If you smell something rank in your kitchen, the first place you’ll want to check is the garbage disposal. Foul odors are generally caused by an accumulation of grime from the refuse you’re sending down into the disposal. Your first instinct may be to grab a heavy duty chemical cleaner to combat the grime. However, these kinds of cleaners can be corrosive. Luckily, there are greener alternatives that will get the job done while protecting your water system and pipes as well as the environment.
Here’s a look at some ways you can clean your garbage disposal without chemicals:
Water — When you run your garbage disposal, make sure that you are running water into the side of the sink with the drain at the same time. Doing this will help push the garbage through the system. If it already smells, you can fill up your sink with a few inches of warm water. Let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes before draining. The smell should disappear afterward.
Fruit peels — If your garbage disposal smells, and you have some fruit handy, you can use the fruit peels to make a concoction to combat the grime in your garbage disposal. Place peels in a microwave safe bowl with some water, and heat them up in the microwave until the water boils. Once it’s boiling, dump the water with the peels down the disposal. The warm water and citrus will help loosen any buildup in the disposal.
Baking soda, vinegar, and lemon — Vinegar is used in a lot of home cleaners, so it’s no surprise that it made it onto this list. You’ll want to pour a small amount of vinegar into your garbage disposal, and then follow it with one-half cup of baking soda. After that, turn on the disposal to wash away the vinegar and baking soda. Then, while running the garbage disposal, drop lemon wedges into the entrance and let them grind for half a minute. This method will not only clean your garbage disposal but will also leave a nice citrus smell.
Vinegar in ice cubes — Fill your ice tray with a mixture of water and one teaspoon of vinegar in each square. Once the mixture is frozen (it’ll take about a day) throw some down your disposal. The vinegar will help remove any gunk that is making a home on the blades of your garbage disposal.
Next time your garbage disposal is generating unsavory smells in your kitchen, instead of reaching for bleach or other chemicals, reach for a gentle, natural solution.