Cleaning Your Garbage Disposal

Cleaning your garbage disposal properly and frequently will keep it running well and lasting long time. Although well-maintained garbage disposals that are used correctly should generally clean themselves, the following tips will help keep your garbage disposal in a good shape.

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Removing Blockages in Your Garbage Disposal

Most garbage disposals are made of a metal cylinder equipped with rotating impellers. Many newer units include a series of grinders on the sides or bottom of the metal cylinder that grind down the contents of the garbage disposal. In either case, the insides of a disposal can quickly become covered with sludge and debris.

Though you are always careful when using your disposal, unwanted objects seem to make their way in. Whether it’s a utensil, dish, or other object, use great caution when removing blockages from your disposal.

1) Before you start, be sure to turn off the fuse that regulates power to your garbage disposal to ensure there is no chance for the unit to turn on while you’re clearing.
2) Pull back the splash guard (remove it if possible) and use the flashlight to see what object has fallen in.
3) Using the tongs or pliers, carefully extract the object. Be careful not to damage the blades or grinders.
4) You should try to avoid sticking your hands inside of the disposer, but if it becomes necessary to use your hands, be sure that the power to the unit is disabled.
5) Once the object is removed, replace the splash guard and reinstate the power.

Cleaning the Grinding Elements Using Ice and Rock Salt

Fill the garbage disposal with the ice cubes and then pour the salt over the ice cubes. Run cold water and turn on the garbage disposal for approximately 5-10 seconds. The combination of ice and rock salt will help knock sludge and debris off of the grinding elements so that they can make their way down the drain.

 Daily Cleaning

 You should daily clean your garbage disposal with dish soap. This cleaning method is great for maintaining your disposal and removing daily debris from the interior of the disposal.

After you have run the disposal, place the plug on top.

1) Fill the sink with warm to hot water.
2) Add a good squirt of dish soap.
3) Agitate the water to mix it well.
4) Lift the drain and run the disposal.
5) The large amount of water and soap will spin around in the disposal to remove any debris that has been left on the sides or in the blades.

Cleaning the Garbage Disposal with Baking Soda and White Vinegar

1) Pour one half cup of baking soda down the kitchen drain.
2) Carefully pour one cup of white vinegar down the drain on top of the baking soda.
3) Place the drain stopper in the sink to close off the drain. If you have a double sink, you should do this for both of them.
4) The mixture will fizz and make a bit of noise or fizzing sounds. Allow this to work its magic for a few minutes.
5) Pour boiled water down the drain.

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Removing Odors

1. Lemon/Limes:  Buy or find some kind of citrus fruit (preferably a lemon or a lime). Halve and slice it, throwing away any seeds into your regular trash bin. Drop your fruit in your garbage disposal. Switch on your garbage disposal. Be sure to run cold water. The very smelly garbage disposal should mash it up leaving a fresh scent.

TIP: If your disposal has trouble grinding up the hard rind of lemon or lime, add a few ice cubes.

2. Citrus Peels (oranges, lemons, limes, or grapefruit): You can also use citrus peels (oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit) to help freshen up your sink. Put a handful of citrus peels into your garbage disposal, run the cold water and turn on the disposal. The citric acid will help deodorize your disposer and leave your kitchen smelling fresh.

3. Baking Soda: Baking soda is well known for its odor absorbency and can be added to other items being processed through the disposal to aid in odor removal.

4. Vinegar Ice: Fill an ice cube tray with vinegar and freeze. Place a couple of ice cubes in the disposal and process with cold water.

5. Bleach: Mix 1 tablespoon bleach with 1 gallon of water. Pour in the disposal and let set for 10 minutes. Turn on the disposal and process thoroughly with cold water.