Dec 13, 2012   //   by Daniel Cordova   //   Tip Of The Month  //  Comments Off on How To Freshen Up Your Garbage Disposal

There are many long lists of things that we SHOULDN”T throw down the drain or down the garbage disposal (you can read ours here: Don’t Throw It All Down The Drain), but how do we freshen or clean a garbage disposal?  If you can imagine, think about all of the waste that goes down your kitchen sink on any given day.  Have you ever thought, or looked down your drain to see what the inside of your garbage disposal looks like.  I’m guessing it’s a pretty big mess of gunk & grime, but how do you get rid of it or clean it up?  You’re not going to stick your hand down there, so now what?  The following are a few tips to help you keep a clean (and good smelling) kitchen garbage disposal.

1.  Ice Ice Baby

If you don’t already have one, buy a cheap ice cube tray (normally $1 for two at the local dollar store).  Fill the tray with vinegar and freeze.  Throw the vinegar ice cubes down the garbage disposal along with a tablespoon of rock salt.  Turn the water on and then your garbage disposal.  Let run for about 2 minutes.  The vinegar and rock salt help get rid of the “gunk” on the blades and help remove odor causing food particles, while the grinding of the ice helps sharpen the garbage disposal blades.  Now that’s a double deal!

2. Citrus Fresh

Lemons and oranges and limes, Oh My!  Before you throw those peels away, you better think twice.  Citrus fruits have an extraordinary power of deodorizing and freshening up a room.  Throw a handful of peels down the garbage disposal (Or heck!  Slice the fruit into pieces and throw it all down there!).  Run some warm water and start the disposer.  Your kitchen will immediately begin to smell citrus-y fresh!

3.  Making Volcanoes

Did you automatically think back to your youth and remember those crazy elementary school science experiments?  Well, grab your bookbag and get on board, because this is EXACTLY what we’re talking about!  Yes, it’s time to make volcanoes!  Pour 1/2 cup of baking soda down the garbage disposal followed by about 1 cup of vinegar.  Watch the mixture foam and bubble and allow it to set for about 10 minutes.  Then take about 2 quarts boiling water (you should probably bring the water to boil first so it’s ready), and pour it down the drain with the garbage disposal running.  This will allow everything to flush through.  This reaction helps loosen an additional, stuck-on particles, and cleans and freshens while it’s at it.  Once it’s flushed down, it also helps remove gunk from your pipes as well.

One other tip to keep in mind when it comes to using garbage disposals: always start running water first before you turn on your disposer and keep it running for 30 seconds after you turn it off.  This helps makes sure that you are flushing everything out of the disposer properly.  Left over food waste in garbage disposals is what causes those foul smells in the first place, so make sure to get your disposers smelling fresh and and keep them smelling that way!


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