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Here’s the thing about garbage disposals: They’re convenient, but if we’re being honest, they’re kind of gross. You put yucky, smelly food down them,  so the kitchen sink will become the kitchen stink if you don’t clean them on a regular basis. Fret not, regular cleaning isn’t difficult or expensive. Your disposal can be thoroughly cleaned with items that you probably already have in your kitchen, so you don’t have to buy special, expensive products.  Here are five natural and effective ways to clean your disposal and leave it smelling fresh:

1. Ice cubes 

One of the best disposal cleaning methods is with ice cubes. Put a few handfuls of ice into the unit, turn it on and run some cold water while the cubes grind.

2. Ice and salt

Add a cup or so of rock salt to the ice cubes for some extra scrubbing. Remember to run cold water when you turn the disposal on.

3. Baking soda and vinegar

Sprinkle about a half-cup of baking soda into the disposal, followed by a cup of white or apple cider vinegar. Let the mixture bubble up and soak for up to ten minutes, then turn on the unit while running water.

4. Citrus

Citrus peels of all kind are a good deodorizer. Lime, lemon, orange, tangerine, and grapefruit peels will all refresh your system and kitchen. Cut the peels into small pieces, then turn on the unit and run water while the peels grind.

5. Hot water and dish soap

Using the sink stopper, plug the disposal drain and add a generous amount of dish soap to the sink. Run hot water into the sink until it is at least halfway full. As you release the sink stopper, turn on the disposal and let the entire sink contents drain into the unit while it runs. This cleaning method helps fill the disposal with soapy water to reach the upper portions of the unit, which often don’t get cleaned by other methods. It also helps clean the disposal drain line, which can harbor food residue and odors.

If you suspect that your disposal smell may be an indication of a larger problem, or if you have ongoing back ups or clogs, our plumbing experts at Mike Scott Plumbing are here to help. Contact us now to answer questions or schedule service.

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