How Do You Clean Your Garbage Disposal?

How Do You Clean Your Garbage Disposal

In this post, I will be explaining how do you clean your garbage disposal so read on…

Just about every kitchen in America has a garbage disposal installed in the sink. But what do you do if your garbage disposal is clogged and won’t work? Here are some tips to get it back up and running again, so you can avoid throwing out any food or other items that still have value.

How Do You Clean Your Garbage Disposal?

The first thing you should do is check your owner’s manual. You may want to get down on your hands and knees if it helps you find where your manual might be stored (usually under the sink), but make sure you keep these instructions in mind while looking for it, too. That means reading everything carefully before trying any of these remedies on how to unclog a garbage disposal.

The more prepared you are when tackling this task, the better off you’ll be. A garbage disposal stuck under water can lead to sewage back up into the house which is something nobody wants! If that does happen, don’t panic; just break out the plunger and try to unclog that disposal with that instead.

If you can’t find your manual, the best next step is to turn off the circuit breaker leading to the garbage disposal in your house. Once you’ve done this, disconnect it from any outlet or switch that supplies power to it. If there is a wire attached to a switch or wall plug, disconnect that as well.

You should be able to reach an electrical box inside the cabinet underneath the sink and easily access a wiring terminal for each one. Even if something seems accessible where you’re working, don’t take any chances; shut off those switches and attempt these steps again later on when somebody else can help you out if necessary.

After those have been turned off—and double-checked to make sure they are, in fact, off—you’re ready to get started. First of all, find a bucket and fill it up with about three gallons’ worth of cold water.

If you can’t find a bucket that’s the right size, try using an old milk jug (which is exactly what some people use) or any container that you can seal up when you’ve finished with it.

Once your bucket is filled, dump the water directly down the drain where the garbage disposal is located. Even if it seems like nothing has happened at first—or even if no noise comes from the unit initially—keep dumping until something does happen. If you hear a loud sound around this point in time, just stop and let it be for a little bit.

If the sound keeps going after five minutes or so, there’s probably an internal blockage inside of the unit itself and you might need to call somebody who knows what they’re doing in regards to house plumbing.

If throwing cold water directly down your sink sounds strange to you, you can try this tip instead: Cut up some lemons into bite-sized chunks, then put them down that drain with cold running water behind them. The citric acid in the fruit will help break down any food particles that are stuck together inside the disposal.

You should have some success with this alternative method if pouring cold water straight into the garbage disposal is something you don’t feel comfortable doing, but keep in mind that you’ll want to change that water out at least once before trying any other remedies—and more often than not, twice will even be better.

If your garbage disposal won’t unclog after using either of the techniques mentioned above, it’s time to get a little more serious about this whole process.

Once again shut off the power leading to the unit and remove any electrical wires. Then go ahead and disconnect anything else that is attached: Drain pipes, stoppers and traps can all be removed with only a few twists and turns of a wrench or pliers .

Once you’ve done all of that, check to see if there’s anything inside the unit that could cause further problems down the road— even right then and there when you’re trying to get things going again.

If there’s a drain pipe that you can remove, do so and see if anything is stuck inside of it—if not, just leave it alone.

If none of the previous steps have worked for you, go ahead and let somebody who knows what they’re doing take a look at this for you. A professional plumber will be able to find out what’s been causing your unit to get clogged in the first place—as well as how best to resolve it .

If there happens to be nothing wrong with either your garbage disposal or your house plumbing in general, they might recommend putting up an additional drain pipe in order to make sure only liquids are allowed down through the system; food particles should remain above ground.

This is exactly why it’s best to turn off the power to your garbage disposal long before you begin any attempts at unclogging it—and don’t forget that even if your home does have a dishwasher, you still need to run water while using the sink .

Think about this: You use a knife all day long in order to get things done, but that doesn’t mean you should just leave it sitting there when you finish up and expect no other knives will be able to cut through it!

How do you clean a garbage disposal that smells?

The most common problem with garbage disposals is that they start to smell. If your garbage disposal smells, you can fix it yourself in about five minutes. You just need some simple tools and a little know how.

You should clean the rubber flap in the bottom of the sink every time you use your dishwasher or empty your sink of dishes. Once a week take out the drain pipe and run hot water down the disposal, this will flush it out with fresh water and remove any gunk packed in there.

Even if you don’t think anything is stuck in there that doesn’t mean something isn’t living inside of it . A plumber once told me that food particles get trapped between the rubber ring on the flange and the metal drain pipe and can begin to decompose .

In this case, you might need a professional plumber in order to clean out the disposal well enough for it to start smelling fresh again.

You can usually find cleaners specifically designed for disposals at your local hardware store or big box retailer. These cleaners are normally a gel that is dropped into the unit and then after a few seconds turned on to send the gel through the system. If you’re not looking to spend money on cleaning supplies then you can use baking soda and vinegar as a DIY garbage disposal cleaner .

Just pour about half a cup of each down the drain and let it sit there for about an hour before turning on the water and letting it run through. should settle any grime or gunk that may have been lodged in there and it’ll get rid of any foul odors.

You can also add ice to your disposal at this point if you want. The last thing you should do before turning the power back on for a running garbage disposal is run cold water down it while holding down the drain button .

If you’ve done everything correctly up until now, running the disposal while pouring fresh water through should remove any clogs , gunk or grime still sticking around; and will send it right down into the sewer where it belongs!

What is the easiest way to clean out a garbage disposal?

If the ice didn’t get rid of your disposal’s nasty odor or if you’d rather not use the baking soda cleaning method, there are other ways to get your garbage disposal clean.

One of these methods is to pour a bottle of three-in-one vegetable oil down the drain . Let it sit for at least an hour and then run hot water while holding down the normal operating button—this should hopefully flush out any bits or pieces that might have been trapped in there.

There are also commercial cleaners available for just this purpose. These aren’t ultrasound type ultrasound cleaners because all they do is break up large particles into smaller particles .

If you have one of these types of disposals, you should be able to remove it so that you can clean under it . While you’re at it, scrub the rubber flap in the drain hole and grab a screwdriver to remove any gunk or grime that may have built up around the outlet tube .

There are also alternatives for people who don’t want to get their hands dirty. If you’re okay with spending a little money ,you can hire a plumber to take care of your problem for you.

Some garbage disposal companies offer one-time services where they’ll come out and clean everything out from within the unit itself . These aren’t all that expensive when compared to how much it costs just to buy new units, so they might be worth looking into.

Finally, if none of these options seem good enough then there is always the option of replacing your garbage disposal. There are plenty of new models out there that are easier to install, cheaper and actually come with warranties . If you need help deciding which one is right for you, ask a plumber who has experience with installing them.

It depends on what type of disposal it is. Ultrasonic cleaners use high-frequency sound waves at levels so high they can break up solids without damaging or scratching most items.

These work best when the sink/garbage disposal is full of water, not dry like in the question’s scenario. Disposals also differ by whether they’re “continuous feed” or “batch feed” – batch-feed units require you to put waste them before they turn on; continuous-feed units allow you to put waste in as the unit is running.

How Do You Clean Your Garbage Disposal

Should garbage disposal be cleaned?

To understand whether a garbage disposal be cleaned is to understand what a garbage disposal does. A garbage disposal is designed to break down food particles so they are small enough to pass through the drain, but not so small that they cause clogs .

The grinding blades send whatever you put in there through high-velocity spinning that breaks up solids into smaller pieces, but doesn’t actually grind them up into fine sands.

What should I use in my garbage disposal?

The best thing to use for your garbage disposal is no more than 2 tablespoons of regular table salt . However, if you’re using one of these newer ultrasonic cleaners then you should definitely avoid adding any extra materials because it could damage your unit.

For batch-feed types , make sure the water is running when you add things to it, and for the continuous feed types you should only add a few ice cubes at a time .

What happens if I put too much down my disposal?

It’s important not to put more than 2 tablespoons of salt in your garbage disposal. If you do, you might end up with leaks because there could be too much mineral build-up inside the unit , or it could jam up if things get stuck while spinning . It might also damage the motor over time, which would require replacement of the whole unit.

Do garbage disposals really break glass?

There have been reports of glass breaking while going through a garbage disposal. Some people think that these instances actually had something to do with objects like metal spoons or silverware that got caught near the blades, which caused them to fly around and break something else .

Other people think there are cases where the disposal itself was not properly secured , which allowed stress on the machine to cause it to crack or completely break.

What goes down a garbage disposal best?

A good rule of thumb is that anything biodegradable can go into a garbage disposal. This means anything made from plant or animal-based materials should be fine as long as you cut it up into small enough pieces first. Some problematic things include orange seeds, avocado pits or large quantities of rice , but if you have any extra questions about whether something will work then just check with your local water/sewage department first.


To properly clean a garbage disposal it should be turned into a “batch feed” type to avoid any accidental grinding while cleaning. Take the splash guard off, fill it with warm water then add in 2 tablespoons of salt before turning on the unit for just a few seconds . After that turn it back into a standard model and use cold water to rinse anything away, followed by running cold water for a minute to flush it out.

References : How to Clean Your Garbage Disposal

Noah Burns

I am Noah Burns- The Guy behind I love to experiment and test new products to create informative contents for readers like you. I aim to make this site a leading source of information and reviews to help consumers make more informed buying decisions.

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