How to clean and deodorize garbage disposals

How to clean and deodorize garbage disposalsZesty Maids tip for today is about ways you can clean and deodorize garbage disposals.

As we know, because garbage disposals grind food remains, after a while it can get nasty and with an unpleasant odor. As any other appliance in our kitchen, it is important to keep it clean to prevent the accumulation of food debris as well as to avoid unwanted insects.

However, before talking about ways you can clean your garbage disposal, it is important to know what you shouldn’t put down on your disposal. If you think garbage disposal can take everything, you will be surprised to know that it doesn’t.

How to clean and deodorize garbage disposalsGarbage disposals cannot handle:

  • Fibrous Food or leafy vegetables – (corn husks, artichoke, pumpkin, rhubarb, celery stalks, asparagus, lettuce, onion skins) – they can wrap around the blades and cause the disposal to jam.
  • Expandable foods – (rice, pasta, bread, oatmeal) – they can remain in the drains and expand when water runs through, which is ideal for clogging issues.
  • Bones and hard shells – (chicken bones, beef/pork rib bones, shrimp shells, lobster/crab shells, oysters) – they are too hard for the disposal blades to break, consequently, they can damage the blades, or they can get stuck on the drain causing many problems.
  • Greasy remains – (oil and fat) – they can build up in the disposal and clog drains. Another common error is to use hot water when pouring grease into the disposal.

As we know, hot water can melt oil and fat; however, when in contact with cold water, oil and fat solidify. It is recommended to use cold water when pouring grease into the disposal because solid, the blades can break into pieces.

  • Fruit pits – (avocado, peach, hard seeds and cores) – because they are too hard, they can damage the blades.
  • Non biodegradable items – (plastic bags, wrappers, toothpick, etc.) – they cannot be completely shredded and they no only damage the blades but also they accumulate in the drains causing clog issues.

Garbage disposals can handle:

  • Small pieces of veggies and fruits flushed with cold water
  • Small portions of food waste flushed with cold water
  • Soft food waste
  • Ice cubes

Taking good care of your garbage disposal warranties it will last longer and you will have less plumbing issues.

Now, that you know what does and what doesn’t in your garbage disposal. We are going to show how to clean it.

Cleaning garbage disposal

  1. Rule number 1

Make sure the disposal switch is OFF. Never put your hands or try to remove any lodged object when it is on.

Even when the disposal is off, the blades are very sharp, so never put your hands down into the disposal to avoid any accident. If something is wrong, contact a professional to fix it.

2. Green cleaning process

Pour half cup of baking soda in the drain. Put the drain tap on the drain and fill the sink with hot water about 2 to 3 inches. Add one cup of white vinegar and a few squirts of dish soap. Remove the tap and switch the disposal on. Let the water run through the disposal and switch it off before completely done.

3. Scrub

Use a scrubbing brush or a toothbrush to clean the rubber and the interior of the disposal. Remove all the grime. You can use a flashlight to have more visibility of dirty spots.

4. Rinse

You can either let the disposal run with water for a few minutes to clean the drain or repeat the step number 2 – green cleaning process.

5. Ice cubes & rock salt

Add some ice cubes (around 10 to 20) and rock salt (it helps the ice cubes melt faster) in the drain and switch the disposal on with running water. Let it run until completely ground. It is said that ice cubes help to remove residue stuck in the interior of the disposal, and to sharp the blades.

How to clean and deodorize garbage disposalsDeodorizing garbage disposal

Here are some options which you can use to freshen up your garbage disposal.

  • Grind up a few slices of citrus fruits such as lime, lemon, orange or grapefruit.
  • Freeze white vinegar or citrus fruit juice into ice cubes and crush them as mentioned on process #5 Cleaning Garbage Disposal.
  • Freeze slices of citrus fruits (lime, lemon, orange, or grapefruit), and crush in the disposal as process #5 Cleaning Garbage Disposal.

Repeat this process once or twice a week. Using the garbage disposal properly prevent unnecessary damages. In addition, keeping it clean and deodorized will prevent residues to accumulate as well as to avoid unwanted odor. Maintenance is essential  appliances effectiveness and durability.

This is a Zesty Maids cleaning tip for today. Zesty Maids is a professional commercial and residential green cleaning company. Check out our website to learn more about our services.

Featured photo credit: Milly Eaton from Pexels, Pixabay from Pexels, and Pixabay from Pexels

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