How to Clean Your Gross, Grimy Garbage Disposal

The garbage disposal is the unsung hero of kitchen appliances. Sure, you could live without one, but why would you want to? This handy food-pulverizer is more than convenient; it makes your home more sanitary by safely putting scraps down your drain that would otherwise fester in the garbage, attracting flies.

Because it has the dirtiest job in the kitchen, it needs to be cleaned periodically.

Cleaning Your Garbage Disposal: Step By Step

Step 1: Unplug it

If you’ve seen what this appliance can do to a, say, a rind of melon, you don’t need us to tell you that it’s dangerous. That’s why you need to cut the power to the unit. It’s likely plugged into an outlet under your sink. However, if it’s hardwired, you’ll need to turn off the electricity at the breaker box.

Step 2: Clean the Splash Guard

The rubber flappy thing in your garbage disposal throat is the splash guard. As the name suggests, it prevents water and bits of food from flying out of the unit. Naturally, it gets filthy. Not all splash guards are easily removable, requiring you to detach and disassemble the appliance. If that’s your garbage disposal, you’ll need to lift up each section to scrub the underside with hot water, vinegar, and a toothbrush.

Step 3: Remove Food Debris

If you can remove the splash guard, use this opportunity to inspect the unit for food remnants. Shine a flashlight down the chamber and look for any bits that somehow steered clear of the grinder. Use or tongs or pliers to pull the muck out.

Related: How to Maintain Drains and Plumbing Fixtures

Step 4: Purge Gunk

Baking soda and vinegar make a potent combination for ridding your disposal of gunky build-up and eliminating odors.

  • Pour half a cup of baking soda into the disposal and let sit for 30 minutes to deodorize.
  • Follow with one cup of vinegar. This will create a foamy reaction. Let it work its magic for about three minutes.
  • Rinse with a bot of boiling water.

Step 5: Freshen it Up

For this next step, you’ll want ice, salt, and lemon peels.

  • Reconnect the power
  • Pour in two cups of ice topped with one cup of salt
  • Run cold water
  • Turn on the disposal and let it run until all the ice is ground up
  • Insert the peel of one citrus fruit into the chamber and run the disposal to give it that lemony fresh scent

Turn to the Kennesaw Area Plumbers for Expert Services

As convenient as the garbage disposal is, this appliance can cause the wrong things to go down your drain. Potato peels and pasta can form a goopy mess, leading to severe clogs. If you’re dealing with a clog that a plunger can’t bust, turn to the drain cleaning experts at Plumb Doctor. Call (770) 293-7080 to schedule your appointment.