be_ixf;ym_202306 d_09; ct_50

3 Do-It-Yourself methods to clean your garbage disposal

3 Do-It-Yourself methods to clean your garbage disposal

Garbage disposal cleaners (also called “breath mints” and “deodorizers”) have become popular lately.

For $3 to $5 you can pick up a pack of pellets that you just drop into your disposal. While many of these products are labeled as cleaners, they mostly just provide a burst of fresh smell.

Below are a few recommendations for methods that actually clean your disposal and freshen the smell as well. Chances are good that you have these items on hand, too.

Remember: Never put your hand into a disposal that is still plugged in. Always remove the power cable from the wall first (typically found under the sink).

Baking soda and vinegar
We recently recommend this mix for cleaning a clogged drain, and the combination can also be beneficial in cleaning your garbage disposal. To use this method, pour very hot water down the drain first to loosen up any food waste. Then pour about half a cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by about a cup of vinegar and a cup of hot water. Put the drain plug in, and if you have a dual basin, cover the other side, too.

Bleach and water
Be sure to read this section in its entirety before trying! You can clean your disposal by mixing bleach and water, however, it’s important to note that bleach can cause grease in your drains to solidify. It’s crucial that you use a small amount and flush thoroughly. Combine one gallon of water with a tablespoon of liquid chlorine bleach, and slowly pour the solution down the drain. Wait about five minutes, then pour hot water into the disposal. Do NOT use cold water with this method, as it can solidify your grease with the combination of bleach.

Citrus peel and cubed ice
Run cold water into your sink basin, and begin pouring a mix of cubed ice and citrus peel into your disposal. A cup or two of ice can really loosen up chunks in your disposal. You can use orange, lemon or lime peels, whatever suits your sniffer. This method will not remove as much of the bacteria buildup in your sink but does help to flush your disposal of chunks of food, clean your blades and provide that fresh scent. Try this combination with one of the options above for best results.

For all of these methods, it’s a good idea to flush your disposal with about a gallon of near-boiling water one more time. Do not run your disposal when you pour hot water (always run your disposal with cold water). The hot water simply flushes any remaining residue. If you’ve tried these methods and your disposal is still not performing well, give us a call. Whether you need a plumber in Lexington or Louisville, we’re available 24/7 for a free, honest quote.

The Dauenhauer Difference

You'll love your tech. Learn what makes Dauenhauer your best area plumbing choice.See the difference

Bob Lofton was prompt friendly knowledgeable and honest.

He gave me a very fair estimate compared to your competition. I have already called back for Bob's help with another issue and will use him whenever the need arises. I have already shared his name and Dauenhauer plumbing with family and friends.


Your plumber in this particular job did a fantastic job.

He did a job for us a few months ago and did fantastic then as well. We use your service solely because of him.

Samuel & Trina Johnson

Matt was great.

He was so caring and informative. He was neat and cleaned up after installing the new toilet.


I liked my plumber Tim.

I felt like he explained my repair options and gave me an honest reasonable price. I would recommend Dauenhauer plumbing to my friends and family.

Crystal Fisher

Dependability. Quality. Professionalism.

Cotton the plumber who came out was a true professional. Long time in the business. I appreciate his attention to detail and value plus service.