Here's How Often You Need To Clean Your Garbage Disposal

If there is a garbage disposal in your sink, you've probably noticed some buildup of gunk or an unpleasant odor at some point. Garbage disposals are useful for grinding small bits of food waste from your sink, but that food waste can build up and cause your sink to smell. Garbage disposals are believed to be self-cleaning since they grind up and wash away food, but some particles can stay behind in certain nooks and crannies and can cause unpleasant odors in your kitchen. Keeping your garbage disposal clean can help improve the smell of your kitchen, as well as the longevity of your garbage disposal. But how often do you need to clean your garbage disposal?

According to Consumer Reports, how often you clean your garbage disposal depends on how often you use it. Using your garbage disposal on a daily basis warrants weekly deep cleans since food particles can build up quickly with frequent use. If you use your garbage disposal less, you can clean it less frequently. To prolong the period between cleaning your garbage disposal, you can practice proper garbage disposal usage. This means always using water when you turn on your garbage disposal and keeping the water running for a few seconds after the disposal is done grinding the food. This will help flush all the food particles from your disposal, keeping it fresh longer.

How to clean your garbage disposal

Cleaning your garbage disposal doesn't have to be a hassle. You don't have to go out and buy a commercial garbage disposal cleaner, and in fact, the chemicals in those cleaners may damage your pipes. Instead, The Spruce explained some easy ways to clean your garbage disposal using items you probably already own. The first part of your weekly garbage disposal cleaning routine should be to clean the underside of the black rubber flaps in your sink's drain using a sponge and soap. This is a place where food gunk collects, contributing to odors. Then scrub the drain opening until the sponge doesn't pull out any more gunk. Make sure to turn your garbage disposal off before beginning this cleaning process and rinse your sponge thoroughly after scrubbing.

To clean the pipes of your garbage disposal, pour equal parts baking soda and distilled white vinegar, about half a cup each, down your disposal and cover the hole. Let it sit for a few minutes, and then run water down the disposal while it's on to flush it. You can also pour a handful of ice down your disposal with some baking soda, salt, or vinegar along with some citrus rinds cut into small pieces and flush that down with water. This will help clean the pipes of your disposal and leave a fresh, citrusy scent in the air. Follow these steps weekly, and your kitchen is sure to smell better than ever.