A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Clean a Garbage Disposal

clean a garbage disposal

Garbage disposals are beneficial for several reasons. They’re the perfect way to ensure all food crumbs and small debris are safely disposed of down the kitchen drain. However, every homeowner with a garbage disposal knows just how quickly they can become gross and even smelly.

Even if you don’t use your garbage disposal often, it’s still an essential kitchen cleaning task to conduct on regular basis. The last thing you want is your kitchen to give off a strange odor coming from the disposal. Thankfully, there are a few simple ways to clean your garbage disposal and keep it clean.

In the guide below, you’ll learn how to clean a garbage disposal the right way and how to prevent a stinky garbage disposal from occurring. Continue reading below to learn more!

Turn the Disposal Off and Check For Items

Before you do anything, turn the disposal off. You can disconnect the power by unplugging the disposal from under your sink or turning off the electricity at your breaker box. You’ll then want to conduct a power test by turning the disposal on to see if there’s still power.

Garbage disposal blades are sharp and can be dangerous when cleaning them, especially if the power’s still connected. Once you’ve doubled checked the power, you can then check the disposal for any items left inside of it. Sometimes, silverware and other small objects can fall into the disposal without you noticing.

There might also be leftover food particles inside the disposal as well. Use a flashlight to search for items in the disposal. If you see something inside the disposal, then be sure to remove that item before you begin cleaning.

Refrain From Placing Your Hands in the Disposal

Now that the power is off, you can begin the cleaning process. Although there’s no power connected to the disposal, you still want to refrain from placing your hands inside of it. The blades, whether on or not, are still sharp and can cause injuries.

It’s much better to use a utensil that you can grab to pick up the object and remove it from the disposal. If you must place your hands inside the disposal, do be sure to use protective gloves and use great caution. Do your best to move carefully and slowly to prevent injury from the blades.

Clean the Splash Guard

The first thing you’ll want to clean is the splash guard. These are the rubber pieces that prevent the disposal from being exposed. Grease and food particles can easily build up on the other side of the guard that you can’t see.

Fortunately, this piece can be easily removed. Pull the guard out and then begin scrubbing it clean. You can use a toothbrush to scrub it clean or an old scrub brush with dish detergent.

Scrub it well to ensure there’s no grease or slimy residue left once you’re done.

Use a Scrub Brush With a Handle

When you’re ready to clean the inside of the garbage disposal, be sure to use a scrub brush with a long handle attached to it. You can use a toothbrush as well if desired. You can use a mixture of warm water and dish detergent to dip the brush into before scrubbing the disposal clean.

The dish detergent will help cut through some of the grease built up inside the disposal. Be sure to scrub all areas inside the disposal for a good clean. When done, you can turn the power source back on and rinse it with hot water.

Create a Mixture of Baking Soda and Vinegar

If you want to ensure an even deeper clean, then you can create a mixture of baking soda and vinegar. Pour 1/2 a cup of baking soda into the disposal. Then, allow it to sit for about 30 minutes.

Once the time is up, place about 1 cup of white vinegar inside the disposal. You should see the combination of the baking soda and the white vinegar start to bubble. Allow this to bubble for about 5 minutes.

You can then rinse the disposal with hot water once again for a shiny finish.

Keep It Fresh With Lemon Peels

Once you’ve finished all of your cleaning steps, you can then help freshen it up by grinding up some lemon peels. Peel one lemon, or any other citrus fruit, and place the peels inside the disposal. Be sure to run cold water and then turn the garbage disposal on.

You’ll be left with a fresh and citrusy scent. Do make sure to let the water run for a little while after grinding the peels to ensure there’s no particles leftover.

Know What Not to Do

An important part of keeping your garage disposal clean is knowing what not to do. You never want to play garbage down your garbage disposal. Although the name might suggest otherwise, placing actual trash down the disposal can create havoc on your plumbing system.

Only send small food crumbs or particles down the disposal. You should also never use harsh chemical cleaners in the disposal as the chemicals can damage the blades. There are also certain food items that should never go down your garbage disposal.

Know what these items are to prevent possible damage. Pasta, bones, and seeds are just a few examples.

Know How to Clean a Garbage Disposal the Right Way

When you clean a garbage disposal the right way, you can eliminate stinky odors and keep your disposal fresh for quite some time. Use all the helpful garbage disposal cleaning tips listed above to help guide you throughout the process.

Do you need some extra help keeping your garbage disposal and other aspects of your home clean? Request a free quote from Maid For You professional cleaning services to see how we can help you!

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