How to Clean a Garbage Disposal?

Garbage disposal is made in a way that is self-cleaning, but once in a while, it will need your attention to help clean it efficiently. Some of the foods washed down the sink get stuck on this disposal after sometimes the food start to rotten hence the appliance starts producing an odor smell. Bacteria also accumulate in this area, making the place an infestation area for disease-causing organisms. Then, how to clean garbage disposal is something you need to know.


The Needed Supplies

  • Kitchen Sponge
  • Flashlight

Some other things that are great for cleaning:

Vinegar is suitable for cleaning garbage disposals since it is slightly acidic. Using undiluted white vinegar helps a lot in unclogging drains, removing stains, disinfecting and removing stickers.

Baking soda is another vital product for cleaning the garbage disposal. Baking soda is composed of sodium ions and bicarbonate ions. This means when sprinkled into the placement, it neutralizes both acidic and basic odors around that place, hence a fresh drain.

Ice cubes are also essential in cleaning garbage disposals since the cubes will sharpen the blades. This adds an extra scrubbing ability to the blades, making them work efficiently.

An old toothbrush may seem to be a funny idea, but yes, it is needed to scrub the disposal and eliminate the residual food particles.
Peeled citrus can also be used to clean garbage disposals. The citric acid in this fruit will wash and freshen the disposal by eliminating the odor.


How to Clean a Garbage Disposal – Step by Step Cleaning Procedure

how to clean a garbage disposal

  • Step 1

Before starting the cleaning, the first rule is to disconnect the power to the appliance. If you cannot locate the switch, it is better to switch off electricity from the main socket. Try turning on the water disposal to ensure that the power if off. If the power is off, you can commence to the next step.

  • Step 2

Drop some of the ice cubes in the garbage disposal, followed with a half a cup of table salt. Switch on the electricity for you to turn on the disposal. Run a stream of water down the drain, try pushing in the mixture down the disposal.

After the built-up gunk and regime are gone, turn off the water and check if the mixture has fallen off the disposal blades. Turn off the water and power if the blades are clean.

  • Step 3

Take baking soda half a cup and a cup of white vinegar and pour it in the disposal. This combination is non-toxic and should be allowed to fizz for around 15 minutes.

At this point, the acidic solution kills all the bacteria present in your garbage disposal. You should stick to this non-toxic combination because you don’t want chemicals to compromise your kitchen in the name of cleaning the garbage disposal. This process will help sharpen the disposal blades and, at the same time, removing any unwanted odor.

  • Step 4

As the vinegar and baking soda are cleaning the disposal, mix another mixture of the two. This time mix them outside the appliance, make sure you create a thick paste. Take your old toothbrush and dip it in this solution then use the brush to scrub the top and bottom surfaces of the rubber and neck of the disposal.

Use this brush to scrub the other parts of your sink. Disposables that have removable splash guards are easier to clean as it offers more space for inner cleaning.

  • Step 5

In this last step, place a stopper in your sink and then run the water until it is about three-quarters full. At this point, you can add dish soap, which is optional, and then remove the drain plug and let the water run out from the disposal. At this point, your garbage disposal will be shiny and very clean. You can repeat the same procedure if you wish.


How often to clean a Garbage Disposal

Since we prepare meals on a daily basis and wash utensils frequently, it means that our garbage disposal gets dirty regularly. Ideally, it is better if you clean your garbage disposal every week.

For those individuals who control entirely what goes down the sink, they can at least clean the disposal once in two weeks. When you have plans of leaving your home for some weeks with no one left behind, it is ideal you clean the garbage disposal to avoid finding your kitchen with a foul smell when you return.


How to Deodorize Garbage Disposal

best garbage disposal deodorizer

Citrus fruit peels do well in deodorizing the garbage disposal. Peel the fruit and leave the slices on the drains for some hours. Any citrus fruit does well In this faction, be it orange, lemon, grapefruit, or lime. The citric acid released by the fruit eliminates the odor as it cleans the blades. Later you can add additional spices like lavender to speed up the freshening ascent.

Borax, which is a natural cleaning product, is another good deodorizing substance. Borax cleans and reduces odor quickly. This product is more natural to use, take four tablespoons of borax and pour in the garbage disposal drain. Give it like an hour, and then flush it away with hot water and the freshness will be felt.

Mixing baking soda and vinegar can still be used to deodorize the garbage disposal. These two make an odor killing combination. Add a cup of baking soda in the drain then sprinkle vinegar on top of the baking soda and let the fizzing last for ten minutes. Flush the water and your garbage disposal remain fresh.



Having garbage disposal with an odor smell is so heartbreaking. The good thing is we have seen that maintenance of clean and fresh disposal is very cheap and easy. You have to dedicate your time to do it frequently. To make it take a shorter time, regular cleaning of garbage disposal is advised. You can also practice daily maintenance by avoiding draining food particles in the sink.


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