Having a garbage disposal makes life easier for anyone who cooks. However, these useful devices can be prone to debris, buildup and clogs. In most cases, you can clean your unit easily with ingredients you already have at home. Keep reading to find out our five favorite ways to clean a garbage disposal. (Note: Before trying any of these methods, please ensure that your unit is switched off.)
1. Hot Water
The first method you should try is hot water. For small clogs and accumulated debris, flushing out your garbage disposal with hot water is often enough to properly clean it. Simply fill your sink with five inches of hot soapy water, and then pull the plug and switch the unit on until all the water runs through.
2. Ice Cubes and Salt
A great cleaning tactic for tougher debris is the ice and salt method. First, combine two cups of ice cubes with a cup of rock salt. Run some cold water from the tap, turn on your unit and add the salted ice. This method is ideal for cleaning out stubborn buildup that hot water alone can't handle.
3. Citrus Fruit
Citrus fruit is excellent for removing foul odors from your disposal. Simply grind peels or wedges of oranges, lemons, limes or other citrus fruit. The citric acid helps clean the machine, and the refreshing fruit is particularly effective for fighting unpleasant smells — especially when combined with another cleaning method.
4. Baking Soda and Vinegar
Baking soda and vinegar is a tried-and-true method for a number of household cleaning jobs. Our recommended method is adding 1/3 cup of baking soda to your drain, pouring in the white vinegar and allowing the mixture to sit for 10 minutes. Afterward, rinse the whole area thoroughly with warm water.
5. Liquid Bleach
For a unit in need of serious cleaning, liquid chlorine bleach is your go-to cleanser. Add a tablespoon of bleach to a gallon of cold water, and then pour this mixture slowly into the garbage disposal. Avoid using more bleach than our advised amount, because bleach can harden built-up grease, and too much can make your original problem even worse.
These handy cleaning tips can go a long way, but If your garbage disposal becomes badly clogged or fully blocked, please don't try to fix it yourself. Contact The Pink Plumber for efficient, friendly service, available 24/7 by calling toll-free at 855-866-7465. With over 50 years of combined experience, our acclaimed plumbers work out of our locations in the U.S., including Atlanta, Tampa Bay/St. Petersburg, Dallas and Fort Worth.