The best way to keep your garbage disposal clean

The garbage disposal is a great time-saver in our modern, hectic lives- but only when it works well! Keep reading for a few easy tips on keeping your garbage disposal clean and running smoothly. Garbage disposals are meant to be self-cleaning, but sometimes need a little help. Unmaintained garbage disposal units run the risk of clogging, which in turn will lead to expensive and frustrating plumbing problems, so be sure to keep on top of it all with a few easy steps.

Avoid problems before they start

Here’s a few tricks to help prevent problems before they begin:

1. Make sure you aren’t tossing anything down the garbage disposal that will lead to nasty surprises later. Hard objects can blunt and damage the shredder unit, and may become lodged in the disposal’s mechanism.

2. Fill a sink of hot sudsy water daily and let it run through the machine. Clean the screen of loose particles if you can, too. Make sure the water you use is hot, to help emulsify oils and lard. This is also a great way of ensuring the drain line is cleared, and a great last step to use after giving your garbage disposal a deep clean.

3. Don’t throw down non-biodegradable substances or substances that may clog the drain- coffee grinds and other foods that expand in water are notorious for this. Foods with long thin fibres like corn husks may be problematic too. Try and minimise grease and starchy foods entering the unit, too.

4. Cut up big items to make them easier to deal with.

5. Run it a little longer each time-letting it run just a few minutes after the grinding stops will help ensure articles leave the unit. Leave the water running for a few seconds once the unit is off, to flush it.

Deep cleaning the garbage disposal.

Start by running a few ice cubes through the unit. It will help keep the blades crisp as well as loosen obstructions on the blades. One of the best deep cleans for a garbage disposal unit, is to use around 2 cups of ice and pour over some rock salt. Run some cool water over it all and then operate the unit for a few seconds. This will help remove sludge and grime.

Safety First!

Make sure the garbage disposal unit is powered off before attempting any of the following steps, and be sure to keep an eye on little ones if they’re helping you. Try not to insert your hands into the disposal if at all possible. We strongly recommend wearing gloves during the cleaning procedure.

Clear Blockages

If anything is stuck in the garbage disposal unit, remove it before continuing the spring clean.

• If you find something is wedged, you can use tongs or pliers to work it loose. Try not to damage the blades.

Next, you can use an old toothbrush or scrubbing brush for a good manual clean. Pay particular attention to the sink screen and the splash guard.


Keeping your garbage disposal free from odors.

There’s nothing worse then a foul smell in the unit. One of the best fixes is simple old baking soda and vinegar- half a cup of baking soda and a cup of vinegar [don’t worry if it starts to fizz up] left for 5 to 10 minutes and then flushed down with some boiling water should be enough for almost any smell. Four tablespoons of Borax left for an hour can do the same job. These are both good bacteria busting options, but if you’re worried you can also use half a cup of bleach- this may, however, interact with fats to solidify them. Once you’re done, a handful of fruit peel run through the machine will ensure it remains sweet smelling.

Remember, a little bit of effort now will save you tears- and expensive plumbers calls- in the long run. Let these quick and easy steps help you keep you garbage disposal clean and running smoothly.

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