Cleaning Kitchen

How to clean a garbage disposal

Have you ever walked into your house after a long today only to be hit with an unidentifiable smell that makes you want to gag?  We had this happen to us.

I drive most of the time when my husband and I go out. Therefore, I have the keys and enter our domicile first.  With my hands full and a little puppy half greeting us/half trying to escape out the front door, I am blasted in the face with the smell of something dead.  It is unmistakable and gross.

After sniffing the garbage can, the refrigerator, and checking the bottom of our shoes, we found the issue to be none other than the garbage disposal.

We cook at home nearly every night.  We also make breakfast and lunch most weekends.  All of that cooking equates to dishes.  Although we put our dishes in the dishwasher, there is a component that makes it down the drain: food waste.  Some food didn’t make it down the drain after we ran the garbage disposal.  The food sat for a little while and left us the gift of freshening our air with rot.  It was a gift that was 100% unappreciated.  


Cleaning your garbage disposal is easy.  However, fight the urge to ever put your hands down the drain.  If there is ever a short, the blades could start and cause harm to your hand.

  1. Slice a lemon into quarters.
  2. Fill the drain with two cups of ice.
  3. Pour a cup of salt over the ice cubes.
  4. Run the cold water and turn on the disposal until the ice is gone.
  5. With the disposal still on, drop the lemon slices into the disposal.

The salt and ice helps to loosen any grime and debris from the disposal.  The lemon will help clean and deodorize your drain.

We don’t clean our garbage disposal often as it doesn’t give us many problems.  We do definitely give it a freshening once every month or so. We like lemon in our water and limes with our Mexican food.   Whenever we are done with the fruit, it become disposal cleaning time!

(3) Comments

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  3. Check out our step-by-step process to get your sink and disposal clean and safe, without the use of harmful chemicals or cleaners. All-purpose or glass cleaner can be used in a pinch, but it’s important to avoid ammonia, bleach, or abrasive cleaners on stainless steel.

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