5 Ways to Clean A Garbage Disposal Naturally - Public Goods

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5 Ways to Clean A Garbage Disposal Naturally

Not sure how to get rid of that smell coming from your sink? Find out tricks to ridding nasty odors once and for all!


It happens in every kitchen! Frequent garbage disposal use can lead to foul odors. Garbage disposals are supposed to stink, but that doesn’t mean you have to smell them. Interested in how to clean a smelly garbage disposal? Keep reading for all-natural remedies.

What You Need

Here’s everything you need to freshen up a smelly garbage disposal in five all-natural ways:

5 Ways to Clean a Smelly Garbage Disposal

Ready to clean? Rule number 1: disconnect the disposal unit, which is typically found under your sink. Confirm the power is off by testing disposal. Next, take a flashlight and look for any debris like bottle caps or banana peels, and use tongs to remove them.

Time to scrub! Pour delicious–smelling dish soap on a toothbrush and work the sink, paying special attention around the rim. Be sure not to clean inside. 

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Restore power, then choose a natural way to detox your disposal. Here are 5 popular methods to try at home.

1. Citrus Peels

Fresh fruit peels create fantastic scents in the kitchen. Make use of citrus waste by stuffing 1 cup of peels down the disposal. Run cold water and turn on the disposal, letting it run until any grinding stops. Turn off and leave the water going for 10 more seconds.

2. Baking Soda and Vinegar

Did you know that baking soda and vinegar react against bad bacteria? Use these simple kitchen staples to clean a smelly garbage disposal: first, add 1/2 cup of baking soda and leave for 30 minutes. Next, add 1 cup of vinegar and wait for 10 minutes, then run the disposal for approximately 10 seconds with cold water. Turn off and run cool water for 10 seconds. Voila!

3. Essential Oils

Love essential oil? Make a DIY disposal bomb! Essential oils kill germs, leaving dish soap and baking soda to deodorize. In a small bowl, mix together 1 tablespoon of dish soap, 15–20 drops of lemon essential oil, 1/2 cup of salt, 3/4 cup castile soap, ¼ cup of water, and 1 cup of baking soda, resulting in a sand-like consistency. Pack a tablespoon of mixture, then gently tap into shapes. Let these dry for 24 hours, then store in a glass jar. When the time comes to use, add 1–2 fresheners, then turn on the faucet and run for up to one minute. Other scents to consider are eucalyptus, peppermint, and rosemary.

4. Dish Soap and Hot Water

One of the easiest cures for odors! First, plug the disposal with a stopper. Fill the sink with hot water plus a few drops of dish soap. Put on gloves and remove the stopper, which will create a  rush of hot water. This flow can be repeated a few times each week to remove anything stuck to the sides of the disposal.

5. Ice Cubes

Ice is good for two reasons: clearing small food particles and sharpening blades. Throw two cups of ice and one cup of salt into the disposal, then turn on. If you really want to go wild, freeze your own ice cubes with chopped-up citrus peels or 2–3 drops of lemon essential oil

Preventing a Smelly Garbage Disposal 

Continuous care is the best way to avoid stinky disposal issues. Hot water is great for deep cleaning, but cold water should be used on a daily basis. Another easy way to prevent odor is by cleaning around disposal flaps. Just add some dish soap onto a scrub brush. Additionally, be mindful to run the disposal for an additional 20–30 seconds after hearing food particles pulverize. 

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Wondering what’s safe to throw in?

  • Scraps from fruits and veggies
  • Plate scraps 
  • Un–eaten pet food
  • Cooked meats

What about the not–so–safe items?

  • Any cooking oils or grease
  • Banana Peels
  • Bones
  • Coffee grounds
  • Corn husks
  • Dough
  • Eggshells
  • Raw Meat

Discover More Helpful Kitchen Tips!

Now that you know how to clean a smelly garbage disposal, it’s time to get to it! We’ve got everything to keep your kitchen tidy on the Public Goods blog

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