Throw two lemon wedges and a cup of ice in the disposal. Turn on the cold water and turn on the disposal. The lemon will help with the bad odors and the ice helps to get those blades sharp!
By attosa from Los Angeles, CA
By xintexas from San Antonio, TX
Since "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure", I would always tell them that certain things don't go down the disposal in the first place.
3. Starchy things like spuds peels and rice
4. And lastly, no plastic bread tabs, wire ties, pennies, etc.
When they are ready to grind, run the water for a few seconds, and then feed gradually. Let the water run after it has shut off for about 30 seconds.
To keep it not only clean but smelling clean, I always told them to grind up some ice cubes with 2 tsp. of lemon juice once a week. It not only keeps the blades sharper, but smells good.
I hope this helps. It sure did them!
Source: Too many years experience.
By Sandi A. from Salem, OR
In between doing this, I use denture tablet cleansers. Put one in the disposal, but don't turn it on. Let the water and the tablet do the work. If you do this quite often, it takes less than a minute to clean it by hand.
One other tip is to use baking soda and cheap white vinegar. While it foams, it deodorizes and cleans.
By hopeful from Salem, OR
Source: I do not know where I read this solution. I did not think of it myself, but I have been using it for years.
By Sandra B. from Jefferson, OH
By Clara from North Andover, MA
By Neal K. from Leawood, KS
If the disposal is really dirty, the crushed ice may back up into the sink. Don't worry, let it run and it will all go down. When the disposal runs empty, you are done. I cleaned apartments for many years, and you learn to work smart not harder than you need to.
By Zoek from Grand Junction, CO
How do I clean my garbage disposal? There's a musty smell coming from the drain.
By Pat L. from Phoenix, AZ
The 'citrus' trick is what I use, but I just toss any citrus piece, never have to cut a piece specifically for the disposal, just use a lemon wedge from my iced tea, right into the drain. The disposal always stays nice and fresh, because it takes a few days to get rid of the rind.
I put white vinegar, baking soda, hot water, ice cubes, etc. into my kitchen sink garbage disposal. The black rubber "fins" covering the unit get grungy with a greasy, dirty-looking film. I've tried cleaning with a vinegar soaked rag which helps some. Does anyone have an easier way to keep this area of the garbage disposal clean? Thanks for help and for a super website.
Mairmie from Alberta, Canada
Good luck. (05/17/2006)
By Carol in PA
I need to know how to clean a garbage disposal. I don't remember ever having one before, an easy homemade way. Thank you folks. You have always come to my rescue.
Jamish from Ransom, Kansas
I fill my disposal up with ice cubes and turn on the water, hit the switch, and add lemon or lime juice about every four to six months. I don't really use my disposal for grinding food away. I throw most in the garbage. (08/14/2006)
What is the best way to clean and sanitize a garbage disposal?
Debbie52 from IL
I found the baking soda/vinegar trick on this site while checking Google this morning for "how to clear plugged garbage disposal". I tried it this morning, and it worked!
I had dumped a large container of cooked pasta into it last night and plugged it up. I'm always careful about not putting grease and fibrous junk into it, but I'd never heard the warning about starch before. The blades would turn, but water wouldn't drain at all. When I turned it on, everything spewed out in a mess.
As directed, I put a half box of baking soda into the drain, right through the standing water, then 1 cup vinegar, then a 2nd cup of vinegar, and followed that up with a pot of boiling water. I could see a few little bubbles coming up, so then I used a plunger, and it opened right up.
Thank you for keeping me from using drain cleaner. My brother thanks you, too, since he's the one I would have called next. (03/16/2008)
What is the most efficient way to keep a garbage disposal clean? I would like to know if there is a product I can buy, but after looking in some stores I have not found any for this specific use.
Judy from Riverside, CA
By Carol L.
I use a good amount of Dawn dish soap and some water softener, like Calgon or White King D and soak, scrub, and rinse well. Well, my disposer got really disgusting lately and I poured down about 1 cup of baking soda and poured, slowly, vinegar until the soda was almost down the drain and let it foam for a few minutes. Then run cold water for a few minutes. It worked really well and deodorized the drain and pipes. (02/25/2009)