There are several very easy methods for cleaning a garbage disposal that take only a few minutes and use typical household items.
Baking Soda and Vinegar
A homemade drain cleaner consisting of a solution of baking soda and vinegar can also be used to clean the garbage disposal. Pour 1/2 cup of baking soda into the garbage disposal. Then slowly and carefully pour 1/2 cup of vinegar into the disposal. Use the stopper to keep the fizzing baking soda inside the disposal. After a few minutes, when the fizzing has stopped, remove the stopper and flush with hot water while running the garbage disposal. If the sink has two basins the cleaner will work best when both sides are cleaned at the same time. Use the same amounts of baking soda and vinegar in the other sink drain.
Ice and Vinegar or Rock Salt
Ice and either rock salt or vinegar are also great for cleaning a garbage disposal. Fill the disposal with ice cubes then pour a cup of salt or vinegar into the disposal and run it for a few seconds with the water turned on. The ice helps to scrape the inside of the disposal dislodging any buildup.
Using citrus peels is a popular way to block the bad odors that can come from a garbage disposal. Grind a small handful of citrus peels (cut into small pieces) in the disposal with cool water. This can be done with or without a few ice cubes. The citrus oil can give the disposal and the sink drains a pleasant smell that lasts a good while. Keep in mind that this freshening method works best on a relatively clean disposal.
- Before trying any of the cleaning methods run the garbage disposal for several minutes using plenty of water to clear out food waste that may be lingering.
- Clean the garbage disposal splash guard regularly since the various folds can quickly accumulate buildup.
- Use the garbage disposal regularly to keep it clean and in good working order. Disuse isn’t good for any plumbing fixtures.
- Fix a jammed or clogged garbage disposal right away. Leaving any food waste in the disposal can quickly allow bacteria to grow.