Garbage disposals are a convenient addition to any kitchen, but they can quickly become a breeding ground for odors and bacteria if cleaned sparingly. Even if you are careful with what you put down your disposal, food waste will accumulate over time, creating a perfect environment for microbes to thrive. Fortunately, cleaning your garbage disposal is easy and can be done in just a few simple steps. Below are steps to follow to keep your garbage disposal fresh and clean.

1. Safety First

When it comes to cleaning a garbage disposal, safety should always be the priority. At Wyman Plumbing & Mechanical, we understand the importance of preventive measures before beginning maintenance work on plumbing systems. As a trusted provider of water heater replacements, water softener installations, and tankless solutions, we always prioritize safety.

Before cleaning your garbage disposal, turn off the power and unplug it from the outlet to avoid electrical shock. Always use protective gear like gloves and goggles to prevent injuries. Once you’ve ensured your safety, you can clean your garbage disposal easily.

2. Gather Supplies

Before diving into the cleaning process of garbage disposals, it’s important to make sure you have all the necessary supplies on hand. This includes some basic items such as dish soap, vinegar, and baking soda but also something that may not immediately come to mind: a camera inspection.

While it may seem excessive, a camera inspection can help you identify hard-to-reach areas or potential issues lurking in your garbage disposal system. By taking this step, you’ll understand what you’re working with, and you can clean your garbage disposal more effectively.

3. Remove Any Visible Debris

Cleaning your garbage disposal is important in maintaining a hygienic kitchen environment, and removing any visible debris is the next step in the process. Before moving on to this step, ensure that you have secured a reliable drain repair professional in case anything goes wrong. Begin by turning off the power supply to the disposal and using tongs or pliers to remove any large pieces of debris or food particles that may be visible.

Be cautious while doing so, and try to avoid causing any damage to the blades or other internal components. Once the visible debris has been removed, it’s time to move on to the next step in the process.

4. Pour in Baking Soda

Another essential step in cleaning a garbage disposal is pouring in baking soda. This can help deodorize and sanitize the area, leaving your sink smelling fresh and clean. Baking soda also has natural abrasive properties that can help scrub away any leftover grime or buildup within the garbage disposal. Pour enough baking soda to coat the inside of the disposal, and let it sit for a few minutes before moving on to the next step. This simple yet effective method can keep your garbage disposal functioning at its best.

5. Add Vinegar

To ensure thorough cleaning of your garbage disposal, it’s important to add vinegar to the process. Vinegar is a natural cleaning agent that can effectively break down any leftover food or grime that may be stuck in the disposal. Plus, it helps to eliminate any unpleasant odors that may be lingering. Pour a cup of vinegar down the disposal and let it sit for about 10 minutes before rinsing it out with cold water. This step will leave your garbage disposal looking and smelling fresh and clean.

6. Boil Water

This step is important because it will help clear out any remaining debris in your garbage disposal, ensuring it is sparkling clean. To do this step, boil a full pot of water and carefully pour it down the disposal. Make sure to run the cold water while you pour the hot water down the disposal to help flush it out. Not only will this step remove any remaining grime, but it will also help sanitize your garbage disposal, eliminating any lingering unwanted smells.

7. Crush Citrus Peels

While this may seem simple, it plays a crucial role in maintaining the cleanliness and freshness of your disposal. By grinding up citrus peels, you can help eliminate unpleasant odors and add a fresh, clean scent to your kitchen. Plus, the acid from the citrus can help break down any leftover food particles, leaving your disposal spotless and functioning efficiently. So, the next time you have extra citrus peels on hand, don’t toss them in the trash. Give your garbage disposal a refreshing boost instead.

8. Turn on the Water and Garbage Disposal

This step is crucial in ensuring that all the debris you have just removed is fully washed away and ready to dispose of. Turning on the water will help flush out any remaining particles while running the garbage disposal, eliminating any lingering smells. Be sure to let the water run for at least 30 seconds after turning off the garbage disposal to ensure everything is fully washed away.

9. Scrub the Rubber Gasket

The gasket can often become filled with leftover debris and even develop a bacteria buildup over time. Carefully clean the gasket using a scrub brush or an old toothbrush to ensure it is thoroughly disinfected. This will help keep your garbage disposal smelling fresh and clean for longer while also preventing any potential health hazards from developing. So, thoroughly clean the gasket during your next garbage disposal cleanup session!

10. Add Ice Cubes

Dropping a few ice cubes down your disposal and running it, you can help dislodge any small particles of food that may have been missed during the cleaning process. Plus, it’s a quick and easy step to complete that can help ensure your disposal runs smoothly. So, grab some ice cubes from the freezer and give your disposal one final treat before turning it off for the day.

11. Dry the Garbage Disposal

The last step in cleaning your garbage disposal is to ensure that it is completely dry. Use a clean cloth or towel to wipe down the internal components of the disposal, taking extra care to ensure that all water has been drained out. Additionally, check the external surfaces for any wet spots and use a dry cloth or paper towels to wipe them away. Taking the extra time to ensure your garbage disposal is completely dry can help prevent rust and corrosion from developing over time.

Maintaining a clean garbage disposal ensures your kitchen stays fresh. Utilizing the steps outlined above, you can easily keep your disposal running smoothly for years. If you’re considering a garbage disposal repair or replacement, make sure to reach out to the team at Wyman Plumbing & Mechanical.

At Wyman Plumbing & Mechanical, serving the North Phoenix Valley, we handle leaky valves and rocking toilets, install appliances, and fix garbage disposals. We also provide services like water heater replacement and water softener installation in addition to tankless water heaters and reverse osmosis drinking water systems for the whole house. Contact us today to see how we can help you.

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