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The garbage disposal is one of the essential parts of the kitchen as it provides homeowners with a way to get rid of food waste with less trouble. Despite this, most people neglect it, causing this handy appliance investment to often get broken.
Over time, this tool will suffer from gunk build-up. Left unaddressed, it could even stink up the place to the point that homeowners have no other choice but to ask for professional help from companies offering garbage disposal services.
Regular cleaning and maintenance can help prevent damage to your garbage disposal. That said, we have compiled the following tips on how to keep your sink and garbage disposal system stink- and germ-free, while extending its lifespan for several years more.
One of the most common complaints garbage disposal owners have is the foul odor it emits. While most people think that washing down their sink with water and soap will solve this, it actually isn’t enough to prevent it from getting stinky. This is because the pipes where waste passes through usually contains other remnants of food waste. After some time, these bits and pieces are spoiled and become an ideal breeding ground for germs that cause the bad smell.
Fortunately, there is a quick and easy way to clean your garbage disposal system that doesn’t require special tools or expertise.
Things You’ll Need:
- Dishwashing soap in liquid form
- Distilled vinegar
- Baking soda
- Lemon or lime
- Sea salt
- An old toothbrush or any kind of brush
- Soft sponge
What You Need To Do:
Step #1: Turn Off The Disposal
Like any other appliance, garbage disposals should be turned off when you plan to clean it. This task may vary depending on the type of machine you have but the basic principle is the same: it shouldn’t be running during the process.
For most types of disposals, pulling the plug should be enough to achieve this. Those that are built into the sink, on the other hand, may require you to switch off the circuit breaker it is connected to. After doing so, you can start checking for possible issues in the disposal. Never put your hand inside the drain.
Step #2: Use Ice and Salt
This step requires the garbage disposal to be plugged in. You will need at least 10 cubes of ice and half-a-cup of salt. Pour in the ice first, followed by the salt. After that, turn on the disposal and keep it running for several minutes.
Although it is not required, you may use rock salt for better cleaning. Also, remember that you’re using cubes of ice, so it shouldn’t be surprising that the process will be loud. While the ice may take time to totally disappear, it won’t damage your disposal. Instead, it will help remove particles that may have stuck to it.
Step #3: Bring in the Vinegar and Baking Soda
After that, use distilled white vinegar and baking soda for a more powerful clean. Pour in half-a-cup of baking soda first, followed by the vinegar. Some experts recommend freezing the vinegar into cubes to be used in the second step, but pouring it in liquid form works well, too.
The vinegar works to remove stains and eradicate germs that may have propagated inside the garbage disposal drain. Baking soda removes the unpleasant smell. The foam that results from the chemical reaction also provides better cleaning by reaching into the deeper crevices of the sink.
Step #4: Start Scrubbing
This step is simple and self-explanatory. However, you should remember that this is best done while there is still foam from the vinegar-baking soda chemical reaction in the sink. Add more of this combo when necessary.
Step #5: Wash It All Away
When you’re finally satisfied with all the grime and gunk you removed and have reached everything there is to scrub, block the drain with a plastic dish or anything similar and fill the sink with hot water and soap. After that, remove the dish covering your drain to allow the soapy water to flow through.