How To Properly Clean A Garbage Disposal? – What You Need To Know
Garbage disposals were designed to pulverize and remove food waste, but you should know that food particles could become trapped on the chamber walls, grinding blades, and in the drainpipe. All this is going to do is lead to the buildup of mold and bacteria.
This will eventually cause your sink to reek of foul odors. Also, unhealthy spores could potentially begin to grow. If they’re not eliminated rapidly, they’ll begin to spiral out of control.
How To Properly Clean A Garbage Disposal
When the incidence occurs, it is highly possible that you will not even notice the odors.However, if you keep putting off cleaning your disposal, the odors and bacteria will only continue to grow. This is why it is imperative to keep a fresh, clean disposal at all times.
It is recommended that you clean your disposal at least once a week to keep it free of bacteria and unruly smells. With all that being said, you should know that there are several different ways you can go about cleaning the appliance. Below, you will learn more information about garbage disposals and how to clean them properly.
Important Tips When Washing Dishes
When washing dishes, it is always best to use hot water and detergents that will break down the greasy residue. The reason you want to do this is because grease will harden in your drainpipes, once it has cooled down to room temperature.
This is the number one cause of foul odors and clogged drainpipes. When running you disposal, it is always best to use hot water to keep the disposal clean and clear. Avoid putting cooking fats or grease into your disposal or down your drainpipes.
Cleaning With Vinegar And Baking Soda
Baking soda and vinegar are both powerful cleaning agents, but when they are combined together they can be even more effective. One technique to use to clean your disposal is to pour a half cup of baking soda down the chute. Next, you should add 1 cup of white vinegar.
Once you have completed this process, you want to seal the drain with the cover. This will block in the cleaning solution, so it can work its magic.
You are probably going to hear a bit of fizzing, but this is only normal. Also, keep in mind that if you have a double sink it is best to perform this process in both sink drains at the same time. While the mixture is allowed to set, you should begin boiling a sufficient amount of hot water.
Once the water reaches the boiling point, you should pour it down both drains. Avoid operating the disposal until the water has time to cool, because the hot water can cause the motor to overheat.
The Bleach And Water Cleaning Technique
Another great way to clean your garbage disposal is by using bleach and water. What you want to do is find a clean container that will hold a gallon of water. Now, mix 1 tablespoon of liquid bleach with every gallon of water you use.
Once you have completed this step, you should slowly pour it down the drain and allow it to sit for a few minutes, and then flush it out the drain with hot tap water for several minutes.
This process is effective, because the bleach kills germs and helps neutralize the foul odors. The hot water will help loosen any grease that may be trapped in the chamber or drain crevices.
Citrus Fruit Peels
You might be surprised to learn that peels from oranges, lemons, and grapefruits can also be great for freshening up your garbage disposal. Simply put a couple of peelings in the chute, turn the disposal on, and run the tap at the same time.
Remember to only utilize cold water, while the disposal is running. The peels will actually clean the blades of the disposal and the oils from the citrus will refresh things up in terms of odor.
How To Maintain Your Disposal
When it comes to your garbage disposal, you have to stop thinking of it like a garbage bin, because the two are entirely different. In fact, they are not in the least similar. You never want to stick anything down your garbage disposal that is not biodegradable.
By following this simple rule, you will be able to ensure the longevity of the disposal and cut down the cleaning time. Below, you will learn about some things that you should avoid putting in your garbage disposal.
- Never place fibrous materials in the chute. This includes items like cornhusks, onion skins, celery stalks, or artichokes. These items only have the potential to clog the unit and harm the motor.
- It is also important to avoid starchy materials like potato peels, because the starch will only stick to the blades.
- Food items such as pasta, rice, coffee grounds expand, when combined with water. If you put them in your disposal, there is a good chance that they could clog your drains.
If you are notable for not using your garbage disposer on a routine basis or not using an adequate supply of water, you may be risking debris buildup. If the grinding blades and walls of the chamber become burdened down with dried debris, the disposer will not operate properly.
Dried debris buildup can also cause the motor to work harder. When the motor is overworked for no reason other than negligence, the average lifespan will be cut in half.
One of the best ways to dislodge the dried debris is with ice cubes. When using this method to break away the debris, you will still need to use cold running water, because you do not want the motor to overheat.
- Turn on the spigot (cold water)
- Switch the disposer on
- Feed the ice cubes down the chute
- Let the water continue to run
- Switch the disposer off
- Leave the water running for another 30-60 seconds
You can repeat this process, if you feel it is necessary. You can also use frozen vinegar or lemon juice cubes for this process.
The frozen lemon juice and vinegar will eliminate the odors, while knocking the dried debris off of the blades and chamber walls. This way you will be completing two processes in just one step.