If you have noticed foul odors in your kitchen, the culprit may be your garbage. After all, it is garbage, right? Or maybe your disposal is making a terrible noise or isn’t working the way it used to. Any or all of these symptoms may indicate that your disposal needs a good cleaning. But if you have never cleaned a disposal before, you may be uneasy about taking on the task.
- You may not know what to do
- You can’t bring yourself to put your hand down that black hole in your sink
But cleaning your garbage disposal may not be as dangerous or unpleasant as you think, particularly if you clean it regularly to prevent all the buildup of stinky grime causing your problem.
Why Clean Your Garbage Disposal?
There are several reasons to clean your garbage disposal. Of course, you want to rid your kitchen of the foul odors coming from under your sink. But there are other more mechanical reasons for keeping your disposal clean as well. A buildup of grease and food particles can cause your disposal to work inefficiently. This results in food particles that are not broken down, which in turn leads to clogging. If your disposal becomes clogged, it can cause drains to become plugged and sinks to back up.
Clean garbage disposals operate more effectively and efficiently and last longer than those that are not properly maintained. Cleaning your disposal weekly is easy and will leave your kitchen smelling clean and fresh by reducing the amount of bacteria lurking in your drains.
Signs You Should Clean Your Garbage Disposal
One of the first signs that your disposal needs cleaning is an unpleasant odor. If you are smelling garbage, chances are there is a buildup in the disposal that is causing the smell.
If your garbage disposal does not function properly, it is another sign that it needs to be cleaned. If it is clogged or has a grease buildup, it will not operate the way it should and may even make a noise when in use that is not normal.
If your sink is backing up or not draining fully and properly, the disposal may be to blame. Food and grease can clog the garbage disposal and affect its performance.
Useful Tips for Maintaining Your Garbage Disposal
Weekly cleaning of your disposal is usually all you need if you use your sink every day. However, if you are using it more frequently than normal, check for the above signs to see if it needs to be cleaned more frequently.
Any easy way to clean your disposal and keep it running optimally is:
- Turn off the power. Never put your hand into a disposal that can accidentally be powered on. This means unplugging it or disconnecting the breaker. Gather your supplies: scrubber, gloves, baking soda, lemon juice, and/or vinegar.
- Start by cleaning the flapper (also known as the splash guard or baffle). It is the black rubber shield that keeps the food from splashing back on you. This is where the rubber gloves come in. Pull it back and scrub underneath and around the drain. Some baffles may be removable and can be tossed in the dishwasher.
- Use the scrubber or a brush to scrub the inside of the disposal to remove as much gunk as possible.
- Fill your sink with hot, soapy water, pull the plug, and let it drain.
- While the disposal is still off, put about a cup or two of ice cubes in it. Top with some baking soda and lemon or vinegar. Then, you can turn on your garbage disposal and let it grind the mixture. Baking soda and lemon or vinegar will clean and keep the disposal smelling fresh and clean for up to a week.
Other tips for maintaining your disposal are:
- Be selective on the waste that goes through your disposal. Avoid foods like eggshells, certain forms of grease, sticky foods, and large bones.
- Occasionally run some ice cubes through your disposal. Lemon or orange peel will keep it smelling fresh between cleaning.
DC Family Plumbing: Your Trusted Partner for Garbage Disposal Cleaning Services
DC Family Plumbing is a locally owned business dedicated to serving our local residents with premier plumbing service. If your garbage disposal needs to be repaired or replaced, our master plumbers will discuss your options and work with you to schedule your service. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.