How to Clean Your Kitchen Disposal With Items in Your Pantry

Hi beautiful readers! I have Ali from Homey Improvements here today to share tips for how to clean your kitchen disposal, and how to maintain your disposal once it’s clean. Thanks for being here, Ali!

How to clean your kitchen disposal

Last week our dishwasher stopped working. Thankfully the plumber said it was an easy fix. Unfortunately, he also told us it was a problem largely of our own making.

Turns out, we haven’t been taking proper care of our drains. Who knew? Fortunately we had the best plumber ever, and he left us with a great set of tips for cleaning and maintaining our drains and disposals.

1. Take Steps to Avoid Clogs

Avoid clogs. Seems simple. But it’s a hard step to implement if you never think about it.

This kind of clog prevention only takes a few seconds. Every month simply put a few tablespoons of baking soda into your sink drain and follow it with a cup of white distilled vinegar. Wait a few seconds for it to fizz up and then run hot water for 30 seconds. Afterwards, I like to add several ice cubes while the water is still running and turn on the disposal to really give it a good clean.

To make this process easy, I like to have a few vinegar ice cubes on hand to deodorize, sanitize, and sharpen the blades. Or save your citrus peels: they do the same.

How to clean your kitchen disposal

  1. Learn What Not to Dispose

Did you know ground-up potato peels can turn into paste, building up and clogging even the toughest disposals? Or that pastas and rice can slip past the blades and then expand in the pipes?

Are you careful about keeping fibrous materials out of your disposal? Items such as corn husks, celery, and onion skins can tangle in blades, clogging or damaging the disposal.

Oils, greases, coffee grounds can all build up over time and cause major clogs. Instead of dumping good grounds down the drain, sprinkle them in plant beds to ward off ants. Oil and grease should never go down any of your drains. Learn how to properly dispose of them so you’re not tempted to rinse them down.

Even though we have a disposal in our kitchen sink it ended up sending some food to our dishwasher which would dry tiny flecks of food onto our cups. If you don’t have one, buy a good sink strainer (it’ll only set you back about $4). Once it has done its job catching food chunks, dump it into the trash can. Tiny food flecks can still get through the strainer so never start you dishwasher right after or while you are washing dishes.

  1. Washing Your Dishwasher

Surprise, surprise: chemical cleaners can be hard on your pipes (not to mention bad for the environment). Thankfully, you can clean just about anything with baking soda and vinegar.

Clean your dishwasher by setting a glass measuring cup of vinegar with a few drops of lemon essential oil in the top rack for a hot rinse. If it is extra dirty, sprinkle the bottom with baking soda.

  1. Start a Maintenance Schedule

Just keeping your drains chunk-free and your disposals smelling clean isn’t enough.

Try dedicating a day each season to knocking out all of your important, seasonal plumbing maintenance to-dos at once. Maintain your plumbing, check or change HVAC filters, test fire extinguishers, change smoke alarm batteries, etc.

Giving up a few hours a year to maintenance isn’t much when you consider the hassles, breakdowns and money you’ll save by caring for your home.

Some people have the gift of DIY. Other should stay far away from any and all home repair. You may be able to handle some plumbing issues yourself (or learn to), but it’s important to weigh the costs before trying amateur plumbing work.

Will you really save money fixing your plumbing yourself? Which will cost more: hiring a pro for a little problem, or bringing someone in to fix a DIY blunder?

Only you know your comfort, budget, and skill level. Weigh all three before deciding whether to DIY or call a pro.

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  1. says

    Thank you for this post1 I’m at the end of my BIG pre-holiday cleaning and some of your tips are great reminders for me on some kitchen issues. My next task after cleaning is decorating the house, and although I’m a little late this year, I’m sure I’ll be done till the end of the weekend. Thank you for sharing

  2. says

    I’ve heard that baking soda and vinegar helps with de-clogging drains, however I didn’t know that I should do it every few months to keep on top of it! I also like hearing how citrus peels can help sharpen the blades! I feel that this will save me a lot of costly repairs in the future, so thank you!

  3. says

    I like your tip to avoid clogs by performing monthly maintenance. It’s a lot easier to keep a drain clear than it is to fix it once it’s clogged. I think that your suggestion to put ice cubes in the garbage disposal to really clean them out after using baking soda, vinegar, and hot water is great. Thanks for the ideas!

  4. says

    I appreciate the tips for keeping drains clean and clear. No, I had no idea that pasta, rice, or potatoes could be potential disasters for the plumbing. I will have to keep a closer eye on what gets dumped down the disposal.

  5. says

    One of the first advantages of drain cleaning is that you limit the occurrences of clogged drains. Depending on the location of the clogged drain, there are a number of substances that can clog your pipes and render them useless. Hair, objects, cooking oil, mineral build up and food are all common causes of clogged drains.

  6. says

    What does the baking soda and vinegar combination do to the garbage disposal? How does this help? Also, spot on with the pasta, rice, and potato peels. No solvent will ever unblock the reside of ground up pasta, rice, or potato peels. Products like Draino only dissolve proteins.

  7. says

    Commercial plumbers can also tune up the heating elements, detect leaks, and replace corroded components of the water heater. These plumbers can check the temperature, CO levels, and water pressure of water heater systems, as well as the emergency shut-off valve.

  8. says

    That’s a great post. thanks for sharing to us.The kitchen is a central room where the family gathers to eat and linger over daily events. It is important to keep the kitchen as clean and fresh smelling as possible. Cleaning the garbage disposal properly and frequently guarantees a nicely scented kitchen.
    Nathan88 recently posted…Best Dish Drying Rack Reviews with Buying GuideMy Profile

  9. says

    I use citrus and ice cubes in the garbage disposal all the time. And I’m with you on the fear of getting my hand caught! Was not familiar with the onion cleaning the grill trick. Can’t wait to try that this summer!

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