Three Ways to Freshen and Clean Your Garbage Disposal
A garbage disposal is a very efficient way to get rid of bits of food in the sink, but it’s not the easiest thing to clean and sanitize. And if you don’t clean your garbage disposal regularly, it can cause a smelly buildup, invite fruit flies, or even clog your plumbing.
It might not seem like a big deal on the surface, but cleaning the disposal regularly can positively impact your whole kitchen. For instance, if you’re having problems with your dishwasher backing up, it could be the disposal’s fault. Cleaning the disposal will not only stave off odor-causing bacteria, but it can introduce pleasant scents into the kitchen as well.
Though you might think you need a heavy-duty chemical cleaner or a lot of elbow grease to get a good, deep clean in this hard-to-reach space, that’s not the case. In fact, pouring harsh chemicals down your drains can cause pipe corrosion and other long-term damage.
Following are some ways to get a squeaky-clean garbage disposal without resorting to toxins or getting your hands dirty.
Plink Your Sink
The quickest and easiest solution to cleaning your garbage disposal is Plink Garbage Disposal Freshener & Cleaner. When you regularly maintain your disposal with Plink, there’s no need to deep clean it with any other method. All you need is one Plink garbage disposal ball and a couple of minutes of your time.
The steps for using Plink disposal cleaning balls are simple. Run the disposal and water at full stream for one minute to help clear away any food scraps. Turn off the disposal and run the water at a pencil-width stream. Drop in one Plink ball and turn on the disposal for fifteen seconds. Turn off the disposal and water.
All of Plink Garbage Disposal Freshener & Cleaner’s ingredients are contained in one neat and easy ball. The hot water and grinding action break up the ball’s outer layer to release the citrus oil mix inside. No waiting, no pulsing, just drop it in and go. The scent Plink leaves behind makes the job feel complete. Best of all, you can refresh the scent a handful of times by running the hot water and giving the disposal a short run.
Vinegar and Baking Soda
The combination of vinegar and baking soda is probably the most widely used cleaning solution on the internet, and with good reason. They are two ingredients most of us have on hand, and they’re a good, natural way to clean your home. The ratio of the two ingredients does matter; changing it will give you different results for different applications.
In this case, a 1:1 ratio works best. Exact measurements aren’t necessary, but you want a good, bubbling reaction. Run hot water with the disposal on for one to two minutes. Manufacturers suggest cold water for daily use of a garbage disposal, but hot water helps heat up and dislodge grease and stuck-on food when cleaning.
Turn off the disposal and water. Add one to two cups of baking soda and an equal amount of vinegar. Quickly cover the drain with a stopper and leave to sit for about ten minutes. If you have a two-sided sink, do both sides at once. Run the disposal for five seconds before turning on the water in a pencil-thin stream, allowing the disposal to continue running for fifteen seconds. This is a tried-and-true method for so many, but what this combination can’t do is make it smell nice. Drop a Plink Garbage Disposal Freshener & Cleaner ball into the sink before running the disposal the second time to remove any lingering scent of vinegar or other odors. It’ll fill your kitchen with one of three fresh scents.
Ice and Salt
If you use ice and salt to clean your garbage disposal, rock salt will give you the best results. Table salt is effective, but you’ll need to use more of it. If using table salt, you may need to perform this method twice, but it’ll work in a pinch.
For this method, run the hot water for a couple of minutes to loosen things up. Add one to three cups of ice to the disposal, then pour in about a cup of salt. Make sure the ice fills about half of the drum and you have enough salt to gently buff the sides before it’s washed away. Go ahead and Plink Your Sink with this method too, because while the ice-and-salt method will stop odors from coming, it won’t leave behind a fresh scent.
Once you’ve added all your ingredients to the sink, run a thin stream of hot water while pulsing the garbage disposal for fifteen seconds. The pulsing will help the salt and ice reach up the sides of the drum and ensure a full surface clean. The addition of the Plink tablet you dropped in will give a deeper clean and that satisfying, fresh scent.
While some sources may recommend using citrus peels to freshen your garbage disposal, it isn’t very effective. The peels need to be thin and cut small to be a safe size for the disposal. Doing so releases a lot of the oils that provide that citrusy scent. The whole room smells wonderful while you’re preparing it, but by the time you grind them, most of the oil will be on your hands and the cutting board. Large pieces can get stuck in the blunt “blades” and grinder, causing more problems than you’re solving. Plink has all of that same citrus oil punch—and it’s safe for drains and septic systems.