Homemade garbage disposal cleaner

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Do you have a smelly garbage disposal that you need to clean? Well then you are in the right place! In this article we tell you everything you need to know to make a fast working garbage disposal cleaner from common household ingredients.

For more tips on how to keep your garbage disposal clean check out our article on cleaning a garbage disposal. 

What ingredients are used in homemade garbage disposal cleaner?

In order to make homemade garbage disposal cleaner you will need lemon juice, coarse salt, and baking soda. You will also need an ice cube tray or some small containers that can be used to freeze water and lemon juice. 

How to clean a garbage disposal

How to make homemade garbage disposal cleaner

This homemade garbage disposal cleaner has two components. One component is a slurry made of water and abrasive substances and the other component consists of ice cubes made with some lemon juice. 

First you should make the lemon ice cubes. Combine 1 cup of water with 1/2 cup lemon juice and freeze the mixture in an ice cube tray or other small container. You should make large ice cubes as these will remain in the garbage disposal longer before they slip down the drain. 

Next you should make the abrasive slurry. You can do this by combining 2 cups of water with 1/2 cup salt and 1/2 cup baking soda. Refrigerate this slurry to keep it cool so that it will not melt your ice cubes.

How to clean your garbage disposal?

Now that you have your lemon ice cubes and your abrasive slurry, it is time to clean your garbage disposal. Just follow these simple steps. 

  1. Start by turning your garbage disposal on and running cold sink water down your garbage disposal for 30 seconds. This will wash away any easy to remove debris. 
  2. Turn the water off and add your lemon ice cubes to the garbage disposal. Let the lemon ice cubes sit in the garbage disposal for 5 minutes. 
  3. Add your abrasive slurry to the garbage disposal, turn the cold water on low, and run your garbage disposal for 2 minutes or until the ice cubes all fall down the drain. 

Why does this garbage disposal cleaner work?

This is how each ingredient in this garbage disposal cleaner works to remove caked on food and odors from your garbage disposal. 

  • Ice. It is useful to use ice when cleaning your garbage disposal because it is solid and it takes a while for your garbage disposal to grind up ice. If you add the ice to your garbage disposal before the other ingredients then the other ingredients will stick to the ice and remain in the garbage disposal for a longer amount of time. Ice also works by knocking large food particles out of your garbage disposal. 
  • Salt. Salt is an abrasive substance which means that it helps to physically scrape small food particles off of the walls of your garbage disposal. When you combine salt and water then you get salt water which has the added bonus of being an antiseptic.This means that salt water will kill any nasty bacteria that is lurking in your garbage disposal.  
  • Baking soda. Baking soda is also an abrasive substance so it also helps to physically scrape small food particles off of your garbage disposal. Baking soda has the added benefit of being a deodorizer so it will also help to remove any lingering spells from your garbage disposal. 
  • Lemon juice. Lemon juice is acidic, which means that it eats away at any food particles that are left in your garbage disposal. Lemon juice is also a natural deodorizer that will remove nasty odors from your garbage disposal. 
How to clean a garbage disposal with homemade cleaner

Tips for making garbage disposal cleaner

When you are making the ice cubes for this garbage disposal cleaner, the bigger the ice cubes you can make the better. The reason that larger ice cubes work better is that larger ice cubes will remain in the garbage disposal longer before they become small enough to slip down the drain. Of course the ice cubs need to be small enough that they can fit in your garbage disposal. 

How to clean a garbage disposal without lemon

If you do not have any lemons or lemon juice at your house you can also make this garbage disposal cleaner with vinegar. Just substitute the lemon juice 1-for-1 with distilled white vinegar. Vinegar does not have the same deodorizing properties as a lemon but it is acidic and it will eat away at caked on food particles. 


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