Cleaning A Garbage Disposal

By Robert Robillard on Remodeling

Garbage Disposal Odors

Most odors that come out of the garbage disposal are coming from food slime buildup on the splash guard, That’s the removable black rubber panel that sits atop your sink’s drain hole. You can scrub it with soap and water using a scrub-brush or stoss it in the top rack of a dishwasher. While that’s a huge bid step there are a few other things you can do when cleaning the garbage disposal.

Garbage disposals don’t have sharp blades, instead, they have impellers that use centrifugal force to spin food up against a stationary grind ring. As time goes on, slime builds on the walls of the garbage disposal. A few common household ingredients can take care of this quickly and effortlessly:

Disposal Cleaning Items Needed

  1. Ice Cubes
  2. 1 TSP. Baking soda
  3. 1 TSP. Bleach
  4. 1/2 Lemon [quartered]

Ice cubes help break up any food and slime stuck to the disposal, while baking soda and bleach kill germs, and the lemon deodorizes it.

Cleaning a Garbage Disposal | Steps

  1. With the disposal and faucet turned off, put approximately six ice cubes in the disposal chamber. Add approximately 1 tablespoon of baking soda, and bleach. Add lemon and then approximately six more ice cubes.
  2. Turn the disposal on without running the water, until you hear the grinding stop.
  3. With the motor still running, flush with cold water for 30 seconds.

Using A Garbage Disposal | Tips

To keep gunk and odors to a minimum, run the disposal with water—before, during, and after grinding noise stops. This helps clear the plumbing P-trap, allowing food to thoroughly move through the pipes after it leaves the disposal.

Beyond proper usage and occasional cleaning, garbage disposals don’t require much else in terms of maintenance.

Items To Avoid Putting In Disposal

Items to avoid putting in a garbage disposal are grease, eggshells, coffee grounds, starchy foods, plastic, or large bones down the disposal. These items should be tossed in the trash barrel. Additionally, avoid putting fibrous vegetables through the disposal grinder. [i.e., celery stalks or corn husks] these items can clog the garbage disposal motor.

Cleaning A Garbage Disposal Video

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About the author

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor

Rob Robillard is “The Concord Carpenter” Rob is a builder, general contractor, carpenter, woodworker, and editor of Concord Carpenter and ToolBoxBuzz As a General Contractor and carpenter, Rob owns and operates Concord Carpenter LLC. A full-service remodeling and construction company. Rob is a recognized leader in home building best practices and a source for how-to information for building professionals. On this website, Rob covers all aspects of home construction, building science, home improvement, woodworking, remodeling, and some of the best product and tool reviews. Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review series - Concord Carpenter Videos where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob approaches remodeling and building construction with a pragmatic and problem-solving approach. He enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the construction and remodeling industry. He's a strong advocate for "raising the bar" in the construction trades and promoting the trades to youth. #BeAMentor #Green2Great Craftsmanship, quality, and pride guide his journey on this channel The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob

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