Fort Lauderdale Plumbers Share How to Clean a Garbage Disposal

If you’re very meticulous about having a clean and neat kitchen for your Broward County home, then you make sure that everything is spotless including disinfected countertops, organized dishwashers, non-greasy pans, clean sink and an odor-free garbage disposal.  But, what if something goes wrong with your disposer? What if you notice a foul odor coming from your plumbing appliance? Don’t reach out for a phone and call a trusted Fort Lauderdale plumber near you  just yet.  Follow these simple DIY tips on how to solve your problem:

Dealing With a Smelly Garbage Disposal 

A few weeks ago, we noticed a phantom stinky odor in our kitchen. It wasn’t the trash. It wasn’t the fridge. We finally traced it to the garbage disposal! Here’s what we learned about getting it clean and keeping it fresh:Garbage disposals are theoretically self-cleaning, but occasionally sludge can build up on the sides of the disposal and particles of food adhere to the grinders. When this happens – and you’ll know because you’ll notice a phantom stinky odor, too! – the first step is to give the disposal a really good flush.
Put a stopper in the sink and fill it with several inches of hot water. Add a squirt of dish soap. Turn on the disposal and unplug the sink to let the water flush through. This is different than simply running the tap like we usually do since the disposal will actually fill with water. (Of course, if you wash your dishes by hand, you’re doing this regularly anyway!)

Next, we threw a few ice cubes and a handful of kosher salt down the disposal. The ice helps knock food off the grinder while the salt scrubs the sides.

For good measure, we repeated the flushing and then ground up a few lemon peels for freshness.

Voila! This seemed to do the trick and we haven’t noticed any odors since. If the smell persists, we’ve heard that you can add a half cup of baking soda down the drain, then pour on a cup of vinegar. Let it fizzle for about ten minutes and then flush everything out with some boiling water.

how to clean a garbage disposalOkay, so you’ve already solved the smelly part, good job! It wasn’t as difficult as you think, right?  Moving on, it is also important to keep your disposer clean as well.

The trick is to keep this plumbing appliance well maintained, so it doesn’t get stinky and it doesn’t malfunction.  There are a ton of resources available on how to clean a garbage disposal for your home.

Some opt for ice cubes while others like to throw in some baking soda and vinegar. Here are some of our top picks:

Maintaining a Garbage Disposer
Cleaning your garbage disposal is a quick and easy way to help keep your kitchen smelling fresh and your sink drain working properly. Although well-maintained garbage disposals that are used correctly should generally clean themselves, the following tips will help keep your garbage disposal in tip-top shape.
1. Cleaning the Garbage Disposal

Most garbage disposals are made of a metal cylinder equipped with rotating impellers. Many newer units include a series of grinders on the sides or bottom of the metal cylinder that grind down the contents of the garbage disposal. In either case, the insides of a disposal can quickly become covered with sludge and debris. No matter how hard you try to protect your disposal, items unsuitable for disposing will find their way down your drain. Glass, metal, rubber objects or highly fibrous food materials like cornhusks, shrimp shells, peach pits, artichoke leaves or large bones will need to be physically removed from the disposal. In all cases, items that become lodged or left within your disposal will breed odor-causing bacteria and compromise the performance of your garbage disposal and drain.

Keeping this well maintained is the secret to having  more durable plumbing appliances.  This avoids clogs and plumbing problems that can occur.  This can also save you time and money.  If your food waste disposer is leaking, malfunctioning or suddenly stops, be sure to call in a trusted, licensed professional Fort Lauderdale FL plumbing expert immediately.  He will able to determine the cause of the problem and accurately provide you an estimate and repairs.  For any of your plumbing related services in Broward County, call Douglas Orr Plumbing today.