top of page

DIY Solutions for Cleaning a Garbage Disposal

If you’re a cook, then you know that you sometimes get some odd odors emanating from your kitchen.

Perhaps you forgot to clean off the dinner dishes in a timely manner, or the garbage wasn’t taken out.

But what if that smell is coming from your garbage disposal?

Did you know that there are a number of simple things you can do to clean your garbage disposal and get rid of that bad smell?

The DIY Solution That Really Works

You’ve probably ran the spare lime or lemon in the garbage disposal to get rid of the bad smell and replace it with something a little more citrus. That’s a good choice for smell, but it doesn’t do as much to clean the disposal. Before you address the smell, you need to clean the disposal.

To do that, there is a three-step process to clean, sharpen, and deodorize your disposal.

Step 1:

Sprinkle ½ cup of baking soda in the disposal. Then follow that with 1 cup of regular white vinegar.

This may sound like your middle-school science-fair volcano—because it is. The bubbling action serves to loosen up the grime you might have on the moving parts of the disposal. It also goes into the second chamber and the plumbing line of the disposal to clean.

After the bubbling begins to slow down pour a kettle of boiling water into the disposal. This washes through the gunk that was loosened.

Step 2:

Break a full tray of ice cubes (about 2 cups) into the disposal. With running cold water, flip the switch on for 10–15 seconds, or until the ice is gone.

This step gets rid of any lingering gunk in the disposal and also sharpens the grinding mechanism in the unit.

Step 3: