Garbage disposals are kitchen workhorses, taking the daily grind to a whole new level (often in dark places, out of view). Given everything we throw at them (or rather, down them), it’s not surprising they get funky from time to time.

What may be surprising is how easy (and almost fun) it is to keep them looking and smelling their best.

Before we get started, here’s a fun bonus tip: Always disconnect the power to your garbage disposal before working on it—because it’s fun to keep all of your fingers attached to your hand—and it’s not fun to work in a confined space where blades can spin at 2,000 revolutions per minute. 

Check under your sink for a cord to unplug or cut the power from your breaker panel. Then flip the switch to ensure it has, in fact, been disengaged.

TIP 1: Want a super-cool way to clean your blades? Try ice!

Drop about a dozen ice cubes with a half-cup of rock salt into your garbage disposal. Restore power and start running cold water in your kitchen sink. Let the water run for about a minute—you should no longer be able to hear ice or salt crunching through the machine. Check the blades with a flashlight to make sure you got everything. If not, repeat.

TIP 2: Grab some bubbly. 

No, not champagne (yet—you can celebrate after the garbage disposal is clean). Start by dumping about a ½ box of baking soda into and around your garbage disposal, making sure to coat the rubber flaps and surrounding gasket. Pour about a cup of white vinegar into a glass—don’t pour it down the disposal just yet. Dip an OLD toothbrush into the vinegar and use it to thoroughly scrub the outer areas of your disposal.

Once thoroughly scrubbed, sprinkle the area again with baking soda for good measure and slowly pour the vinegar down the drain, allowing the grade school science experiment to work its magic to kill odor-causing bacteria. Let it fizz for about 15 minutes. At this point, you can pour or run hot water down the drain for a final rinse.

TIP 3: Add an ap-peel-ing scent.

While there may be some debate about throwing citrus peels down the disposal, we do suggest keeping the peels relatively small when you toss them into the revolving blades. Lemon and orange work well to combat any lingering odors and give your entire kitchen a quick sensory pick-me-up.

Once your garbage disposal is clean, make a mental note to repeat Tip #1 on a weekly basis. With regular upkeep, your garbage disposal will work like a charm and smell like…nothing—which is exactly how we like it.

Have a garbage disposal that stinks in ways worse than smells? We can help replace it! Call us to schedule today!