Learn How to Clean a Garbage Disposal

The garbage disposal in your kitchen sink makes cleaning up after dinner a breeze. It can also be incredibly satisfying to dump your leftovers down the sink drain and watch them disappear. At the same time, it’s important to treat your garbage disposal with care and respect. Food particles can easily stick to the inside of the disposal, creating an unwanted, smelly problem.

As a homeowner, you may wonder, “Are you supposed to clean a garbage disposal?” The answer to this question is yes. In fact, it’s best to perform a cleaning every one to two weeks. If this surprises you, though, there’s no reason to panic. It’s never too late to keep up with your disposal needs. Let’s discuss how to clean a garbage disposal and a few helpful maintenance tips to keep in mind.

Why Should You Clean Your Garbage Disposal?

Once the food has traveled down your sink drain, it’s easy to turn on the disposal and forget about it. However, some items, such as fibrous vegetables and egg shells, don’t break down easily in the garbage disposal. When these items are left to collect in your drains, bacteria can grow — which is something no homeowner wants to happen.

Fortunately, learning how to clean a garbage disposal can prevent foul smells and bacteria from wreaking havoc in your kitchen. Keeping up with your drain’s needs can also help you avoid Murrieta, CA, drain cleaning services. Use this easy step-by-step guide to ensure your disposal is looking, smelling, and functioning great:

Shut Off the Power

Don’t work on your garbage disposal without taking the proper safety precautions! It’s important to turn off the power leading to your disposal. You can either shut the power off at the breaker or unplug the garbage disposal where it’s plugged in beneath your sink. Remember: the best way to clean a garbage disposal is to always keep safety in mind.

Scrub and Remove the Baffle

The rubber cover peeking out of your drain is called the baffle or splash guard. This component of your garbage disposal helps prevent water and food particles from spraying up and out of your sink. At the same time, food residue can collect beneath the baffle.

Scrub the underneath of the baffle with a sponge and a few drops of dish soap. Scrub the underside until the grease and food particles have been thoroughly washed away. Next, you’ll want to remove the baffle from your sink so that you have full access to the disposal.

Food scraps on the edge of kitchen sink drain.

Remove Additional Food Pieces

If there are any food particles still lingering in your disposal, now is finally the time to remove them. Removing the baffle is the best way to clean a garbage disposal because you’ll have easy access to any remaining food pieces. It’s recommended to remove these items with a pair of tongs — you’ll only want to use your hands as a last resort. Remember to wear rubber gloves during this entire process as an extra layer of protection.

Use Baking Soda and Vinegar

Pour one cup of baking soda and one cup of vinegar into the disposal. Once you’ve done this, plug the drain with a sink stopper and let the mixture sit for a few hours. This combination of baking soda and vinegar is known to clear clogged drains and can help remove leftover debris that’s hiding out in your disposal. After waiting, flush the disposal with some hot water or a pot of boiled water. Although this isn’t necessarily the best way to clean a garbage disposal, it doesn’t hurt to try.

You can also try using a dish soap cleaning method. Fill the sink with hot water and add a little dish soap. Turn on the garbage disposal with the soapy water inside and let it flush the garbage disposal. This method does a better job than simply running water through the disposal.

There isn’t one single best way to clean a garbage disposal, but it’s never a bad idea to play it safe. Using these baking soda mixture and dish soap cleaning methods can add an extra layer of protection against foul smells and pesky clogs.

Grind Up Ice Cubes and Salt

When learning how to clean a garbage disposal, you might prefer to use the easiest, most convenient method. For example, if you have a few ice cubes and a container of salt lying around, you can use these items to clean the disposal blades. All you have to do is pour a cup of ice cubes down the disposal followed by a cup of salt. Once you’ve done this, run cold water and turn the disposal on for a few seconds. Run the disposal until the ice has been ground up.

Are you looking to fill your kitchen with a refreshing smell? You can try grinding up citrus peels as well. While this won’t do much in the way of cleaning your disposal, it will create a light, pleasant scent.

Take Care of Your Plumbing System With Help From Our Experts

Now that you have a better understanding of how to clean a garbage disposal, you can be proactive and avoid a smelly mess in the future. However, clogged drains and plumbing problems can appear even with maintenance and proper precautions. If you find yourself needing help, Guardian Plumbers offers dependable plumbing services in Murrieta, CA, and the surrounding areas. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment!

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