Under 2 hours
The garbage disposal ranks right alongside the dishwasher as a kitchen conveneince we would rather not live without. The machine makes cleaning up after meals faster and easier since you often don't need to take the extra step of scraping debris into a trash can. However, learning to keep a clean garbage disposal becomes a crucial household task once you rely on the disposal. Allowing it to gunk up inside can affect its performance as well as leave lingering odors in your kitchen.
Use this guide to learn how to clean a garbage disposal and keep the device running efficiently.
Clean the Garbage Disposal
- Turn the garbage disposal off, then disconnect it from its power source. If necessary, flip the circuit breaker connected to that area of the kitchen to off. Test the power switch to be sure there is no power to the disposal.
- Shine a flashlight down the drain and make sure there are no objects trapped in the grinder of the disposal.
- If you see any blockages, use tongs or long-nosed pliers to remove the object.
- Avoid putting your hand into the grinder, but if you must, be sure there is no power to the device. Don a rubber glove to protect your hand and carefully reach into the drain to remove the object. Be careful around the grinder blades.
- Reconnect the disposal. Then, plug the sink and fill it halfway with hot water. Then pull the plug and turn on the disposal until all of the water flushes through.
- Turn off the disposal and disconnect the power again.
- Use a long-handled scrub brush with a narrow head or an old toothbrush to clean inside the disposal. Wet the brush head with warm water and add a small amount of grease-cutting dish soap. Move the brush around to reach all the surfaces inside the disposal. Remove the brush, reconnect the disposal and flush again with hot water, as described.
- Pour two cups of ice and one cup of kosher or rock salt into the disposal. Turn on the garbage disposal, and then turn on the cold-water tap, allowing the water to run while the salt and ice cubes ground.
Freshen the Garbage Disposal
- Sprinkle a half-cup of baking soda into the opening of the garbage disposal. Pour in a cup of white vinegar and allow it to sit for 10 minutes. Turn on the garbage disposal and allow hot water to rinse away the baking soda mixture.
- As an alternative to baking soda and vinegar, use chopped citrus peels. Cut up a handful of peelings from a lemon, lime, orange or other citrus. Remove some of the white pith and discard it in the trash. Feed the peels through the grinder a few strips at a time while running the cold-water tap.
Perform Regular Maintenance
- Don't overload the disposer; grind no more than about 1 cup of food debris at a time.
- Every month, clean the disposal with either a disposal cleaner or a mixture of vinegar, baking soda and hot water.
- Do not put grease, egg shells, coffee grounds, starchy foods, plastic or large bones down the disposal.
- Avoid putting fibrous vegetables through the disposal grinder. Things like celery stalks or corn husks can clog the garbage disposal motor.
A garbage disposal helps us keep our kitchens tidy and clean. Being that it's right in the sink, it helps us get rid of our waste more efficiently and saves time. However, it does require maintenance every now and then. The Home Depot Mobile App makes it possible to order everything you need to keep your disposal working seemlessly. Our wide range of tools and supplies allows you to ensure that your disposal functions efficiently for years to come.