The in-sink garbage disposal does the dirty work so that you don’t have to toss scraps into the garbage where they’ll rot and gather flies until pick-up day.
It’s a real champion of kitchen appliances, so give it some much-needed TLC and clean it on occasion. This will help it run smoother, eliminate funky odors and evict pesky drain flies.
Step 1: Cut the Power to the Garbage Disposal
You’ve seen what the garbage disposal can do to food. Imagine what it can do to your hand. That’s why you must -- absolutely must -- disconnect the power before cleaning it. It’s typically plugged into an outlet below the sink. Unplug it. Confirm the garbage disposal is off by turning it on.
Step 2: See What’s Down There
Use a flashlight and have a look. If you see any vegetable fibers wrapped around the impellers, remove them with tongs or needle-nose pliers. Over time, these fibers can gum up the works. (By the way, stop putting stringy produce down your drain.) Never, ever, put your hand down it to remove anything you might find. We don’t care if it’s unplugged!
Step 3: Dump Ice and Salt Down It
Rock salt, ice, and water should cleanse the blades of gunky buildup.
Put a couple of dozen ice cube down your drain and top it off with about a half cup of rock salt
Plug the appliance back in
Turn on the faucet and let the garbage disposal run for about a minute
Step 4: Add Vinegar and Baking Soda
Vinegar and baking soda is a potent combination that creates a fizzy reaction to kill bacteria, such as salmonella and E. coli.
Pour half a cup of vinegar and half a cup of baking soda into the drain
Let it fizz for about 15 minutes
Meanwhile, make a paste out of the ingredients and place on an old toothbrush
Scrub around the rubber flaps to remove mildew, bacteria, and grime
Step 5: Flush
This is the final one-two punch that will purge the appliance of all the gunky bits.
Plug the drain
Fill the basin with water
Add a teaspoon of dish soap
Remove the plug
Turn on the disposal until the water drains
See how easy that was? Not only is the appliance cleaner, but it will also operate more efficiently. If you’d like to fill the air with a lemony fresh scent, run citrus peels through the disposal.
For all of your plumbing needs, contact Aztec Plumbing & Drains at (239) 232-2012.