How to Clean Your Garbage Disposal

Is your kitchen sink emitting an unappealing scent? The culprit could be a dirty garbage disposal. But fear not – while the idea of cleaning it might seem intimidating or hazardous, it’s actually a relatively easy process to Clean Garbage Disposals!

By utilizing these proper procedures, you’ll have your disposal smelling fresh and clean in a snap! Learn how to Clean Garbage Disposals!

For our recommended method, you will need:

  • ½ cup of baking soda 

  • 1 cup of vinegar 

  • 2-3 cups of ice 

  • 6 cups of boiling water 

  • 1 cup of salt 

  • 1 lemon with no seeds cut into small pieces  

  • Tongs 

  • Scrubber 

Safety first!

It cannot be stressed enough – never put your hand in the garbage disposal under any circumstances. Doing so can result in severe injury and is not worth the risk. Always use tongs or pliers to remove any debris or objects from the disposal, and follow proper safety precautions at all times.


1) Using tongs or pliers, gently remove the gasket or splash guard from the top of your garbage disposal and take a closer look. 

You may discover that the buildup of grease and food particles in the creases of the splash guard is the root cause of the foul smell emanating from your sink. To clean the splash guard, simply let it soak in a sink full of soapy dish water before scrubbing it clean with a scrubber. This will help eliminate the odor and keep your disposal functioning properly. Remember, regular maintenance of your disposal will save you time, money, and headaches in the long run. 

2) Take a close look inside your garbage disposal to check for any large blockages that may be causing unpleasant odors. It’s important to remember that certain food items should never be put down a disposal, such as grease, stringy vegetables, and fruit pits. These items can not only lead to bad smells but also cause serious damage to your disposal and plumbing system. 

Once you’ve thoroughly inspected your disposal and removed any potential blockages, you’re ready to begin the cleaning process! 

3) Add ½ cup of baking soda into the drain, allowing it to sink into the disposal. 

4) Pour 1 cup of vinegar into the drain, and listen for the fizzing sound that indicates the mixture is working. Let the solution sit for 2-3 minutes. 

5) Rinse the mixture away by pouring 6 cups of boiling water down the drain. 

6) Fill your garbage disposal with 2-3 cups of ice cubes. 

7) Sprinkle 1 cup of salt over the ice. 

8) Run cold water and turn on the garbage disposal until the ice and salt combination is completely gone. The abrasive texture of the ice and the deodorizing properties of the salt work together to break down and remove grime and odor-causing bacteria from your disposal. 

With most of the odor-causing culprits removed, the next step is to eradicate any lingering smells. But before you do that, make sure to replace the splash guard. 

9) To eliminate any lingering odors in your garbage disposal, cut a lemon into quarters and place two of them into the disposal. Run cold water and turn on the disposal until half of the lemon is gone. Repeat the process with the remaining lemon quarters. The natural citrus scent of the lemon will help to neutralize any remaining unpleasant smells in your garbage disposal.

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