How To Clean a Garbage Disposal

cleaning a garbage disposal

Your garbage disposal needs a good cleaning and regular maintenance like anything in your home. Although you think that the food you put down the disposal grinds up and disappears into no man’s land, sometimes the garbage disposal gets clogged over time with food particles, grease, and other “stuff” that gets stuck on the blades or walls of the drainpipe. This can cause you to breathe in harmful bacteria and mold after a while. Don’t worry; we’ve got five easy steps on how to clean your garbage disposal – some of which only require household items that you probably already have in your fridge or cabinets.

Step 1: Turn it off

This may seem obvious to some and new to others, but the first step requires disconnecting the garbage disposal for safety reasons. In some cases, making sure it’s off is enough. But, to ensure that accidents don’t happen, you can disconnect it by either pulling the plug (usually located under the sink) or turning off the switch to the kitchen on the breaker box. Be sure to double-check that the disposal is off before sticking any foreign objects or YOUR HAND down there. We don’t want the failure to comply with this easy step to turn into a hospital trip.

Step 2: Scrub and Clean the inside

Now that step 1 is complete; it’s time to start cleaning. Start with the rubber guard or baffle. All you need is a soapy sponge or towel. Flip it inside to ensure that you get all the nooks and crannies.

To clean the grinding chamber, flash a light down the drain and remove any debris and food. Use the same soapy sponge or towel to clean the grinds the best you can. We’ll get to the ice method in the last step.

Step 3: Freshen Up

The last step it’s time to freshen up the garbage disposal. This not only means putting the finishing touches on the cleaning process but also giving it a fresh, clean smell. For this step, you’ll need to plug the disposal back in. First, let’s finish cleaning the blades with the ice method. Pour 2 cups of cubed ice down the drain, followed by one cup of kosher/rock salt. Turn the disposal and cold water on, allowing the salt and ice to grind up.

When that’s complete, let’s get rid of any smells that might be lingering from the drain. You can pour a cup of baking soda and vinegar down the drain and let it sit for 30-60 minutes. This will create a chemical reaction, zapping away any gunk and smells leftover.

Another method to give your garbage disposal a fresh smell is grinding citrus fruit peels. Cut citrus fruits like lemons, limes, and oranges and stuff them down the drain. Turn the water and the disposal on, then voila, you’re left with a fresh, fruity scent and clean garbage disposal.

Call your friends at Rainaldi’s for a professional drain cleaning and unclogging when in doubt. No matter what plumbing issue you are experiencing, our plumbers are ready to help! We serve Orlando and Central Florida homes and businesses. Contact us today at (407) 413-9795 for an appointment.

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