Garbage disposals are excellent for clearing debris from dishes or other excess from your sink and pipes. But, as you know if you own a garbage disposal, they can get jammed, stinky, or blocked from time to time.
You might squeeze some lemon down the drain if it’s stinky, and you might clear silverware that got caught down there, but if you notice consistent problems, try these garbage disposal cleaning tips before you call in a professional to fix your problem.
If you don’t have current problems with your disposal, but want to avoid them, it’s good to remember that your garbage disposal is not a dumpster.
There are many garbage disposal “no-no” items, but to name a few, avoid bones, egg shells, banana peels, potato peels, coffee grounds, or heavy grease (such as bacon grease). And it’s probably too obvious to say you should only be using your disposal for food waste.
Make sure your unit is clear before operating. Always run water down the disposal when you operate the unit, as it allows the debris to clear better.
Does your garbage disposal need help?
You’ll know your disposal is blocked or broken when there is a bad odor, straining noise (clunky or whirring depending on what’s stuck), and obvious waste that is not going down the drain.
Before you call a pro…
Just because you’re having problems with your garbage disposal doesn’t mean that you need to call in a pro immediately. As long as you keep your fingers out of the disposal, you should be able to safely pull off these options. So, save some money and try some DIY first.
- Bleach: Use protective eye-wear and gloves when handling bleach. Generally, one gallon of water to one tablespoon of bleach is all that is needed. Don’t use too much bleach, as it can harden grease that may be blocking your garbage disposal. Pour slowly down the drain, let it sit, then wash it out with water from the tap.
- Vinegar and Baking Soda: Pour half of a cup of baking soda into your drain/garbage disposal followed by a cup of white vinegar. Let the mix sit a while then pour boiling water down the drain to rinse it.
- Citrus and Ice: Ice cubes and citrus peels are a great way to clear up odor. Put ice and the peels in your disposal then grind them until gone for a freshening effect.
If you notice that your motor isn’t running, the odor won’t go away, or nothing you do is clearing the blockage from your garbage disposal, you’ll want to call in a professional.
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