The kitchen sink is a common location for clogs. Most people rely on the garbage disposal to ensure the drain is efficiently operating. The garbage disposal is designed to grind waste to small pieces so it can drain properly. If the garbage disposal is not cleaned, odor-causing bacteria builds up and drains can become clogged. With this in mind, we at The Original $49.95 Plumber would like to share a few tips on how to clean your garbage disposal.
How to Clean a Garbage Disposal
1) When it comes to cleaning a garbage disposal, there are two important guidelines. The first is to ensure the power to the appliance is disconnected before getting started. Simply unplugging it is the easiest way to cut its power and is usually it’s plugged in to the wall under the sink. Go to the electrical panel in your house and cut electricity to the circuit on which the garbage disposal is powered if you can’t locate the outlet. Try turning on the garbage disposal to ensure the power is disconnected. Using a flashlight, identify any objects that may be lodged, or wound around, to the impellers. If anything is found, use you needle-nose pliers or tongs to pull the foreign object. Never stick your hand into the chamber.
2) Followed by a half-cup of rock salt, drop about a dozen ice cubes into the garbage disposal. While running water down the drain, turn on the disposal after you restore the power. Until all the built-up grime and gunk has fallen away from the disposal blades, about a minute, leave it running. Using a flashlight, inspect the blades and if you are satisfied with the cleanliness, cut power to the garbage disposal again.
3) Into the disposal, pour a cup of vinegar and a half-cup of baking soda. For about 15 minutes, let the combination fizz. Without the use of the toxic chemicals, the acidity of the solution kills bacteria, including salmonella and E. coli. Stick with the natural cleaners here. Compromising the sanitation of your kitchen sink, so too could a chemical, just as bacteria can come flying out of the disposal.
4) Create a thick paste of vinegar and baking soda while you wait for the fizz to settle. Set the lace on the exterior of the appliance. Smear the paste on an old toothbrush and scrub down the top and bottom surfaces of the rubber flaps along the neck of the disposal. Also, scrub the rubber parts on your sink stopper to maximize the cleaning.
5) One final flush of the garbage disposal is next. Plug the drain opening first and run warm water until the basin is about three-quarters full. Add a teaspoon of dish soap and remove the drain plug while running the garbage disposal.
Extra Garbage Disposal Cleaning Notes
If you want to help counter the odors of the garbage disposal, cycle some citrus peels. With regular cleaning of the garbage disposal, you can make sure odors stay away. Additionally, you can send ice cubes down the disposal periodically to help keep the blades sharp. Never use hot water during the cleaning process.