

 

The good news is that you don’t have to buy special, expensive products to do the job. Your disposal can be effectively cleaned with common items that you probably already have in your kitchen.

1. Ice cubes 

One of the best ways to clean the disposal is with ice cubes from your freezer. Simply put a few handfuls of ice into the unit, then turn it on and run some cold water while the cubes grind. You’ll definitely hear the cubes working!

2. Ice and rock salt

You can also add a cup or so of rock salt to the ice cubes for some extra scrubbing power. Remember to run cold water when you turn the disposal on.

3. Baking soda and vinegar

A simple mixture of baking soda and vinegar is also a good cleaning method. Sprinkle about a half-cup of baking soda into the disposal, followed by a cup of white or apple cider vinegar. Let the mixture bubble up and sit for five to ten minutes, then turn on the disposal and run water to distribute the mixture throughout the unit.

4. Citrus

Any type of citrus peel is a good disposal deodorizer. Lime, lemon, orange, tangerine, and grapefruit peels will all help refresh your sink and system. Be sure to cut the peels into small enough pieces for the unit to handle, then turn on the unit and run water while the peels grind.

5. Borax

You can also sprinkle a few tablespoons of borax into the disposal, followed by running water.

6. Hot water and dish soap

Another method of disposal cleaning requires only hot water and dish soap. This method can be particularly helpful if you have noticed an unpleasant odor coming from your unit. Using the sink stopper, plug the disposal drain and add a generous squirt of dish detergent to the sink. Run hot water into the sink until it is at least halfway full. As you release the sink stopper, turn on the disposal and let the entire sink contents drain into the unit while it runs. This method helps fill the disposal with soapy water to reach the upper portions of the unit, which often don’t get cleaned by other methods. It also helps clean the disposal drain line, which can harbor food residue and odors.

7. Boiling water

Pouring boiling water into the disposal, by itself or following some of these other methods, can help loosen stubborn food particles.

8. Dish soap and baking soda

It’s also important to clean the drain crevices around the disposal as well as the rubber splashguard around the drain. You can use dish soap or baking soda to do this. Use a dish brush or toothbrush to scrub underneath the splashguard flaps.

Taking the time to clean your disposal will help keep your sink and kitchen smelling fresh and inviting for your family and guests. Remember to use caution when operating your disposal and when cleaning it with any of these methods. Never put your hand into the unit for any reason, even if the unit is off.

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