How to safety clean a garbage disposal. Does your kitchen smell like a landfill? Try these simple steps to clean out the culprit.
You will need: 2 cups of ice, 1 cup of rock salt or vinegar, tongs or pliers, and lemon peels.
Never put your hand in a garbage disposal. Call a professional if you can’t clean with tongs or pliers.
Step 1) For routine cleaning, pour the ice down the drain and then the rock salt. If you don’t have rock salt, use vinegar. Never use bleach or other chemicals, including drain cleaner. These can damage the disposal or splash back.
Step 2) Run the cold water in the disposal for 5-10 seconds. The ice and salt/vinegar will clear the grinding elements of any built up gunk and bits of food. Use cold water only. Hot water can melt the fats and food you are grinding and gum up your disposal parts.
Step 3) If your disposal is clogged, disconnect it or remove its fuse before you try to remove anything. Use tongs or pliers to remove any objects that can’t be ground, such as rubber, glass or fibrous foods like artichokes.
Step 4) Fill your sink with 3 or 4 inches of cold water. Remove the drain plug and run the disposal to clear the drain line of debris.
Step 5) Throw lemon peels down the drain. Be sure to remove any seeds first. Run warm water and turn on the disposal.
Step 6) Keep your disposal working at its best and your kitchen smelling fresh by cleaning your disposal every couple of weeks.