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How to Clean Your Garbage Disposal

A garbage disposal is a handy kitchen feature that can make leftovers and unused food disappear rather than lingering in the kitchen garbage. While convenient, it should be cleaned each week to prevent food build-up and odors.

How Do You Clean a Garbage Disposal That Smells?

Bad odors are one of the main indications your garbage disposal needs some TLC. You can easily freshen this appliance and remove built-up food by:

  • Turning off the power: You should not be going near the blades, but out of an abundance of caution, unplug the unit under the sink or turn off the breaker that corresponds with your garbage disposal.

  • Cleaning the baffle: The baffle, or trap, is the rubber part of your garbage disposal, and food can get trapped in the folds. To clean the garbage disposal trap, you can grasp the rubber part of the baffle and pull it upward. 

  • Cleaning the grinding chamber: Use a sponge with some dish soap to push past the baffle to reach the grinding chamber. It can be easier to do this if you fold a sponge over.

  • Using baking soda and vinegar: To really deodorize, use equal parts baking soda and vinegar. Pour baking soda in first and then vinegar. This will cause the baking soda to fizz. Place a sink stopper over the drain and once the fizzing has died down, turn the power back on. Run the disposal for about a minute as you flush it out with water.  

  • Using citrus fruit: You can place some thin slices of lemon or lemon peel into the disposal with some ice and turn it on. This will deodorize further and create a pleasant smell.

  • Trying a little prevention: A great way to prevent odors in the first place is to run cold water before and while using the unit. Once you are done, flush the disposal with cold water for about seven seconds one last time.

Knowing How to Clean a Garbage Disposal Can Prevent Service Calls

Keeping your garbage disposal clean can help you avoid costly clogged drains. If your drain does develop a clog, however, contact Mr. Rooter of Oneida for help. Our licensed plumbers are certified by Onondaga County and offer prompt, courteous service, so your clogged drain doesn’t cause further problems.