When you consider the environment of your garbage disposal; cool, dark, moist and constant flow of shredded food, it’s no wonder it gets smelly from time to time! Clean your garbage disposal and eliminate the odor-causing bacteria with these instructions.
Supplies: Flashlight, Needle-Nose Pliers or Tongs, Ice Cubes, Rock Salt, Vinegar, Baking Soda, Old Toothbrush, Liquid Dishwashing Soap, Lemon or Orange Peels
Before you being cleaning your garbage disposal, you must disconnect the power. You can do this by unplugging it from the wall under the sink. If you can’t find the outlet, go to the electrical panel and cut the electricity to the circuit. Try turning on the garbage disposal to confirm that the power is off. Next, point a flashlight down the drain to locate any objects that may be lodged in or wound around the blades. If you find anything, remove the items with needle-nose pliers or tongs – don’t stick your hand into the garbage disposal.
Drop a dozen ice cubes into the garbage disposal, followed by a half-cup of rock salt. Plug the garbage disposal in again, turn it on, and run water down the drain for about a minute so that all the built-up grime and gunk falls away from the blades. Check the drain with a flashlight again. If the blades are clean, shut the power back off.
Pour a cup of vinegar and a half-cup of baking soda into the disposal. Let it fizz for about 15 minutes so that the acidity of the solution kills bacteria, including salmonella and E. coli. While the combination is fizzing inside the disposal, combine the two again, on the counter, to create a thick paste. Put some paste on an old toothbrush to scrub the rubber flaps along the neck of the disposal.
Now you just need one final flush of the garbage disposal. First, plug the drain opening and let the water fill the sink until it’s about three-quarters full. Add a teaspoon of dish soap, remove the drain plug and let the water drain out all while the disposal runs.