If you have a garbage disposal in your home, you know how much time and effort it can save you. Not only does it help save time when doing the dishes, but it also has a positive impact on the environment by reducing food waste in landfills. But like any appliance that you use every day, it’s essential to maintain and clean your garbage disposal to prevent it from breaking down and help it perform at its best. Most people don’t know that you need to clean your garbage disposal, let alone the best way to do so. Below we outline the safest and most effective way to clean your garbage disposal so it will continue to work for years to come.
Clean the Splash Guard
The rubber splash guard, also known as the gasket, has several crevices under which food particles and grease can become trapped. This can become a breeding ground for bacteria and mold, which can lead to foul smells and the eventual decaying of the splash guard. You can clean the splash guard by first turning the power off to your garbage disposal by disconnecting the plug from under the sink or turning off the breaker. Use an old toothbrush and dish detergent to scrub the hard-to-reach parts, specifically the underside of the splash guard. This prevents any injuries from happening.
Remove Food Debris
Next, you’ll want to poke your head near the garbage disposal opening (with the power still off!). Shine a flashlight to see any food debris that the grinder missed. You can use tongs or pliers to remove the waste safely. Never put your fingers down in the garbage disposal; even when the power is off, the blades are still extremely sharp. You’ll want to do this before moving on to the next step.
Pour in Baking Soda and Water
Baking soda is a natural and safe cleaner that won’t damage your appliance. Measure half a cup of baking soda and pour it down the disposal. You’ll want to let it sit for half an hour, then follow that with one cup of vinegar. Let that sit for about three minutes, and then flush it out with hot water. This will create a foamy liquid to bubble up in your sink and eat away all the grime and dirt inside your disposal.
Grind up Ice and Salt
The best way to clean your garbage disposal blades is to use salt to break up any debris. Go ahead and plug your garbage disposal back in or turn the breaker back on. Pour two cups of ice down your disposal, followed by a cup of salt. Let the cold water run on top of that, then turn on your disposal. Let it run until all the ice is completely ground. This is a great way to scrub your appliance clean.
Grind up Lemon Peels
Lastly, you can use lemon or any citrus fruit peels to freshen up your disposal and get rid of any lingering smells. Stuff the peel of a lemon into the disposal, turn on the cold tap water and let it run until all the peels are ground up. This should leave your kitchen smelling lemony fresh!
If you run into any problems while cleaning your garbage disposal, call a professional at Michael’s Plumbing at (CSAD) or schedule a service online today.