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How To Clean Your Garbage Disposal

By 4 February 2020Winnipeg plumbers

Garbage disposals are fascinating devices with a storied history, though you might not think it at first. Back in the early 1900s, New York City banned garbage disposals. Today, however, there’s a case to be made that the humble disposal is capable of reducing the negative impact of garbage on the environment. There’s a lot to be said for the disposal; they’re convenient, they can help the environment, and they’re generally quite good at self-cleaning. Every once and awhile, though, you’ll need to clean your disposal yourself; this guide will teach you how.


Before cleaning the disposal, the first thing you’ll have to do is make sure it’s off; for obvious reasons, whirling metal and fingers don’t mix. Not that you’d be sticking your fingers in there anyway – you’re going to want a set of needle-nosed pliers and a flashlight. Shine some light down into the disposal and identify any large objects that need to be removed, then using the pliers, remove the objects. You can then take a sponge on a stick with some soap and water and scrub around inside the disposal, though you have a couple of other options, too.


Consider filling your sink with soap and water, turning the garbage disposal on and running it as the soapy water passes through; the whirling of the disposal should ensure that the suds hit every part of the device. Want something a bit more exciting? Pour a couple of cups of ice and a cup of rock salt into the disposal, then let it whir. You can also pour in a cup of vinegar and a half a cup of baking soda, reliving the science experiments of your youth, all while cleaning the disposal.


Once all this cleaning is done, your garbage disposal should be firing on all cylinders, but that doesn’t mean the smell will be gone. Take some citrus peels – preferably a bunch of different ones – and grind them in the disposal. Now, you should now be greeted by a lovely scent when you use the device. 


You want to avoid having to clean out your disposal regularly, so here are a few maintenance tips. People rarely run their disposals long enough; even when you think everything is ground up, keep running water and the device in order to clean off the blades. You should also avoid letting large objects or grease go down the drain.


Once all of this maintenance work is done, your disposal should be running smoothly, and there should be no smell. When there is still a smell, you might need residential plumbing services. A lingering odour could be a sign that your plumbing is backed up. That may simply mean you need to clean the drain, but it might be a sign that your sewer line is clogged. Check if there’s an odour coming from every room or just from the kitchen sink and give us a call.

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