How to Clean a Garbage Disposal Unit




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Cleaning a garbage disposal unit doesn’t have to be a daunting task – in fact, it can be quite simple and rewarding. With a few easy steps, you’ll have your disposal smelling fresh and running smoothly in no time. First, always remember to cut the power to the unit before doing any cleaning – safety first! Next, remove any large debris or food particles that may be visible inside the disposal. You can use a pair of tongs or even a long-handled spoon to do this. Once the visible waste is removed, it’s time to freshen things up. I find that a mixture of white vinegar and baking soda works wonders. Start by pouring half a cup of baking soda down the disposal, followed by one cup of white vinegar. Allow the solution to work its magic for a few minutes before rinsing it away with hot water. Lastly, don’t forget about the rubber splash guard – it can harbor some pretty unpleasant odors. Simply remove it and give it a good scrub with warm, soapy water. Rinse it well before reinstalling, and voila! Your garbage disposal unit is now sparkling clean and odor-free.


  • Always disconnect the power before cleaning the garbage disposal unit.
  • Use rubber gloves to protect your hands.
  • Remove any visible debris from the garbage disposal unit using tongs or pliers.
  • Pour a mixture of vinegar and baking soda down the garbage disposal unit to eliminate odors.
  • Run cold water through the unit for around 30 seconds after cleaning to flush out any remaining debris.


  • Do not put your hand into the garbage disposal unit while it is still connected to power.
  • Avoid using harsh chemicals or bleach to clean the unit as it may damage the components.
  • Never use hot water in the garbage disposal unit as it can melt grease, leading to clogs and other issues.
  • Avoid grinding extremely fibrous or stringy materials like corn husks, celery, or onion skins as they can get tangled in the unit’s blades.
  • Do not pour grease, oil, or fat down the garbage disposal unit as they can solidify and cause blockages.

Step 1

Properly flush the disposal: Before cleaning, make sure to turn off the disposal unit and unplug it for safety. Flush the disposal with cold water to remove any food particles or debris.

Step 2

Remove large objects: Use tongs or pliers to carefully remove any large objects or debris from the disposal unit. Avoid using your hands directly to prevent injury.

Step 3

Scrub the unit: Use a scrub brush or an old toothbrush to scrub the inside of the disposal unit, including the blades and the walls. Use a mixture of dish soap and water for better cleaning.

Step 4

Deodorize the unit: To remove any lingering odors, pour a mixture of baking soda and vinegar into the disposal unit. Let it sit for a few minutes, then flush it with hot water.

Step 5

Rinse and maintain: After cleaning, rinse the disposal unit with hot water to remove any residue. Regularly maintain the unit by running cold water while operating it and avoiding putting hard or fibrous foods down the disposal.

Final thoughts 💭

Regularly cleaning your garbage disposal unit is essential to keep it in proper working condition and prevent unpleasant odors. By following the steps mentioned above, you can effectively remove food residue and maintain a clean and fresh-smelling garbage disposal. Remember to prioritize safety by wearing gloves and using caution when working with sharp objects. With a little effort and maintenance, your garbage disposal can continue to function efficiently for years to come.

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