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How to Clean Your Garbage Disposal so Your Kitchen Won't Stink

You really should be cleaning it once a week.

Country Living

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When it comes to kitchen clean-up, it can feel like a thankless, never-ending job. As soon as you finish washing the dishes, someone comes by with a glass. And once you finish cleaning up the pots and pans from last night’s dinner, someone inevitably asks for something to eat. You’re constantly wiping down kitchen countertops, scrubbing tile grout to keep it pristine, mopping up spills, and just generally keeping things neat.

And then there are the appliances! The refrigerator needs constant surveillance (why do we never eat all the fruit before it goes bad?), you’ve got to clean that oven, and your trusty dishwasher needs a good cleaning. But that darn sink requires the most maintenance. In addition to keeping it sparkling, you have to deal with drain flies, get rid of gnats, and take care of your disposal. We’re here to help with the latter, and don't worry, it’s easier than you think.

How to Clean a Garbage Disposal That Smells

You know what smells nice? Citrus. Turn on the water, turn on the garbage disposal, and add a half lemon or lime to the disposal. If it’s still stinky, go ahead and add another half. Keep going until it smells nice.

How to Clean a Garbage Disposal with Baking Soda and Vinegar

Baking soda and vinegar are pretty much the answers to every cleaning prayer. Pour a half cup of baking soda in the disposal and then add a chaser of a cup of white vinegar. It will bubble, which is what you want. Let it do its magic for a good 10 minutes and then turn on the water and disposal.

How to Get Rid of Candle Wax in a Disposal

Got candle wax in your garbage disposal? Time to move. Just kidding. Here’s what you do: Boil a big pot of water, and then once it’s nice and hot, pour it down the drain while running the disposal. Then run your hot water for a few more minutes and see if that unclogs it.

Or you can go the other way, and pour a bunch of ice in the disposal and sink (like 2 inches!) and try to freeze it. If the wax becomes hard, your disposal should be able to break it up and then make it go away.

If neither of these work, you should probably call a plumber.

How to Clean a Garbage Disposal Rubber Flange

That garbage disposal rubber splash guard can get gross. Clean it up by pouring a half cup of baking soda on it along with white vinegar. It will bubble and then you can scrub away with an unused toothbrush. So long, gross stuff!

How Often Should You Clean a Garbage Disposal?

You should be cleaning your garbage disposal once a week. We know. You’ve got stuff to do. You can't be constantly worrying about cleaning the garbage disposal! So let’s say if you’re taking good care to keep it pretty tidy, you can do it every two or three weeks. Sound reasonable? Good.

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This post originally appeared on Country Living and was published January 17, 2020. This article is republished here with permission.

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