Does Salt And Ice Really Clean Your Garbage Disposal?

Whether they're meant for getting grit or grime out of your bath tub or stains out of your carpet, simple cleaning hacks can be life-changing — especially areas that are either hard to reach, costly, or time-consuming. One cleaning hack that's getting a lot of attention right now is the salt-and-ice kitchen sink trick. For those who are unfamiliar with this hack, don't fret, we'll break it down for you real quick. 

Garbage disposals, while being ideal for easily getting rid of kitchen waste, often produce smelly odors due to leftover debris getting caught in the machine. Also, a lot of time people will put things down the drain that aren't meant for the disposal. Think grease or hard-to-cut-up produce. These types of liquids and food scraps can cause clogs and jams, which are also difficult to not only clean, but to fix.  

If you've noticed your kitchen starting to smell like your leftovers versus your new Anthropologie candle, that may mean that your garbage disposal is in need of some serious cleaning. And apparently all you need to fix the problem and get rid of the smell are some ice cubes and good, old-fashioned rock salt. So, how does it exactly work?

Ice and rock salt combined will break up and dislodge any odor-producing food particles stuck in your disposal

Drain Master, a St. Louis-area plumbing company, says that after long periods of using your garbage disposal regularly, food particles stuck way past your disposal's blades will begin to produce that awful smell because of the accumulation of bacteria.  Homeowners or renters dealing with a smelly or relatively clogged garbage disposal can simply pour a few cups of ice cubes and some rock salt down the drain. Drain Master says to then turn on your faucet's cold water, turn on the disposal, and then keep it running for ten to fifteen seconds. The mix of the ice and rock salt will work its magic and knock any of the stuck food particles from your disposal, leaving your sink odor-free. Voila!

Don't believe us? Turns out a viral video on TikTok is proof that this kitchen cleaning hack actually works. 

A viral TikTok is proof that this cleaning trick actually works

In May of 2020, a TikTok video showcasing the popular lifestyle hack of how to clean a garbage disposal went viral. In the short clip, a woman named Desiree, who is known as @dm3lt on the app, records herself pouring ice cubes and hot water down her drain to clean her disposal. And, apparently she doesn't even use salt or cold water or rock salt, as Drain Master advises, to prove that this cleaning trick works. 

In the video Desiree also says she has been experiencing a "bad smell" from her garbage disposal and saw someone else on TikTok testing out the hack. So she decided to give it a try herself, recording as she pours ice cubes and hot water down her sink. After a few seconds of running the disposal, murky dirty water begins to rise up out of the drain as a result of the ice dislodging leftover kitchen waste. She says in the video, "Oh my god, it's actually working, are you kidding me?" 

According to a Daily Mail write-up of the video, several plumbing websites agree that the real reason the trick works is because of the ice breaking up the debris, not because of the hot water. 

So the next time your garbage disposal seems to be causing you problems, it seems like a safe bet that the solution may be as close as your freezer.