How to Clean Your Garbage Disposal: The 3 Best Ways


Garbage disposal is an excellent appliance that can help you keep your kitchen clean. Unfortunately, it needs to be maintained to stay functional. However, If you don’t use the right cleaning products or techniques, residue will build up and make your disposal work less effectively. This can start causing clogs and leaks, which may require a professional plumbing service like Pipe Pros Utah to fix your garbage disposal. Luckily, there are several easy ways to keep your garbage disposal clean without spending too much time or money. Read on to learn how to clean your garbage disposal.

Consider What Cleaning Product To Use.

Using the right cleaning products can not only help keep everything clean but can also help you avoid those unexpected garbage disposal repairs. Different cleaning products work better for different types of garbage disposals.

  • If you have a dishwasher/ dish detergent it is typically the best product to use to quickly clean your garbage disposal. You can put it in a cup with hot water and then pour it down the drain or add some directly to it.
  • Baking soda will work wonders if you have a garbage disposal with a drain plug. Fill up an empty glass with baking soda and cover it with water. Let it fizz for a while before pouring the mixture down the drain while running cold water on the other side of the sink. You can also put baking soda in a container and grind raw meat on top of it, which will help break up any grease that’s built up inside your pipes.
  • If you have older-model disposal without a drain plug, sodium bicarbonate will be your best option. Add two tablespoons of sodium bicarbonate around the opening of your dishwater and allow it to sit for 20 minutes before rinsing it away with warm water. Be sure not to rinse until after 20 minutes because sodium bicarbonate can react poorly if exposed to too much acid at once.

Step by Step Guide To Cleaning Your Garbage Disposal

Wipe your garbage disposal clean

The first step in cleaning your garbage disposal is to use a dry rag or paper towel. Wipe the blades, grates, and sides of the disposal with a rag or paper towel. This will get rid of any leftover food particles that are stuck on the surface. You can use whatever you have lying around your house – whether it’s a dish towel, paper towels, or even old clothes.

It’s one of the most straightforward steps, but it can be overlooked because it doesn’t produce instant results. However, if you consistently keep up with this technique, your disposal should stay squeaky clean for much longer than if you just used other methods without following up.

Clean with white vinegar

The second step is to clean your garbage disposal using white vinegar. Fill up the disposer with a mixture of one part vinegar to one part water. Run it for about five minutes. Then, flush the mixture down the drain with cold water. This will break down any food particles built up at your disposal. The acid from the vinegar will help dissolve leftover gunk, so no residue will be left behind.

Relief your disposal with ice cubes

When ice cubes are running through the disposal, it will help break up any pieces of food stuck in the blades. You can use a couple of cubes and then turn on the disposal. Once you hear a breaking sound, please turn it off and let the water drain from the sink for a little while. This will clean out any leftover food that was broken up.

If you use your disposal daily, it’s a good idea to follow these steps once a week to ensure no foul smell comes out of your kitchen sink.

Safety Measures When Cleaning A Garbage Disposal

Homeowners should avoid the use of commercial trash disposal cleaners. Many of them are ineffective in cleaning residue, and some contain corrosive compounds that might harm the metal components of the disposal. Similarly, never throw lye or chemical drain cleaners into trash disposal for the same reason as before.

In addition, while garbage disposals do not contain sharp blades (instead, they are powered by centrifugal force to spin food up against a fixed grind ring), manufacturers advise avoiding extending your hands into the disposal to clean it.

How To Prevent a Clogged Garbage Disposal

  • As a preventative measure to keep smells and muck at bay, always use the disposal with water. Most of the time, odors coming from the sink are caused by meals that have not entirely left the disposal or drain pipes. You won’t be able to see it, but you’ll probably be able to smell it.
  • Begin running cold water before you turn on your garbage disposal, and keep it running for approximately 7 seconds after the grinding has finished before turning the disposal off.
  • Garbage disposals are relatively low-maintenance devices that need appropriate use and periodic cleaning. When it comes to disposing of food, you may prolong the life of disposal beyond the eight- to ten-year average life expectancy by being selective about the items you put in the disposal.

When All Else Fails, Call a Professional

Whether your trash disposal shuts down on its own or creates an unsettling grinding noise, you may want to contact a plumber who provides skilled garbage disposal repair and installation. Repairing garbage disposals may be challenging and never a fun task to deal with on your own. If you’ve already tried to clean your garbage disposal but still having issues then it’s time to call in the professionals.