How To Clean a Garbage Disposal (3 Easy and Effective Ways)
Find out how to clean a garbage disposal with baking soda and vinegar, citrus, or ice (as seen on TikTok!) Clean even the smelliest garbage disposals.
We all know how hectic life can get with work, kids, and trying to keep the house clean. One of the most overlooked areas of the kitchen is the garbage disposal. We use it all the time but rarely give it the TLC it deserves.
If you're tired of dealing with funky odors and clogs or just want to give your disposal a little extra love, we've got you covered! We’ll show you how to clean a garbage disposal easily and effectively.
In this article, we show you how to clean your garbage disposal using various methods like ice, citrus, and the tried-and-true combination of baking soda and vinegar. We'll walk you through each step, explaining why these methods are effective and how often you should clean your disposal.
So put on your cleaning gloves, grab some supplies, and let's get started!
What you’ll need
- Baking soda
- Scrub brush or toothbrush
- Hot water
How to clean a garbage disposal
The most effective way to clean a garbage disposal is with baking soda and vinegar. These create a reaction that breaks down food particles, kills bacteria, and eliminates odors. Pour 1/2 cup of baking soda down the disposal, followed by 1 cup of white vinegar. Wait 10 minutes, then rinse the disposal with hot water.
3 ways to clean garbage disposal (even a really smelly one!)
Any of these three methods will easily and effectively clean a garbage disposal.
Method 1: Clean your garbage disposal with baking soda and vinegar
Baking soda and vinegar are a powerful combination for cleaning your garbage disposal. Baking soda is a natural abrasive that helps scrub away any stuck-on food or grime, while vinegar is a natural disinfectant that eliminates bacteria or odors.
When you combine baking soda and vinegar, a chemical reaction occurs that helps to dislodge any debris and flush it away.
You'll need baking soda, white vinegar, and a small scrub brush or toothbrush to start.
Turn off the power to your garbage disposal at the circuit breaker box, and make sure to keep your hands and any objects away from the blades, as they can cause serious injury.
Clean the baffle
The baffle is the rubber flap that separates the grinding chamber from the sink. Lift the baffle and clean it thoroughly with warm soapy water and a small scrub brush. Rinse it off and dry it with a towel before reattaching it.
Clean the grinding chamber
Next, use a small scrub brush or toothbrush to clean the walls and blades of the grinding chamber. Pay extra attention to any hard-to-reach areas, such as the corners or edges. Use the brush to scrub away any stubborn food particles or buildup.
Add baking soda and vinegar
Pour 1/2 cup of baking soda down the disposal. Let it sit for a few minutes. Next, pour 1 cup of white vinegar down the disposal. Allow the mixture to fizz for about 5 to 10 minutes, then turn on the hot water faucet to rinse it all away.
Here are a few other ways you can use the baking soda and vinegar combo for cleaning: clean your microwave, clean your dishwasher when it smells bad or worse, and clean your oven.
Method 2: Clean your garbage disposal with ice (as seen on TikTok)
Ice can be a surprisingly effective tool for removing stubborn food particles and eliminating unpleasant odors in your garbage disposal. You may have seen this method on TikTok, and we’re here to tell you it really works!
But why does this method work?
As the disposal's blades grind up the ice cubes, they create a scouring effect that helps to remove any stuck-on food or grime. The swirling motion of the water also helps to dislodge any debris and flush it away.
Additionally, the ice's extremely cold temperature can help solidify any grease or oil that may have accumulated in the disposal, making it easier to remove.
As always, it's important to turn off the power to your garbage disposal and keep your hands and any objects away from the blades.
Pour in the ice
Fill the disposal with ice cubes. Make sure to distribute them evenly across the grinding chamber.
Turn on the water
Next, turn on the hot water faucet and run it over the ice for about 10 seconds. The ice will start breaking down, and the water's swirling motion will help clean away debris.
Let the disposal run for a few minutes until all the ice is broken down. Then, turn off the water and wait a few more minutes to let any remaining particles settle.
Turn on the hot water faucet again and let it run for another 10-15 seconds to rinse away any remaining debris.
Method 3: Clean your garbage disposal with citrus
Citrus fruits like lemons, oranges, and limes, contain natural acids that break down and dissolve grease, oil, or food particles lingering in your garbage disposal. In addition to their cleaning power, citrus fruits also leave behind a pleasant and refreshing scent.
Cut the citrus
Cut the citrus fruit into small wedges or pieces. Make sure to remove any seeds or large chunks that could damage the disposal.
Run the garbage disposal
Next, turn on the hot water faucet and run the disposal. Drop the citrus pieces down the disposal one at a time, allowing each one to be ground up by the blades before adding the next.
Let the disposal run for a few minutes until all the citrus is ground up, then turn off the water and wait a few more minutes to let any remaining particles settle.
Finally, turn on the hot water faucet again and let it run for another 10-15 seconds to rinse away any remaining debris.
How often should you clean your garbage disposal?
It's recommended to clean your garbage disposal at least once a month to prevent the buildup of food particles and odors. However, if you use your disposal frequently or notice any unpleasant smells, it may be necessary to clean it more often.
Keep your kitchen fresh with these garbage disposal cleaning methods
Whether you prefer the natural cleaning power of citrus or the chemical reaction of baking soda and vinegar, the methods in this article are safe, effective, and affordable ways to maintain your garbage disposal and prevent any unwanted odors or clogs.
Besides deep cleaning your garbage disposal, remember to clean your baffle, grinding chamber, and blades on a regular basis to ensure that it stays in good working condition.
Need help keeping on top of your other house cleaning tasks?
With Homeaglow, you can easily book an affordable, top-rated cleaner in your area. Read reviews, compare your options, and schedule online in minutes.
Book a top-rated cleaner in 3 easy steps
Affordable, professional cleaners in your area
Choose from a range of 5-star cleaners at a reasonable price.
Book your first 3 hour cleaning for only $19.
Pick from Huntington Beach’s best cleaners. All reviewed, background-checked, and certified.
The best cleaning prices you’ll find in Huntington Beach. Get your first clean for as low as $9.
Easy, online booking
Book a time that suits you with our easy online booking platform for Huntington Beach.