Professional Plumbing Tips

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Cleaning Your Garbage Disposal and Preventing Odors

Have you ever been in your kitchen and gotten a whiff of a bad smell? You'll likely break out your cleaner and give everything a good wipe down, but the smell persists. Chances are, that odor is coming from your garbage disposal, even if you rarely use it. Like any appliance in your kitchen, the garbage disposal needs regular cleaning.

looking down at garbage disposal drain

The garbage disposal is responsible for grinding up scraps of food so that they can easily be flushed down the drain. It cuts down on clogs and makes it so you don't have to worry about what is on your dishes when they go in the sink. However, any exposure to food can attract bacteria. Considering a garbage disposal is dark, wet, and probably warm – it is the perfect place for bacteria to thrive if not cleaned regularly.

Deep Cleaning Your Garbage Disposal

The most important thing to remember when cleaning your garbage disposal is to disconnect the power before starting for the sake of safety. Over time, your garbage disposal can get slimy and the only thing to do when this happens is to start scrubbing with dish soap and a sponge.

Be careful cleaning around the blades, but do try to get into every corner with a good lather. You will also want to rinse thoroughly when finished as excess soap left inside can cause problems of its own.

Tips to Keep a Disposal Cleaner for Longer

The good news is that cleaning your garbage disposal doesn't have to be a weekly job. There are a few small things you can put down your drains to keep your disposal cleaner for longer.

  • Ice – Filling your garbage disposal full of ice and running it to chop up the ice doesn't help much with cleaning, but it does help to sharpen the blades. This means food gets ground up more efficiently and is less likely to linger.
  • Citrus Peels – Throwing a very small amount of orange or lemon peels down your disposal will provide a fresh citrusy scent, but be careful, as too many peels could clog your drain.
  • Baking Soda & Vinegar – This chemical reaction will fizz up like an erupting science project volcano and clear up lingering debris. It's an easy way to let a natural reaction do some cleaning and heavy lifting for you.
  • Run Your Water – It is crucial that when using the garbage disposal, you let it run long enough and let the water run even after you shut it off. Short usage and little water lets food linger inside and create unwanted smells.
  • ENDURE Drain Line Maintainer – Great for preventing buildup, ENDURE is a Brian Wear Plumbing favorite to drop down your drains regularly. This environmentally friendly product has been proven very effective in keeping your drains clear and free from fats, oils, and grease that accumulate and bring foul odors.

While garbage disposals are something that you can easily clean yourself, if your garbage disposal is manifesting other problems, contact us today to see what Brian Wear Plumbing can do for you.

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