Routine maintenance is the key to keeping your appliances in good condition. Your is no exception. Although your disposal is built to break down food before sending it down the drain, it can still retain some of that food waste in hard-to-reach areas.
If your garbage disposal smells, it might not be broken — it just might be in need of a thorough cleaning. There are many safe, easy, affordable ways to clean your garbage disposal, but they can generally be divided into two categories: pouring methods and scrubbing methods.
What to Pour Down Your Garbage Disposal
You can buy an expensive cleaner to pour down your garbage disposal if you really want, but in most cases, you can use mixtures of common household goods instead. Typical household cleaning methods include:
- Baking soda and vinegar: This winning combination is a . Simply combine two parts vinegar (white or apple cider) with every one-part baking soda (e.g., one cup of vinegar to a half-cup of baking soda). Don’t turn on the disposal right away; instead, let the baking soda and vinegar sit for about 10 minutes. Then, you’re free to run the disposal while running water to achieve a nice, easy clean.
- Hot, soapy water: It’s what we use to clean our dishes of food waste, so it makes sense that it would work on food particles trapped in your garbage disposal as well. Put the stopper in your sink, fill it with hot water, and add a generous squirt of dish soap. Once you take the stopper out, run your garbage disposal while the soapy water drains.
- Boiling water: Although it may not be effective on its own, boiling water is a great extra step to your cleaning process if you know there are some large, stubborn food particles in your disposal. Boiling water will help loosen these areas so you can more successfully clean your disposal with one of the above methods. All you have to do is boil a pot of water on your stovetop or in an electric kettle and pour it down the drain.
- Citrus: Although citrus won’t clean your disposal on its own, it’s usually effective at eliminating nasty odors. You can use the peel or rind of any type of citrus fruit, although oranges and lemons are most commonly used. Chop up your peels into small pieces and send them down the disposal with running water.
How to Scrub Your Garbage Disposal Clean
Sometimes, a simple pouring method isn’t enough to get your garbage disposal completely clean. If your disposal hasn’t been cleaned in a while, it may require a good scrub to remove built-up food waste completely.
Did you know that simply using ice cubes can help clean your disposal? Because the water is frozen, your disposal will grind against the ice cubes, essentially scrubbing itself clean. Just run cold water while your disposal does the rest. If you want to add extra resistance, throw in a cup of rock salt with the ice.
What If My Garbage Disposal Is Broken?
Cleaning your garbage disposal on a regular basis is the key to making your appliance last. But routine maintenance can’t fix what’s already broken. Your garbage disposal may need to be repaired, not just cleaned, if it:
- Won’t turn on
- Always smells bad (even after you’ve cleaned it)
- Makes strange or loud noises
- Doesn’t drain
- Shuts off at random times
If your garbage disposal is broken, you won’t be able to pour something down the drain or scrub it until it’s fixed. You’ll need the skills and expertise of experienced appliance repair technicians to get the job done.
Repair Your Garbage Disposal Today
If you suspect your garbage disposal needs more than just a deep clean, our Grand Rapids, MI, appliance repair technicians can help. We can diagnose and fix your garbage disposal’s problem in 24 hours or less. Call Apex Appliance today at (616) 363-9894, or contact us online.