How to Clean a Garbage Disposal

For many homeowners, especially those who love to work in the kitchen, the garbage disposal is an essential appliance.  Disposals help get rid of food waste, slurp up all of those unwanted liquids, and generally help cut down on waste making your kitchen habits a little more eco-friendly.  Of course, they can only do this so long as you care for them. That is why it’s so important to know how to clean a garbage disposal!

Fortunately, it doesn’t take much to keep your garbage disposal in top working order.  The real key is in knowing what items you are and aren’t supposed to put down the drain into your disposal.  For instance, things like coffee grounds, fruit pits, egg shells, fibrous materials, liquid grease, and bones are all things that should go in the trash can and not down your drain, as they can dull your disposal’s blades.  These materials also cause clogs in your pipes, impeding the performance of your appliance and harming your plumbing system.

The other key to maintaining your garbage disposal is conducting regular cleanings.  And, if you’ve never cleaned your garbage disposal or aren’t sure how to start a deep cleaning process, here’s what you need to do, step-by-step:   

  • Flush your disposal with water – Flushing your garbage disposal with water will dislodge any loose food particles, as well as dirt and grime.  The best way to do this is to simply plug the drain, and fill the sink with about three inches of hot (NOT boiling), standing water.  Then, add some dish soap, mix it around, and remove the plug from the drain allowing the soapy water to rush through the pipe. The hot water will work to liquefy any build up clinging to the inside of your pipes.
  • Put ice cubes and salt down the disposal – Throw about two cups of ice and one cup of salt down your disposal.  Then, turn the disposal on, and run water from the tap. This combination will help to remove sludge and other debris from the inner walls of your disposal.  Plus, the grinding of the ice works to sharpen your disposal’s blades which will ultimately improve its performance.
  • Scrub with a long-handled brush – Absolutely DO NOT put your hands inside your garbage disposal to scrub it!  To scrub your garbage disposal, you need to use a long-handled scrub brush to reach the inside.  This action will allow you to manually clean the inner walls of any remaining debris, and you can do this with just water or even add a little dish soap if you wish.  Then simply rinse with water, and voila!

With these simple tips for cleaning your garbage disposal, you can keep your appliance working in top order and save your pipes from unnecessary strain and damage that could result in a plumbing nightmare.  

If after a thorough cleaning of your disposal you’re still faced with a tough clog, give our team at Tritan a call.  We’ll schedule an inspection to get your system back up and running in no time.


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