How to Clean a Garbage Disposal | HappyCleans

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Posted on July 25th, 2022

A sink with a garbage disposal is heaven-sent because it takes care of almost all types of food scraps by grinding them away. Because of them, there are fewer chances you’ll have anything rotting sitting in your trash can for too long, and recycling would be easier.

But like your dishwasher or washing machine, they require proper cleaning and maintenance, too. If your kitchen has a funky smell, it’s a telltale sign that it’s time to clean your garbage disposal. It’s a cleaning task that shouldn’t be neglected to prevent it from becoming a breeding ground for germs and bacteria. 

Although it may seem daunting at first, cleaning your garbage disposal is quick and easy. In this article, our professional house cleaners in Norman share a step-by-step guide on how to clean a garbage disposal properly. 

Step-by-Step Garbage Disposal Cleaning 

1. Turn the power off

This is the first and most crucial step to preventing accidents. Unplug the power leading to your garbage disposal by unplugging from the outlet under the sink or turning off the breaker. Then, double-check by turning it off to ensure it’s disconnected before doing anything. 

2. Scrub the rubber splash guard

Pull the rubber splash guard, also called the gasket or rubber baffle, out of the drain and scrub it vigorously using a long scrubbing brush or old toothbrush and liquid dish soap. Focus on cleaning the grooves and the underside where tiny food particles, grease, and soap scum are likely to get trapped and accumulate.

3. Take out stuck food debris

With the splash guard out of the way, check for any food particles not broken down by the grinder. Use a flashlight and a pair of pliers or tongs for fishing out the debris. Never attempt to use your fingers to do this because the disposal’s blades are incredibly sharp. Although most garbage disposals can take on anything, you shouldn’t treat it like a trash can and dump items that may cause it to malfunction. 

Consumer Reports recommend against putting these things into your garbage disposal:

  • Large quantities of fruit and vegetable peelings
  • Whole artichokes
  • Seafood shells (ex. clams and oysters)
  • Non-food items
  • Corn husks
  • Grease and oil

4. Clean the disposal with baking soda and vinegar

It’s better to use all-natural ingredients to clean your garbage disposal. Chemical-based cleaning products may have harsh substances that can corrode metal parts inside. Follow these steps to clean your disposal naturally.

  • Add half a cup of baking soda to the disposal. Leave it for at least half an hour to neutralize foul odor naturally.
  • Pour one cup of white vinegar and let the mixture bubble up. Let this eco-friendly cleaning solution can melt away deep-seated dirt and grime for at least three to five minutes. 
  • Rinse by turning on hot water from the tap or pouring a pot of boiling water. 

5. Reconnect and clean the blades with ice and salt

Reinstall the rubber splash guard and turn the power back on. Add two cups of ice cubes and one cup of salt into the disposal. Run cold water from the tap and turn the disposal on. The salt and ice combo acts as an effective scrub to clean the blades.

6. Eliminate nasty smells by grinding up citrus peels

Finally, keep your garbage disposal smelling fresh and clean by stuffing it with orange, lime, or lemon peelings, running cold water from the tap, and grinding them.

How Often Should You Clean the Garbage Disposal

Generally, garbage disposals do a great job looking after themselves because they effectively grind the food and flush them down the drain. However, weekly garbage disposal cleaning is still essential to prevent unpleasant odors from the slime that accumulates in areas that don’t get cleaned during the grinding process.

Book a Professional Home Cleaning Service in Norman

There are more things in life worthy of your time than stressing about how to clean a garbage disposal. If you’ve got a lot going on in your sched, go ahead and call HappyCleans! We’re the best maid services in OKC that offers professional residential cleaning services. Whether cleaning your kitchen, bathroom, or bedroom, our highly skilled house cleaners are guaranteed to do an excellent job for you.

Have questions about cleaning garbage disposal properly or our deep cleaning services? Give us a call or book a home cleaning service in Norman now!