One of the many needed skills in our lives that we do not ever expect to need to know is how to safely clean a garbage disposal. If let to accumulate, it can create a fetid environment for where your dishes should be cleaned, and can let off a dirty smell that can soon permeate your whole home. However, to clean your garbage disposal, you have a few options.
Clean a garbage disposal with ice
For your first method, grab:
– Two cups of ice
– One cup of rock salt or vinegar
– Tongs or pliers
– Lemon peels
First, pour the ice down the drain and then the rock salt or vinegar on top. Chemicals, such as bleach and drain cleaner, can damage your disposal. Then, let the cold water run over the ice and rock salt/vinegar mixture while the garbage disposal runs, for about five to ten seconds. This allows the gunk trapped in the garbage disposal to come loose and be cleaned out.
Then, unplug your garbage disposal and use tongs to remove any larger items blocking the drain. Never use your hands to remove any item from your disposal, as the blades are sharp and can cut you and the gunk inside may cause an infection.
Once you have removed any large items blocking the disposal, plug the drain and fill your sink halfway with cold water. Then, unplug the drain and let the garbage disposal run, clearing the pipes of any debris left over. Following that, pour your lemon peels down the drain, without the seeds. Then, turn on the warm water and the garbage disposal. The acidity of the lemon peels sanitizes the disposal as it passes through the system. Additionally, the roughness of the peels scrubs the blades of the disposal and leaves a citrus scent in your sink.
Clean a garbage disposal with baking soda and vinegar
For this method, pour about a half cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by a full cup of vinegar. The mixture will soon foam and bubble in your drain. Once you see signs of this, wait five to ten minutes and then turn on your tap to as hot as it can go and direct the stream straight into your drain. This will flush everything through the system once the mixture has finished cleaning your disposal of all harmful bacteria and gunk.
If you need a quick fix, try to simply flush the dirt out. First, stopper the drain. Then, fill the drain halfway with hot water, as this will be more effective in removing leftover grease and other particles stuck in the sink. After that, fill the sink with two pumps of dish soap, and use your hands to create some bubbles in the water, adding some more water to the sink. Then, unplug the drain, and watch all the gunk be cleaned away.
You could also spot clean your garbage disposal with a scrubber or old toothbrush, using the bristles to remove gunk.
Clean a Garbage Disposal With Borax
Borax is another commonly used product to clean drains and garbage disposals. Borax is a natural and safe cleaning product which will reduce the odors coming from your sink. Simply pour three to four tablespoons of Borax into the drain, wait an hour for it do its magic, and then rinse away with hot water.
Be sure to maintain the hygiene of your garbage disposal by cleaning it at least once every few weeks.
Additionally, the best form of treatment is prevention. Therefore, while you may not be cleaning your disposal every few days, try to follow the following tips to maintain your garbage disposal’s lifespan for as long as possible.
Do not put items that are not biodegradable down the drain. Items that will last for a long time in your drain will only spell disaster in the long run. So small food particles that fall off a plate may pass through the disposal, but larger trash items, such as pieces of plastic will clog the drain.
However, not all biodegradable items are as disposal-friendly as others. For example, the starchy material in potato peels manages to create a paste in the disposal that can solidify over time and because tiresome to clean out. Fibrous food items, such as onion skins and artichokes get loose in the drain and can get caught on the blades of the garbage disposal, tangling within themselves and impacting the quality of your garbage disposal. Additionally, do not send coffee grinds, pieces of pasta, or grains of rice down the drain.
Items such as fruit peels, pieces of eggshells, and small bones from fish or chicken, can all actually help the garbage disposal remain clean, though, since they clear away parts of the disposal while going down without getting caught in the drain themselves.
We encourage you to keep these tips and methods in mind while you maintain the hygiene of your sink!