Have you ever tried to clean your garbage disposal but just can’t seem to get rid of that lingering, foul odor? Smelly garbage disposals can stink up your kitchen and even your entire apartment or home. Even if you try to follow proper garbage disposal do’s and don’ts, they can still be a breeding ground for mold and bacteria from old food particles and debris. Whether you’re renting your first apartment or you’re a homeowner, everyone should know how to clean a garbage disposal. Keep reading for our favorite easy, DIY garbage disposal cleaner that will keep your space smelling fresh!

the best way to clean a garbage disposal infographic

The Best Way to Clean a Garbage Disposal 

Step 1: Disconnect It

The first and most important step is disconnecting your garbage disposal to ensure complete safety during this process. Look for the plug underneath your sink or turn off the circuit breaker. Try turning on your disposal to make sure it is completely disconnected.

Step 2: Scrub the Splash Guard

Next, pull the splash guard out of your drain and give it a good scrub with an old toothbrush and some dish soap. Food particles can get trapped in your splash guard, so make sure not to skip this step. It will be over before you know it, and you’ll be on your way to having a clean garbage disposal.

Step 3: Add Baking Soda and Vinegar Mixture

Remember your erupting volcano from the science fair? This step has a very similar effect. Pour half a cup of baking soda down the drain, and let it sit for about 30 minutes as it sanitizes your disposal. Then, add one cup of vinegar, which will cause a foamy, chemical reaction in your sink. After a few minutes, rinse your sink with hot water.

Step 4: Pour in Salt and Ice

Now, return your splash guard back to the drain and reconnect your fresh, clean garbage disposal. Add two cups of ice with some salt on top, then turn the cold water on with your disposal running. This will grind up the ice and salt for a deeper scrub while sharpening the blades.

Step 5: Add Lemon Peels

Lastly, cut up a couple of lemon peels to add a refreshing scent to your kitchen and further sanitize your drain. Just turn on your disposal, let the cold water run, and add your lemon peels for an energizing citrus scent that will take care of any smelly garbage disposal. 

Step 6: Maintain Your Clean Garbage Disposal

Now that you know the best way to clean a garbage disposal, we recommend taking a few minutes each week to maintain it by following the same steps. If you can’t find the time, make sure to clean your disposal at least once a month.

Still Need Help? Contact Us for Professional Drain Cleaning

If you’ve tried this DIY garbage disposal cleaner and you’re still having trouble, contact our local plumbing contractors at Jack Ward & Sons Plumbing Company. We provide professional drain cleaning services that will take care of any clog or other issue explaining your smelly garbage disposal. Contact us to schedule a drain cleaning service today!