How To Clean Garbage Disposal – A Simple Steps Guide

Cleaning a garbage disposal is an important task that should be done regularly to keep it running smoothly and to prevent any buildup or clogs. You can effectively clean your garbage disposal and keep it in good condition in just a few simple steps.

Clean Garbage Disposal Step-by-Step

1: Turn off the Power

Before starting any cleaning process, turning off the Power to the garbage disposal unit is essential. This can be done by turning off the circuit breaker that controls the unit or unplugging it if it has a cord.

2: Clean the Exterior

Using a damp cloth, clean the unit’s exterior to remove any built-up grime or grease. Be sure to wipe down the unit’s top, sides, and bottom.

3: Remove any Obstructions

Check the disposal for any foreign objects that may be clogging the blades. Use tongs or pliers to remove any items that may have fallen into the unit.

4: Run Hot Water

Run hot water into the disposal for about a minute to help loosen any built-up grease or grime.

5: Pour Baking Soda and Vinegar

Pour about 1/2 cup of baking soda into the disposal, followed by 1 cup of white vinegar. The mixture of Baking Soda and Vinegar will fizz and help to break down any buildup in the unit. Let it sit for about 5-10 minutes.

6: Run Hot Water Again

Turn the hot water on and let it run for another minute to flush out debris.

7: Use Ice Cubes and Salt

Pour a handful of ice cubes and about 1/4 cup of rock salt into the disposal. Turn on the unit and let it grind the ice and salt for about 30 seconds. This will help to remove any remaining buildup and sharpen the blades.

8: Run Hot Water and Turn on the Disposal

Finally, turn on the disposal and run hot water for about a minute to flush out any remaining debris.

Clean Your Garbage Disposal

Following these simple steps, you can effectively clean your garbage disposal and keep it running smoothly. It’s a good idea to clean the unit at least once a month to help prevent any buildup or clogs.

Clean Your Garbage Disposal

In addition to cleaning the unit regularly, you can also do some things to help keep your garbage disposal in good condition. For example:

  • Only grind food that is appropriate for disposal. Avoid grinding bones, tough skins, and fibrous items, as these can damage the blades or clog the unit.
  • Run hot water for a few seconds before and after using the disposal to help flush out any food scraps.
  • Use a small amount of dish soap or lemon peel to help freshen the disposal and keep it smelling clean.

Cleaning your garbage disposal is a simple process that can help your garbage disposal last for a long time. You can prevent clogs, odors, and other issues from impacting its performance by taking a few minutes to clean the unit regularly.

It’s also important to note that if you notice any problems with your disposal, such as leaks, strange noises, or persistent clogs, it may be time to call a professional for repair or replacement. Regular cleaning and maintenance can help extend the life of your disposal, but if you’re experiencing persistent issues, it’s best to have it inspected by an expert.

What if my garbage disposal still smells after cleaning?

If the garbage disposal still smells, you can try pouring a mixture of baking soda and vinegar down the drain and letting it sit for a few minutes before rinsing with warm water. Alternatively, you can use commercial waste disposal cleaning products.

Can You Put Dishwasher Pods in Garbage Disposal?

Can you put dishwasher pods in a garbage disposal? It is not advisable to place dishwasher pods in a garbage disposal. They’re engineered for dishwashers, designed to slowly dissolve and release cleaning agents. Garbage disposals handle food scraps and biodegradable waste. Introducing dishwasher pods can cause clogs and damage, as they may not dissolve correctly, leading to pipe blockages.

Can I use commercial cleaners for the garbage disposal?

Yes, you can use commercial garbage disposal cleaners by following the directions on the product. However, natural cleaning methods are generally safe and equally effective.


In conclusion, cleaning garbage disposal is an important task that should be done regularly to maintain its performance and prevent any buildup or clogs. By following the steps of turning off the power, cleaning the exterior, removing any obstructions, running hot water, pouring baking soda and vinegar, using ice cubes and salt, and running hot water and turning on the disposal, you can effectively clean your unit in just a few minutes.