The garbage disposal is made to remove kitchen waste so of course it will get dirty and stinky after a while. It’s also a common place for bacteria and mold to accumulate. The garbage disposal definitely needs to be cleaned, but you can’t exactly wipe it down. If you’re stuck on how to do this chore, then use our clever methods to clean the disposal.


Make sure the garbage disposal is turned off. Unplug it or flip the appropriate fuse to prevent it from coming on while you work. Avoid using your hands to remove lodged items. Use tongs or pliers instead.

How to Clean a Garbage Disposal

How to Clean

Pour 1/2 cup of baking soda into the disposal. Follow this with a cup of vinegar. The mixture will fizz! While those ingredients work their magic, boil a couple cups of water on the stove. Once it’s boiling, pour the hot water down the drain to finish.

Remove Odors

Recycle citrus peels and deodorize at the same time. First throw a handful of ice cubes into the disposal, turn on the cold water, and turn on the disposal. The ice will clean the blades and remove built-up food. Next add a few lemon or orange peels. Let the disposal run for a few more seconds, then turn it off. Your disposal will now emit a fresh clean scent.

Clean the Opening

The opening of the garbage disposal gets coated with dirt and grime as well. Turn on the water to wet the area and add mild dish soap to a toothbrush. Scrub with the toothbrush until the area is clean.

Maintain the Garbage Disposal

  • Avoid putting grease inside the garbage disposal. It can build up, cause clogs, and give off a really bad smell.
  • Put in small pieces only. If food scraps are too big the disposal will struggle to grind them up. If necessary, cut foods into smaller pieces before putting them in the disposal.
  • Run the garbage disposal for a few extra seconds after the food-grinding noises have stopped. This helps ensure all the scraps are removed from the disposal.

Remember, safety comes first when you are cleaning your garbage disposal! Use our tips to properly and safely clean your disposal and it should never give you any trouble.