A garbage disposal is a convenience many of us take for granted…until it stops working. If you’ve noticed your garbage disposal isn’t working quite as well as it should, or if you’ve got an odor problem from it, it may be time for a little TLC. Like all appliances, your garbage disposal requires regular maintenance to keep it running smoothly; a little care can even increase its lifespan before needing a replacement.

Luckily, maintenance for garbage disposals is pretty easy! We’ll walk you through eight simple steps to properly clean and maintain your garbage disposal, ensuring its longevity and efficiency. Let’s dive in!

Step 1: Safety First: Before you begin any maintenance work, make sure to turn off the power to your garbage disposal. Your disposal should have a plug dedicated to it under the sink. Unplug the unit before you get to work to avoid any unfortunate accidents.

Step 2: Remove Unwanted Debris: Some things just don’t belong in your disposal, like bones, eggshells, peelings, and other things too big for the drain. And, on occasion, glass or utensils can find their way down the drain, too. If you’ve found a blockage, start by clearing out any big items with a pair of tongs or pliers.

DO NOT put your hands down the disposal, even when it’s unplugged. 

Step 3: Check for Clogs: If you’ve noticed that the water is draining slowly or not at all, it could be a sign of a clog. You can use a chemical drain cleaner to clear it. Alternately, insert a plunger over the drain opening and give it a few forceful plunges to dislodge any debris.

If the clog persists, you may need to call a professional plumber for assistance. If you’re not having any issues with clogs, you can skip right to step 4.

Step 4: Scrub Away Buildup: To remove any stubborn grime or buildup, create a mixture of equal parts baking soda and vinegar. Pour it down the drain and allow it to soak for about half an hour. Then, flush the drain with hot water–either from the sink or boiled on the stove or kettle.

The chemical reaction between the baking soda and vinegar will help break down any residue, leaving your disposal clean and free from unpleasant odors.

Step 5: Brush the Blades Using an old toothbrush or a small cleaning brush, gently scrub the rubber flaps and the underside of the disposal’s splash guard. This will help remove any trapped food particles or residue that can cause odors and affect the efficiency of your appliance.

Step 7: Grind Ice Cubes Grinding a handful of ice cubes in your disposal helps to sharpen the blades and remove any remaining buildup. Simply drop the ice cubes into the disposal and turn it on. The ice will break down into small particles, effectively cleaning the blades and improving the overall performance.

Be careful not to use too much, though, or you risk a drain. Just a few will do the trick!

Step 3: Freshen Things Up with Citrus: Once your disposal is cleared out and plugged back in, cut a lemon or lime into small chunks and toss them into the disposal. Run cold water and turn on the unit, allowing the citrus to break down and naturally deodorize the disposal with a fresh, clean scent.

Step 8: Rinse with Water To finish the cleaning process, run cold water for a few minutes to flush out any remaining debris. This will ensure that your garbage disposal is clean, fresh, and ready to tackle the next load of kitchen waste.

By following these simple steps regularly, you can keep your garbage disposal running smoothly and eliminate any unpleasant odors. Remember, proper maintenance not only extends the lifespan of your appliance but also ensures a cleaner and more efficient kitchen!

If there’s a clog or other issue that can’t be fixed with the steps above, though, don’t hesitate to call a professional! With a warranty from Trinity Home Advisors, you’ll have round-the-clock care for all your home appliance and system needs – including your garbage disposal! Take a look at our products and get covered today!

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