If you are a happy garbage disposal owner, you have to keep your garbage disposal happy too. So you want to keep it in good working order. One of the ways to do that is to make sure you keep it in clean working order. There are many different ways to achieve a clean and fresh smelling garbage disposal. Each person may experience different results, these are simply as a reference. So you need to know about garbage disposals cleaning ideas, tips and tricks.


We accept no liability for any of these suggestions or tips. These are things that others have tried or used on a regular basis, always follow manufacturer’s instructions for your garbage disposal. Also before cleaning your disposal make sure that the power is off during any cleaning with cleaning tools.​

garbage disposals cleaning ideas


Most are low cost and easy for just about anyone to do. Try one or try a few, you are sure to find something that works for you.

Cleaners specifically for garbage disposals

There are cleaners on the market made specifically for cleaning garbage disposals. Just follow the directions on the bottle.

Cleaners for garbage disposals

The Debatable Egg Shells

Egg shells and garbage disposals have been a debate between users for a while. Some say to put them in others say no because of the membrane. So it looks like it is choice based. Some swear by eggshells for cleaning blades and keeping them sharp.

debatable egg shells

Ice Cubes

Put a tray of ice cubes in your sink, turn on disposal while running a little cold water. Once it is a slushy type consistency then shut off disposal and water. It might look like the sink in plugged, but it will be just fine the ice will start to melt and then it will all go down the drain.

ice cubes

Plain Rock Salt

Rock salt is another debated because it is a harder item to grind to. However, rock salts edges are supposed to be good for scraping off gunk in the grinding chamber because the edges of the salt are sharp. It is as simple as putting a small amount of rock salt in the grinding chamber and turning on the water and the best garbage disposal. You will hear the rock salt bound around until it dissolves or goes down the drain.

plain rock salt

White Vinegar

Vinegar is something that most of us have in our kitchens already. Vinegar is a well-known good cleaner for many things. So yes, it is another great option for your garbage disposal as well. It will also help to neutralize any odors as well. You can mix it with water, or use it full strength.

white vinegar

Baking Soda

Another great multipurpose item most of us have in our kitchen. It is known for being a safe abrasive as well as a deodorizer. Add to grinding chamber add enough water so it moves around easily when you turn on disposal. Make sure you run cold water here too.

baking soda

Baking Soda and Vinegar Combo

Some combine the power of baking soda and vinegar, for a one two punch. The amounts vary from person to person. Typically, you would put a tablespoon of baking soda down the drain. Then add vinegar let it foam, then sit for a little bit then turn on water and disposal to stir things up. Then just make sure you run water long enough to rinse thoroughly.

soda vinegar combo

Citrus Fruit or Citrus Peels

They are not so much a cleaner as they are a deodorizer. Although, there are some cleaners out there made of all natural citrus oils. So there may be a little cleaning benefits here. Plus, it is great for those who don’t want to use chemicals. Make sure you cut the fruit or peelings up in pieces, to make it easier on disposal. Then put them in disposal chamber and process them like you would food waste.

citrus fruit

Regular Bleach

If you don’t mind using chemicals, bleach is still a favorite of many. Just make sure to dilute with water as if you are mixing as a cleaner. Then run it through your disposal like you would food waste. Cover the feeding whole with a cover to avoid getting splashed. Hence why some avoid using the bleach method.

regular bleach

Borax Cleaning

Borax is another great way to clean your garbage disposal from time to time. Just put 3 to 4 tablespoons into your grinding chamber and let it sit for approximately an hour. Then rinse it away with hot water after. It is great at not only cleaning but deodorizing your garbage disposal. It is easy to find in the laundry detergent isle.

borax cleaning


One thing that some people forget to clean when they are cleaning the grinding chamber is the drain line. The drain line can become filled with all sorts of nasty things. Causing things to plug up or smell funny too. So the best way to remember to take care of that is to clean it when you clean the rest.

While you are at it also remember to clean your drain cover. Although the side you can see looks clean, you need to clean the underside you can’t see. There usually tends to be build-up there from things it blocks from coming out. It is typically easy to remove, then just clean with a toothbrush and some soap.

garbage disposal cleaning tips


Many wonder how often they should clean their garbage disposal. Well that is more up to you than anything. You can do a simple clean once a week and a more thorough cleaning once a month if you so choose. Your drain hose can be cleaned when you do your monthly so you don’t have to remove it as often if you like. If you are just worried about keeping odors down, you can do the citrus treatment a couple of days a week if you like.

How often you clean can also depend on the amount of use too. If you are using your garbage disposal a lot, you may want to clean it more often. More use means more buildup that may need to be taken care of.


While there isn’t much for tools required to clean your garbage disposal, there are a couple. You should have a couple of things, because in no circumstances should you put your hands into your garbage disposal. So the biggest helpful tool you can have is a toothbrush. It can get into small crevices and has a handle for length. A bottle brush is another great tool, especially if it has a bendable handle. It works great on the grinding chamber and for the drain line. You may find other things helpful on your own, but those are the two most common and they are budget friendly to keep supplied.


Having a garbage disposal can be a big help for many. Especially when it comes to decreasing garbage. If you are on a municipal sewer depending on company. The waste you dispose of that ends up in the system will in most cases be turned into energy. So you may be doing something good and not even know it. With proper maintenance and cleaning your garbage disposal will keep helping you for years.


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