How To Clean Garbage Disposal

Garbage disposals are an essential part of our kitchens, but they can easily become a breeding ground for bacteria and bad odors if not cleaned regularly. Learning how to clean garbage disposal can help keep your kitchen smelling fresh and prevent any unwanted plumbing issues. In this article, we will discuss some simple steps to help you clean your garbage disposal effectively.

What You Will Need

Before we start, let’s gather the necessary supplies for cleaning the garbage disposal. You will need:

  • Baking Soda
  • Vinegar
  • Lemon or Lime
  • Dish Soap
  • Ice Cubes
  • Old Toothbrush or Scrub Brush
  • Rubber Gloves

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Clean Garbage Disposal

Step 1: Turn Off the Power

Before you start cleaning the garbage disposal, make sure to turn off the power. You can either unplug the unit or turn off the circuit breaker. This is important to avoid any accidents or injuries while cleaning.

Step 2: Remove Large Debris

Remove any large debris or food particles from the garbage disposal using tongs or pliers. Make sure to wear rubber gloves to protect your hands from any sharp edges.

Step 3: Pour Baking Soda and Vinegar

Pour one cup of baking soda and one cup of vinegar down the garbage disposal. Let the mixture sit for about 10-15 minutes. This will help break down any buildup and eliminate any bad odors.

Step 4: Add Lemon or Lime

Cut a lemon or lime into small pieces and add them to the garbage disposal. Turn on the cold water and run the disposal for about 30 seconds. The citrus fruit will help freshen up the garbage disposal and leave a pleasant scent.

Step 5: Use Dish Soap

Squirt a few drops of dish soap into the garbage disposal and turn on the hot water. Let the water run for a few minutes to help clean any remaining debris and food particles.

Step 6: Use Ice Cubes

Fill a plastic bag with ice cubes and place it in the garbage disposal. Turn on the unit and run the ice cubes through the disposal. This will help sharpen the blades and remove any buildup.

Step 7: Scrub the Rubber Flaps

Use an old toothbrush or scrub brush to clean the rubber flaps inside the garbage disposal. These flaps can trap food particles and bacteria, causing bad odors. Scrub them thoroughly to remove any buildup.

Step 8: Rinse with Water

Finally, rinse the garbage disposal with hot water to flush out any remaining debris and soap. Turn on the unit and let the water run for a few minutes.

FAQs about How to Clean Garbage Disposal

Q: How often should I clean my garbage disposal?

A: It is recommended to clean your garbage disposal at least once a week to prevent any buildup and bad odors.

Q: Can I use bleach to clean my garbage disposal?

A: No, bleach is not recommended for cleaning garbage disposals as it can damage the unit and cause harm to the environment.

Q: Can I put eggshells in my garbage disposal?

A: No, eggshells are not recommended for garbage disposals as they can cause damage to the blades and create a buildup of debris.

Q: How can I prevent bad odors in my garbage disposal?

A: To prevent bad odors, make sure to run cold water while using the garbage disposal and avoid putting any greasy or fatty foods down the unit.


Cleaning your garbage disposal is an important task to keep your kitchen smelling fresh and prevent any plumbing issues. By following these simple steps, you can easily clean your garbage disposal and keep it running smoothly. Remember to clean your garbage disposal regularly and avoid putting any harmful items down the unit.