Does your kitchen smell like stale breath? It could be your garbage disposal. Here’s how to clean a garbage disposal without losing your fingers.

Garbage disposals are wonderful additions to any kitchen, as long as they don’t smell like old man breath.

Whether it’s because you’re not cleaning your garbage disposal properly or you’re flushing the wrong things down your disposal, it’s time to get rid of those questionable smells coming from your sink.

Continue reading to learn how to clean a garbage disposal and prevent unpleasant odors in your house.

How to Clean a Garbage Disposal

It’s not difficult to maintain a clean and healthy garbage disposal. Cleaning your kitchen sink is as easy as one, two, three!

Just remember the first step to caring for your garbage disposal is turning off the power. Nearly 1,000 people are sent to the ER every year from garbage disposal accidents.

Don’t put yourself in harm’s way and risk losing a finger. Instead, always turn off the disposal’s power, so you don’t’ have to worry about an accident while you clean.

Option One: Use Baking Soda and Vinegar

You can create your own garbage disposal cleaning solution using baking soda and white vinegar. You can also this concoction if you need to unclog your garbage disposal.

Pour 1/2 cup of baking soda into your garbage disposal. Wait ten seconds, then slowly add 1/2 cup of vinegar into the disposal.

Place your sink stopper over your drain opening. As the vinegar and baking soda bubbles like a volcano, it will stay trapped inside your drain. As the mixture sits in your drain, it cleans the area of any remaining slime and sludge.

After three minutes, remove your drain stopper. Turn on your hot water and your garbage disposal to flush away the remaining baking soda and vinegar. If your garbage disposal was exceptionally dirty, repeat the process.

Option Two: Use Your Kitchen Sponge

Your garbage disposal’s baffle and grinding chamber are the two most important components to keep clean. If you regularly give these areas a scrub, you’ll have an odor-less appliance.

Once your garbage disposal’s power is shut off, apply dish soap to your kitchen sponge.

The baffle is the flappy rubber gasket around your garbage disposal drain. Scrub the area with your sponge thoroughly. Make sure you’re reaching all of the nooks and crannies to clear away any lingering food, scum, and grease. 

Rinse the sponge and add more soap. Reach into your disposal’s grinding chamber and scrub the space. You may need to shine a flashlight into the area to make sure you’re reaching everything.

Option Three: Rinse With Bleach

Bleach kills germs and freshens up your pipes. Keep in mind that grease is very powerful and shouldn’t be used all of the time. It can be a last resort that you only apply occasionally to fix a stubborn garbage disposal problem.

Never pour straight bleach into your plumbing system. First, dilute a teaspoon of chlorine bleach in a gallon of water. Pour it slowly into your garbage disposal.

Let the beach sit in the drain for up to two minutes. Use hot water and turn on your garbage disposal for five to ten minutes to flush away the bleach.

Call Your Local Plumbing Experts

Sometimes, your garbage disposal needs a professional to get it back into tip-top shape. If you’re unsure of how to clean a garbage disposal, no need to panic. Just give Global Plumbing a call, and we’ll handle the rest.

Click here to contact our professional plumbing team. From garbage disposals to water heaters, we’re the local Sacramento, California, experts you can rely on.