How to Clean Your Garbage Disposal
The garbage disposal unit is a very important device in modern kitchens. Its purpose is basically to shred food wastes into tiny pieces to allow for the resulting particles to easily pass through the home plumbing system. Sadly, it is one of the most often overlooked devices. Cleaning your garbage disposer is actually quite easy. Here’s how.
Physically Remove Any Object that May Have Been Lodged into the Unit
Even before sticking your hands into the garbage disposal unit, you need to turn off the power supply going to it first. You don’t want the disposer accidentally turning itself on while you have your fingers in the unit.
Always use a pair of pliers to remove any large debris or object that is in your garbage disposer. Use a flashlight to illuminate the area so that you don’t inadvertently damage the grinder of your disposer. In instances when you really have to reach in with your hand, make sure that the unit has been turned off.
Flush the Drain With Hot Water
Most of us would simply flush the drain with cold water or water direct from the tap. Unfortunately, cold water has a knack for turning oil or grease into an even stickier mess, making these more difficult to remove. That’s why you need to pour hot water down the drain. For best results you need to apply a stopper on your garbage disposer then add a few squirts of your dishwashing liquid. Now, open your hot water faucet and let it run and fill your kitchen sink to about 4 inches. Once the water has reached this level, remove the plug or stopper, and turn on the disposer. The combination of the oil-liquefying effects of the hot water and the mechanical agitation of the disposer will surely remove any stubborn grease or oil in your disposer.
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Remove Sludge Using Ice Cubes and Salt
Once you have flushed the disposer yet there remains some really stubborn debris and sludge, your next move is to pour about 2 cups of clear ice cubes into the disposer. Once you have ice cubes in your garbage disposal unit, add a cup of rock salt. Now, open your cold water tap and turn on the disposer unit. The grinder on the unit will crush the ice cubes and rock salt mixture providing a rather abrasive mechanism to the mechanical agitation. It is like scrubbing the sludge and debris off your disposer’s inner surfaces with a brush.
Alternatively, and for more stubborn debris and sludge, you may have to create vinegar ice cubes. Get your ice cube tray and fill these with distilled white vinegar. Put them into your freezer and allow to them to harden. Once they’re done, you can employ the same method as we have described above.
There are essentially three reasons why you would want to run and crush ice cubes in the garbage disposal unit. First, the ice and rock salt combination will remove any debris from the disposer, making it clean. Second, it also sharpens the blades of your grinder since the relatively hard surfaces of ice and rock salt and acts more like a whetstone. Lastly, adding vinegar cubes will help remove unwanted odors from your disposer.
Scrub the Insides of the Disposer with a Scrub Brush
If your garbage disposer still has some signs of dirt, you may want to do it the old-fashioned way of inserting a scrub brush and manually scrubbing the dirt and debris off of the inside surface of the unit. Just make sure to turn the unit off before you do this, though. Alternatively, if you don’t have a scrub brush, an old toothbrush will also work.
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Cleaning your garbage disposal unit doesn’t really have to be a chore. It is as simple as removing whatever you can physically remove, flushing it with hot water, cleaning it with ice cubes and salt, and topping with a manual brushing, before rinsing it off completely with boiling water.