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Tips For Cleaning Your Garbage Disposal

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Just like a dishwasher at your home, which needs a routine cleaning, your garbage disposal requires a cleaning every month. It can even include weekly washes if you are heavy on your food. Remember, the garbage disposal is far different from an actual garbage bin, so you need to use other techniques to clean them. 

How does a Garbage disposal work?

There is no high-tech science that goes into a garbage disposal. Instead, it has various layers and is usually regarded as a food sink disposal because it is mounted on a sink to collect solid foods into a grinding chamber. When you switch on the disposal, it will push the food particles against the grinding chamber, breaking them into tiny pieces and washing them through the holes. 

How to empty garbage disposal?

The garbage disposal can get clogged by marshy food items and will require emptying to eliminate the odors that would form. If you’re caught in such a situation,  use the below methods to unclog the garbage disposal.

Keep your sink odor-free with these eight ways to clean:

Tongs to discard the objects

If there are complex objects like forks and spoons clogged into the garbage disposal, use tongs or forceps to pull out whatever is stuck into the grinder. 

Rock salt and ice cube

Pour three cups of ice cubes and one cup of rock of salt into the drain. Then, switch the disposal on and pour in some cold water. As the grinder rotates, it will crush the ice cubes and the salt along, discarding all the greasy debris that is stubborn to remove. This technique will also help to sharpen the blades of the grinder to crush the food particles better. 

Use citrus fruit

Citrus fruits like lemons, oranges, or tangerines are great organic ways to clean the garbage disposal. They eliminate any stains and will freshen them with a fantastic citrus aroma. To clean the garbage disposal with citrus fruit, grab a lemon or other citrus fruit and run it down the drain hole. Let the disposal work for some time to be clean and aromatic. 

Vinegar or baking soda

Vinegar is a mild acid, and baking soda enhances the powers of vinegar to eliminate the clogged particles. Pour one cup of baking soda into the drain hole and then run down two cups of vinegar. Let the disposal work for some time, and then pour down hot water to give a thorough wash. 

Dish soap and hot water

Using some dish soap and running down with hot water is the traditional way of cleaning your garbage disposal. Pour half a liter of hot water followed by a few tablespoons of the dish soap. You can even use a brush to clean the edges. Drain down the water, and the entire unit, including the disposal drain lines, gets cleaned by this method. 

Boiling water and baking soda

Boiling water has high efficiency in eliminating greasy and oil particles that are very difficult to stop. However, due to their sticky nature, they will adhere to other particles, which can cause odors when left for long. Pour some baking soda after releasing the water into the chamber and use a brush to rub the disposal. Switch on the removal after this step for the dirt to flow out of the section. 

Manual removal

Remove the large particles manually. If it is too dark to see but yet to hear some unusual sounds, use a flashlight and thoroughly check the chamber. Clean the visible portion of the section, and if you can’t reach the bottom, then a piece of advice is to call the plumber to get the food particles unclogged. 

Use sodium tetraborate

Sodium tetraborate, also called borax, is a natural laundry cleaner to clean many household items. Take a few tablespoons of borax into the disposal and pour chilled cold water. Then, switch on the disposal and let it run for a minute. 

What not to do!

When handling the grinder, be very careful. For example, do not put your hand directly into the filters, even if the units are switched off. 

Remember, the slower you take to clean your disposal, the better it will smell and the fresher it will remain for a prolonged time. 

Another piece of advice is to avoid using bleach, especially if your sink is made up of steel or has steel portions in it. Also, use a milder vinegar and not a strong one because it can erode the layers of your grinder. 

Always have a cross-check with the manual or the manufacturer’s guide before you dig into the chambers. If something gets out of hand, please call a certified plumber to do the job for you. 

Take a home message!

The good news is you don’t have to buy expensive stuff to clean your garbage disposal. Instead, you can use whatever is available at home and do the required. Ideally, you should clean the disposal every two weeks, but depending on the flow of the food, you can clean it every week or every month.