Safely Clean Your Garbage Disposal

Just like any other appliance in your home, your garbage disposal needs some TLC from time to time. Think of all the things that get put down it. It gets dirty, especially if you use it a lot and if left uncared for it could become a breeding ground for mold and bacteria. We know not to just stick our hands in it, it’s sharp, and can be dangerous. So here are some tips to safely clean your garbage disposal.
A child cleaning utensils in a dishwasher
The first thing you want to do, even though it might seem like an obvious first step, is to turn it off. This means to go underneath the sink and completely disconnect it. This is an important step to safely clean your garbage disposal. You don’t want it to accidentally turn on, leading to any type of mishap. So if it’s unplugged, there can’t be any accidents like that.

Now that it’s unplugged, you can begin cleaning. Starting from the top, using a soapy sponge or toothbrush, clean the rubber splash guard (also known as a baffle). This can usually be removed for easier cleaning. It just pops out. Clean both the top and bottom of it and be sure to get all around it. Then move to the bottom where the grinders are and gently remove any leftover debris – preferably with tongs or pliers (those blades are very sharp!)

To clean the disposal use baking soda and vinegar. First pour about a half cup of baking soda into the disposal and let it sit. Follow with the vinegar and let it sit again while the mixture does its thing. Rinse and repeat this step if needed. Once completed turn the power back on to the disposal, replace the splash guard and throw some ice cubes in there. Grind the ice cubes along with some rock salt and citrus rinds if you have them. Lemon peels are usually the most common however orange and lime peels work well too. These will help to give a nice fresh smell to your kitchen sink. Finish by running the water for an additional minute or two after your disposal is turned off to wash it all down. Stay on top of things by cleaning your garbage disposal on a routine basis to prevent builds ups.