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Here’s How Often You Should Clean Your Garbage Disposal

Food is inserted into a garbage disposal.
Tolikoff Photography/Shutterstock.com

Your garbage disposal might not be the first thing you consider when making your cleaning list, but it should certainly be on it. But how often should you be cleaning this handy kitchen appliance?

Turns out that your garbage disposal needs to be cleaned weekly, so you should go ahead and add it to your to-do list now.

While it might sound like a real pain to clean something like a garbage disposal, as long as you keep to the weekly schedule, it’s not a difficult task. First, you’ll flip up the splash guard (the rubber bits at the opening) and wipe off any gunk that has accumulated underneath them. Once that’s done, toss some ice cubes into the disposal and turn it on. Once you heard the grinding stop, turn it off. The ice will help eliminate any leftover particles inside.

For an extra boost of freshness, pour half a cup of baking soda into the drain. Next, add a cup of vinegar. Let the combination sit and fizz for 10 minutes, and then, rinse it with hot water. For even more odor-busting power, add a few citrus peels, run cold water into the disposal, and turn it on.

Playtex Living Reuseable Rubber Cleaning Gloves

Grab some gloves for this dirty job.

Has it been a while since you cleaned your disposal? Don’t worry. You can give it a good deep clean (which should be done every six months or so anyway). Unplug the machine and test the power switch to ensure it’s off. Next, don a pair of cleaning gloves and using a sponge or scrub brush, clean the disposal’s inter to get rid of any grime. When done, plug the disposal back in, run it with hot water, and you’re done.

Worried about just how bad your disposal has gotten? Don’t worry, we’ve got a whole disposal cleaning guide for you, so add the task to your spring cleaning list and get to it.

Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is an Atlanta-based writer who has written about everything from whether Crisco is a good moisturizer to how to KonMari your space. Her work has appeared in Bustle, My First Apartment, and Make It Grateful. Read Full Bio »
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