To make our lives easier we have installed different electronics and items in our house. For help and assistance in our day-to-day activities, we use cell phones and other tech gadgets that help us to function smoothly. One thing every household believes makes their lives easier in the kitchen is a garbage disposal.
It is a wonderful appliance and a handy tool when it comes to disposing of unwanted food scraps that are laying there on your kitchen counter in the middle of cooking meals. It makes your cleanup process faster as it disposes of food wastes in a jiffy.
You might be using your garbage disposal carefully and think your kitchen sink is relatively clean because you don’t use it that many times in a day. But this is a misconception that most people still believe in. If it had been long since you’ve been using your garbage disposal and even if it doesn’t look like it needs any cleaning you still need to freshen it up a little bit.
This is necessary because without frequent cleaning your garbage disposal can grow slow because of the gunk and dirt that gets filled up inside it and you might even start to smell nasty odors out of it.
If this is the case then it is time for you to realize that your garbage disposal needs some of your attention, time, and effort. Since it doesn’t seem to be like a fun job there are chances you might end up asking yourself “how do I clean my garbage disposal”.
Even though these disposals are generally self-cleaning but fortunately there is a step-by-step do-it-yourself process that you can follow. You would need a few basic items to help clean it. The materials which you need include liquid dishwashing soap, distilled white vinegar, baking soda, salt, lemon or lime, and ice cubes, and the tools required are a soft sponge and an old toothbrush. Total time that it usually takes to clean a garbage disposal is about half an hour.
In this article, we provide you with these necessary steps that are required to keep your disposal in a tip-top condition and that answers the question of how do I clean my garbage disposal. With the help of these steps, you would be able to safely clean and effectively eliminate odors from your disposal. This article also includes some useful information that you might need for the maintenance of your garbage disposal.
Step # 1: Remove stuck objects physically from the disposal
If a large object is stuck in your garbage disposal then before you start the cleaning process you need to take care of this item first. Before you take it out, it is necessary as a precautionary measure that you switch off the fuse through which power is supplied to this disposal unit.
This will ensure that the unit does not turn on while you are in the middle of cleaning it, which could result in a serious injury or an accident. You can even unplug the unit form under the sink as an extra safety measure.
To remove the object what you need is a pair of tongs or pliers through which you can access the object and pull it out carefully without damaging the grinder. If you do not have a clear view of the stuck object then shine a flashlight down the disposal or ask somebody to hold it for you while you get the job done.
One thing you need to avoid is to put your hand down the disposal at any and all costs. If there is a need then double check that the unit is unplugged and it is safe to put your hands inside as the blades are not razor sharp but are somewhat sharp.
Step # 2: Flush it with hot water
To keep the garbage disposal clean flush it on a frequent basis with water that will help remove any grime or dirt that is stuck in it. It is better you add two to three drops of liquid dishwashing soap in hot water and run it through the sink into the disposal. Let the water be enough that it is 2 to 4 inches (approximately 5 to 10 inches) sitting in the sink. To flush the water through the sink into the disposal plug in the unit and turn it on.
Using hot water is more beneficial than using cold water as it will help liquefy any grease or oil in the drain and thus flushing it away. This mixture of hot water and dishwashing soap is more effective than simply running tap water through as it rinses off the entire drain pipes under the unit and flushes away any built-up debris.
Step # 3: Use salt and ice cubes
To remove any tough sludge or debris that has developed in the grinding element and has attached itself there use ice cubes and salt. Grind them in the disposal to get rid of any remains. What you need to do is put two cups of ice in your garbage disposal and add one cup of rock salt over it, turn the unit on and let the ice and rock grind and get crushed together with the help of blades. Turn on the tap water so that the ice starts to melt as it moves down the grinder.
One alternative that you can use instead of using rock salt and ice cubes is to freeze some vinegar along with some water into cubes of ice. Now instead of the previous combination add these cubes into the grinder and allow them to be crushed through blades. Not only will this clean your disposal but also will remove any unwanted nasty odors and sharpen the blades.
Step # 4: Scrub the garbage disposal
Once the disposal is clean and any grease has been liquefied and removed from it you can now move on to the next step. You might think that these combinations of different materials have cleaned the garbage disposal from the inside but how do I clean my garbage disposal on my own?
The answer is: you clean it manually with the help of an old toothbrush, soft sponge, or a scrub brush. Scrub the exterior opening and the interior of the unit with the help of a scrub brush that is specially designed for the purpose of cleaning it.
If you find cleaning it difficult then first remove the screen from the top of the drain which will make it easier for you to see and clean the unit.
After completely cleaning your garbage disposal it is time for you to freshen it up a bit so that it feels and smells like new. One natural way that you can use to freshen up the unit and leave your kitchen to smell refreshing is to take some citrus peels that are cut into small pieces and grind them up in it.
These citrus peels could be from any of the citrus fruits like orange, lime, grapefruit, or lemon, whichever is easily available. You can even add some spice that can further leave a refreshing scent in your grinder and disposal unit for long. Spices that are most commonly used for this purpose include lavender oil or rosemary oil.
Step # 6: Use a combination of baking soda and vinegar
A great odor-busting combo is to use baking soda and vinegar together in the disposal unit. For this, you need to take half a cup of baking soda and sprinkle it as deep as you can into the drain. Now take a cup of white vinegar and pour it on top of the sprinkled soda.
This mixture of these two elements will bubble and fizzle for a while. Let it sit there and happen for 5 to 10 minutes. In a pan pour some water and boil it until there are bubbles all over it. Take this pan off the heat and pour this boiling hot water on top of the mixture to rinse it down with the garbage disposal running.
Step # 7: Rinse it with bleach
To clean your disposal thoroughly one of the most effective ingredients that you can use is bleach. It kills all the bacteria and germs that might have produced in the drain and will freshen it up quickly. Make sure you use a limited quantity of it as too much of using bleach can harden the grease in the unit making it very difficult to remove.
To decrease the concentration level and viscosity of the bleach what you can do is take a gallon of water and dilute a tablespoon of liquid chlorine bleach in it. After mixing it completely, pour it into the disposal unit. Now allow it to sit there for a few minutes depending on the level of dirt that needs to be cleaned and then turn on the hot water tap and let it flow for a couple of minutes until the bleach flushes away.
Step # 8: Use borax for a final cleanup
As the final clean up step and giving you plenty of ways and different steps to follow through to answer your question of how do I clean my garbage disposalyou need to use borax powder to pack things up. It is a safe, effective, and natural cleaning product that minimized odors.
To clean your unit with this simply sprinkles 3 or 4 tablespoons of powder depending on the need into the unit and allow it to sit for around an hour or two. Then either open the hot water tap to let it flush away or pour boiling hot water over it.
These are the steps that are necessary for you to follow if you want the final result to be worth the effort. You can lengthen up the periods after which you need to clean your garbage disposal unit by taking care of its maintenance issues. Some tips that can help you with this are mentioned as follows.
This is a tip and a rule that you should include in the list of your house or kitchen rules that only biodegradable food goes down the drain of the kitchen sink. You should avoid putting any other item as your disposal unit is not a trash can. Trying to choke the drain only to get rid of unsuitable items is not something in your favor and is a sure recipe for disaster.
Some of the items that you should avoid include onion skins, celery stalks, and artichokes. Rather than using the garbage disposal you should compost them. Starchy or expandable food items like potato peels, pasta, or rice should also be avoided as they may get stuck somewhere in between the drain.
Tip # 2: Cut large items into smaller pieces
Prevent your disposal from becoming stuck and cut large items into smaller pieces so that they are easily broken down into smaller pieces by its blades. This is true for pieces of fruit and vegetables or anything else you think your garbage disposal might have a hard time processing.
Tip # 3: Let it run for longer after each use
A mistake that is often made by people and is never realized is that they turn off the grinder the minute they hear that the grinding noises have stopped. What happens is that the items in the drain might still be there as they have been broken down into several small pieces which cause the noise to stop. It is, therefore, recommended that you leave the garbage disposal on for a couple of minutes even after you stop hearing the voice.
You can even open the hot water tap and let the water flow for a few minutes so that the small particles stuck in the unit get cleared away.
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