Your garbage disposal is one of the dirtiest places in your home. Sure, it is convenient, but just think of all those germs from things like raw chicken and other food that gets caught.

In fact, studies estimate that there are nearly 500,000 bacteria in your kitchen sink.

Ready to learn how to clean a garbage disposal? We’ve got you covered to keep all those icky germs away with a proper garbage disposal cleaning, a critical part of any effort to effectively clean your kitchen sink.

Step One: How to Clean a Garbage Disposal

Before you start cleaning your garbage disposal, you should disconnect the power before you work on it. The easiest way to do this is to unplug it. Typically, it’s plugged in under the sink.

If you can’t find the outlet, you can always cut electricity to your kitchen circuit that supplies power to your disposal. Try running the disposal at least once to make sure the power is off.

Now, take a flashlight and look down the drain for items that are lodged and wound around the disposal. Look for other things like can pull-tabs, vegetable fibers, or bottle caps. Remove these items with either pliers or tongs.

You should not stick your hand in the chamber.

Step Two: Put in Ice Cubes

Keeping your disposal and faucet off, put about six ice cubes in your disposal. Then add one tablespoon of baking soda, three lemon slices (thin), and a teaspoon of bleach. Then layer with an additional six ice cubes.

Step Three: Clean the Splash Guard

Take off your rubber splash guard. With all its crevices and grooves, there are probably small food particles along with grease underneath.

Clean it with an old scrub brush or toothbrush with dish detergent or soap. Make sure you get the underside to get all that nasty slime and debris.

Step Four: Pour in Vinegar and Baking Soda

Now it’s time to pour about a cup of vinegar and a half cup of baking soda into the disposal. Let this sit and fizz for about 15 minutes. This acidity kills bacteria like E. coli and salmonella.

You should not add any other chemicals with these natural cleaners. Just like bacteria can come out of the disposal and compromise your sink’s cleanliness. The chemical can do the same thing, so you will need to clean your sink after you are done.

Step Five: One Final Flush

Now it’s time to give a final flush of your garbage disposal. Plug the drain opening and run water in the sink until the basin is around three-quarters full.

Add some dish soap, and remove the drink plug. You can let the water drain while your disposal runs (yes, you can turn it back on now).

Don’t Let Your Garbage Disposal Smell

Now that you know how to clean a garbage disposal properly, you are probably wondering how often you should clean it. The simple answer is—weekly unless you rarely use it. This is a part of garbage disposal maintenance.

Wanting your house to be as clean as your garbage disposal but don’t have the time? Contact us today for a free estimate of our professional cleaning services.