How to Clean Your Garbage Disposal

Many of us in Brevard are working from home right now, and that means using more of our at-home tools and resources than usual. One big impact is most likely that you’re eating at home more than usual as well, and that means that your garbage disposal is probably getting used, too. If you’re like many people working at home (or if it’s just been a while), it’s time to clean your garbage disposal. This will make sure that it runs better, lasts longer, and doesn’t smell. As a bonus, you’ll also keep your drains clearer and prevent clogs. All in all, there are only benefits to taking some time to clean your garbage disposal and sink! So let’s take a look at the safest, easiest way to get it done.

washing hands in sink

What You’ll Need

You should be cleaning your garbage disposal every month. This can also be more frequent if you eat at home a lot or have a big family – meaning once a week! Luckily, the tools for cleansing the drain are simple, easy to use, and cheap. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A sponge
  • Dish soap
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Ice and a lemon (optional)

1. Turn Off the Disposal

Safety is crucial. You don’t want to have ANY chance of turning on the garbage disposal while you’re working near it with your hands. So, before you do anything else you should turn it off. This can mean just unplugging it, or turning it off at the breaker box.

2. Give It a Scrub

garbage disposal rubber guard for drain

Use the sponge and dish soap (and plenty of rinsing water) to clean the top of the drain, around the rubber guard, and directly underneath. There can be plenty of gunk and gross stuff stuck in this area, so rinse your sponge regularly with hot water. Once these areas are clean and your sponge doesn’t pick up any more mess, you’re done with this step. This should be done once a week to prevent build-up and an odor, even if you aren’t doing a full purge of the disposal.

3. Clean the Inside

Next, we go for the “deep clean” inside the drain. You’ll want a half a cup each of baking soda and vinegar (our old friends). Just like cleaning a regular drain, pour in the baking soda first. Then slowly add the vinegar to create the familiar bubbling effect inside the disposal. Use a cover on the drain to keep the mixture inside the disposal and working hard. Flush the drain with hot water after 4 or 5 minutes.

Optional: Use Ice and Lemon for Smells

lemon cut in half that you can use to clean the sink

If you want to really get into the garbage disposal and scrape out the last bits of garbage and debris, ice is going to be the best weapon. A cup or so of ice won’t damage your disposal and will scrape at the inside as it is ground up. To do this, fill the drain with ice cubes. Pour in a half cup of vinegar over the ice cubes and run the disposal for a few seconds (with water on). Flush the drain with water until it’s clear, running the disposal for a few more seconds if there is any ice left. To finish it off, “dispose of” half a fresh lemon to cover any residual odor and freshen up the drain.

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