Home Improvement / Kitchen / Lifestyle

The Best Way to Clean Your Garbage Disposal


The garbage disposal is one of the handiest appliances in your kitchen. Handling scraps from food preparation and leftovers in the fridge, the disposal makes daily garbage duty quicker, easier and less smelly. As with any kitchen appliance, routine cleaning is essential to keep the garbage disposal odor and bacteria-free and working efficiently. Here are some basics on How to Clean Your Garbage Disposal:

How to Safely Clean Your Garbage Disposal

First, for safety’s sake, unplug the disposal or turn off the appropriate breaker. Next, assemble a few simple, and eco- friendly supplies:

  • Vinegarflash light and needle nose pliers
  • a tray of ice cubes
  • salt (either table or rock salt)
  • vinegar (the cheapest kind on hand)
  • baking soda
  • small scrub brush
  • dish detergent
  • one lemon or orange

Next, shine the light down the disposal to look for pennies, can pull tabs, twist ties, celery fibers and anything else on the disposal blades. Remove the objects with the pliers. Then, dump the tray of ice and half a cup of salt into the disposal, put the electricity back on, and run the appliance along with plenty of water. This works great to remove sticky debris from the mechanism.

Then, turn the electricity off again and put a half cup of baking soda and some vinegar down the disposal. This acid/base combination will foam away any remaining debris and help to disinfect the unit. E-coli and salmonella are big kitchen germs, and disposals, cutting boards and dishwashers can harbor this microscopic enemies. In addition, use baking soda and water or vinegar to scrub the rubber flaps on the disposal and any drain screen or plug.


Lastly, put the power on again, and run the garbage disposal while rinsing with running water, or you can fill the sink with soapy water and allow it to just drain out. As for the lemon or orange on your supply list, cut it into a few pieces, run the water and put the fruit down the drain with the disposal on. This will lend a final scrub and deodorizing step to your job.

Clean Your Sink and Garbage Disposal Often

This thorough cleaning should be repeated every few months or so. In between, flush again with the baking soda/vinegar fizz or the ice and salt combination. Your disposal will work well, last longer, have fewer germs and be odor-free.

For more useful and creative ways to care for and dress-up hearth and home, follow Direct Interiors.


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