It can be tricky to identify how to clean a garbage disposal in the most effective manner. Many homeowners are tempted to scrub their disposers with the cleaning products they use for the rest of their kitchen. However, the chemicals can greatly damage disposals and their grinding components. To help you out, we have created a list with all the appropriate steps and items. Find out how to clean a garbage disposal the right way and follow our systematic guide.
How Do I Clean a Garbage Disposal?
Learning how to clean a garbage disposal properly isn’t as complicated as you may think. You’ll need just a few items that you most likely have in your home already:
- Ice cubes
- Baking soda
- Scrubbing tool (i.e. toothbrush)
All ready? Good. Now, sharpen your homeowner skills and discover how to clean a garbage disposal with the 7 steps below.
Step 1. Prepare Your Garbage Disposal
The golden rule of maintaining your unit – never clean or fix a food waste disposer while it’s connected to power. Even if your disposal is turned off from the wall switch, it’s always better to take extra safety precautions. The grinding components of a garbage disposer are extremely sharp, and you can only imagine what horrors could take place if you’re not careful. Either unplug your unit from its outlet or cut off its power source from your home’s electrical board.
Step 2. Throw in Ice
You may be surprised to find out that good ol’ ice is one of the best ingredients for maintaining a garbage disposal. It helps clean the components of any grimy build-up. Additionally, if your unit is designed with blades (instead of impellers), the ice will help keep them sharp. Throw around one tray of ice cubes (10-12) in your disposer.
Step 3. Add Salt
Immediately after dropping the ice cubes, add half a cup of salt. Although it’s generally recommended that you use rock salt, table salt will also work for the process. The salt and ice cube combination results in a natural abrasive substance that scrubs the inner grinding chamber.
Step 3. Run the Disposer
Plug your garbage disposal back in its outlet or restore its power source. Run a stream of cold water and flip it on from its wall switch. You’ll be hearing a lot of noise until the ice breaks down, so be a little patient until your disposer grinds everything. Let it work for a few more seconds after the noise stops before turning it off again and stopping its power source.
Step 4. Apply Baking Soda and Vinegar
Take one cup of vinegar and half a cup of baking soda and pour them into your disposer. The two elements combined will eliminate any bacteria inside your disposal naturally. Wait for around 10-15 minutes for the blend to clean your disposal.
Step 5. Create a Natural Paste and Start Scrubbing
While the solution works, prepare a cleaning paste in a bowl for the outer parts of your disposal. Use equal parts of baking soda and vinegar and thoroughly mix them until you get a dense paste. Take a scrubbing tool like a toothbrush and apply the paste to the bristles. Scrub the flaps of your unit’s splashguard and any other rubber components you can reach.
Step 6. Run the Disposer for the Last Time
Plug your unit back in and cover your disposal’s sink opening with a stopper. Run enough water to fill up the sink. Once your sink is full, remove the stopper and allow the water to rinse the inner components of your unit.
Step 7. Grind Some Citruses (Optional)
If you want to keep your disposal clean all the way, freshen it up with some citruses. Cut up a few wedges of lemon, orange or grapefruit and throw them down your disposal.
In summary, you now know how to clean a garbage disposal without causing damage to it. As long as you periodically follow the steps we described, we’re confident that you won’t have any unpleasant experiences. Nevertheless, we do recommend our guide for fixing garbage disposals problems if you encounter any common issues. Do you have any other cool tips and tricks regarding how to clean a garbage disposal? Let’s talk about them in the comments.