Our kitchen sinks can see a solid amount of use each week, and so can our garbage disposal. There’s no telling what kind of food and debris builds up within the disposal, so cleaning it regularly is always recommended. Here are a few tips and tricks you can try when it’s time for you to clean your kitchen sink’s disposal.
Know the Ins & Outs
The starting point in any cleaning project should always be to know what you’re cleaning as well as how often you should clean it. For the garbage disposal in your kitchen sink, you’ll want to make a point to clean this about every other week. Regular cleaning and upkeep of the garbage disposal can help the machine to work properly and more efficiently, so be sure to make this a part of your cleaning schedule in your home. This will also prevent any strong and unpleasant odors at bay and keep them from taking over your kitchen. Now that you know why and when to clean your disposal, slip on your rubber gloves, and let’s get started.
All Over Clean
To begin the cleaning process, it is recommended that you start by flushing the system with some warm water and dish soap. This is a pretty simple task as all you have to do is plug the drain and fill the sink about halfway with hot water and add a few drops of dishwashing soap. Then just unplug the drain and turn on the disposal while the soapy water clears. This will help remove any loose food and debris from the disposal and make it a little easier to clean. If you know you’ll need a little extra cleaning power before this first step, here is what you can do:
- When you fill your sink with warm water and soap, add a splash or two of white vinegar to the mix to help neutralize odors.
- Baking soda can also be used instead of vinegar. Fill the sink and add about ¼ cup of baking soda before opening the drain and running the disposal.
- If warm water and soap aren’t enough, try scooping ½ cup of baking soda directly into the disposal drain and then steadily pour 1 cup of white vinegar down the drain as well. Allow the reaction to settle for about 5 minutes and then turn on warm water while running the disposal.
Try the Viral Hack
If you’ve spent as much time on CleanTok as we have, you probably already know about this particular cleaning hack. For this, you’ll need anywhere between a handful to 1 cup of ice cubes. While this hack usually only involves ice, most manufacturers and plumbing professionals suggest adding some lemon peels or wedges and a bit of salt for the best results. Here’s the hack:
- Place as much ice in the disposal drain as possible and turn on the cold water tap.
- Turn on the disposal and wait about 5 to 10 seconds before adding more ice or the suggested lemon peels or salt.
- Allow the disposal to crush the ice as well as any additives you chose to use, all while the cold water continues to run.
This hack has become so popular because of its effectiveness, but professionals still urge you not to use this particular method too often. While the scrubbing and refreshing powers of the ice, lemons, and salt can work wonders, frequent grinding of harder objects like ice can dull the blades.
The Finishing Touches
The final steps in the cleaning process should be deodorization and cleaning the sink itself. You’ll want to give your sink a good scrub down to make sure you haven’t missed any debris or food build-up. When you clean your sink, make sure you also use a toothbrush to scrub both sides of the rubber seal in the drain. This will ensure that you’ve cleaned every potential source of foul odors in your sink. The most highly recommended way to deodorize your disposal is by tossing a bit of your preferred citrus down the drain. We suggest using lemon or lime peels or wedges or even a few grapefruit peels for the best scent. Allow your disposal to pulverize the citrus and release the pleasantly fresh scents as the finishing touch. Here are a few things to remember as you use your disposal in the future:
- Avoid putting grease, cooking oil, coffee grounds, pasta, seeds, rice, fruit cores, and any non-foods down your disposal. These items do not break down well and can cause backups within your plumbing.
- Always use cold water when running your disposal regularly, you can use hot water when cleaning it.
- Allow your disposal to run with cold water for an extra 20 seconds after any food clears to make sure any debris is flushed.
Did any of these tips and tricks work for you? Do you have any hacks that you’d like to share? Leave a comment and tell us all about it! If cleaning your sink and disposal just isn’t your thing, reach out to Denver’s Best Cleaning Service. We have a variety of services that can help get your home looking, and smelling, its best!