Having a garbage disposal is a convenient way to dispose of left over food on from your meal. Even though garbage disposals are designed to grind up and remove food products, bits of food can become trapped within the disposal and kitchen drain. This can create unpleasant odors, mold, and grow unhealthy bacteria. Cleaning the garbage disposal once a week can eliminate odors and harmful mold and bacteria.

Deep Cleaning:

There are many different methods that will clean your disposal effectively. Try to avoid cleaning products that contain harsh chemicals. They can damage the kitchen drain and harm your skin and eyes. Instead, try a more natural and safe way.

The first method requires a 1/2 cup of baking soda and a cup of white vinegar. Pour the 1/2 cup of backing soda down the disposal followed by the white vinegar. This mixture will fizz and bubble, but this is just a sign that it is working to break down the excess bits of food. Allow the baking soda and vinegar mix to sit in the disposal for a few minutes while you boil a few cups of water using a teakettle or medium size pot. Once the water comes to a boil, pour it down the drain. This deep cleans and removes excess food particles inside the disposal and drain. There is a variation of this method recommended by some plumbers that says to place several ice cubes down the disposal. Turn it on to crush the ice cubes; this works to help loosen debris and to sharpen the blades. Then add the baking soda, vinegar, and boiling water as directed above.

The second method is mixing one tablespoon of liquid bleach with a gallon of water. Slowly pour the mixture down the drain and let it sit for at least 5 minutes. Flush the drain with cold water for several minutes. This process works to break down and flush away excess food particles.

Both methods above should be done every one to three weeks.

Daily Cleaning:

You may also want to do a daily cleaning. Daily cleaning will help reduce the need for frequent deep cleanings. Filling the sink with hot water and a small amount of dish soap, turn the disposal on and let the soapy water flush through. The hot, soapy water works to loosen food and grime in the disposal. Turn off the disposal and remove the drain screen. Using a small scrub brush or old toothbrush, scrub the blades and all around the disposal. Flush with water, washing down all the excess particles.

Refreshing the Disposal:

Regularly cleaning your garbage disposal will keep it odor free; however, if you want to add a bit of scent to the drain, place citrus fruit rinds, such as oranges, lemons, and limes, down the disposal with a few ice cubes. The ice cubes will sharpen the disposal blade and remove any excess debris caused by the citrus rinds. The fresh citrusy scent of your garbage disposal can last all day.

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