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How to Clean Your Garbage Disposal: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Clean Your Garbage Disposal

Having a clean and well-maintained garbage disposal is essential for keeping your kitchen clean and free from unpleasant odors. Regular cleaning of your garbage disposal not only helps eliminate foul smells but also prevents clogs and ensures the longevity of the appliance. In this blog, we will walk you through a step-by-step guide on how to clean your garbage disposal effectively.

How to Clean Your Garbage Disposal: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Clean Your Garbage Disposal

Gather the Necessary Supplies

Before you begin cleaning your garbage disposal, gather the necessary supplies. You will need rubber gloves, a flashlight, a long-handled brush or an old toothbrush, dish soap, baking soda, white vinegar, and citrus peels (optional).

Safety First

Ensure your safety by following some precautions. Turn off the power to the garbage disposal by unplugging it or switching off the circuit breaker. Always use rubber gloves to protect your hands and avoid putting your fingers inside the disposal.

Remove Debris and Residue

Use the flashlight to inspect the inside of the garbage disposal for any visible debris. With the power off, use tongs or pliers to remove any large objects or food particles. Then, use a long-handled brush or an old toothbrush to scrub the inner walls and blades of the disposal to remove any built-up residue.

Freshen up with Citrus

For a pleasant scent, drop a few citrus peels (such as lemon, lime, or orange) into the disposal. The natural oils in the peels will help freshen up the unit and eliminate odors. Turn on the cold water and run the disposal for a few seconds to grind the peels. This will leave your garbage disposal smelling fresh.

Deep Cleaning with Baking Soda and Vinegar

To deep clean your garbage disposal, sprinkle about 1/2 cup of baking soda into the unit. Follow it with 1 cup of white vinegar. Let the mixture sit for 10-15 minutes to allow the fizzing action to break down any grease or grime. Then, run cold water and turn on the garbage disposal to flush away the mixture.

Eliminating Odors with Ice and Salt

If your garbage disposal has persistent odors, you can use ice and salt to help eliminate them. Fill an ice cube tray with vinegar and freeze it. Once frozen, run cold water and turn on the disposal. Drop a few ice cubes into the unit, followed by a handful of coarse salt. The ice helps to loosen any debris, while the salt acts as a natural abrasive. Run the disposal until all the ice and salt are ground up. This method not only helps eliminate odors but also sharpens the disposal blades.

Flushing with Hot Water and Dish Soap

To ensure a thorough clean, fill the sink with hot water and add a few drops of dish soap. Remove the sink stopper and turn on the garbage disposal while allowing the soapy water to flush through the unit. The hot water and soap help to break down any remaining grease or residue, leaving your garbage disposal sparkling clean.

Regular Maintenance Tips

To keep your garbage disposal in optimal condition, follow these maintenance tips:

  1. Run cold water while operating the disposal to solidify any grease and help it pass through more easily.
  2. Avoid putting fibrous or stringy foods, large bones, or non-food items into the disposal.
  3. Periodically grind ice cubes to help clean the blades.
  4. Use a citrus-based cleaner or vinegar and baking soda mixture regularly to maintain freshness.


By following these additional steps, including using ice and salt, flushing with hot water and dish soap, and implementing regular maintenance tips, you can ensure thorough cleaning of your garbage disposal and maintain its efficiency and freshness. Remember to prioritize safety and use caution while handling and cleaning the appliance. A clean and well-maintained garbage disposal will not only enhance the hygiene of your kitchen but also extend the lifespan of this essential kitchen appliance.

Regularly cleaning your disposal is crucial for maintaining its performance and preventing unpleasant odors. By following these step-by-step instructions, you can ensure that your garbage disposal remains clean, fresh, and in optimal working condition for years to come. Remember to prioritize safety, gather the necessary supplies, and take your time to thoroughly clean all parts of the unit. With a clean and well-maintained garbage disposal, you can enjoy a more hygienic and odor-free kitchen environment.