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September 8, 2020
Have you ever walked back into your home after a nice day out with the family, only to have your nostrils singed by the stinky smell coming from the kitchen? What happened? Was it the fried fish from the night before, something moldy in the garbage can, or could it be that your garbage disposal is the black hole of food leftovers, and has absorbed a less than desired “eau de parfum”?
A persistent smell coming from your sink, or odd noises when you use your garbage disposal are clear indicators it is time to clean that “black hole” out! Here are our top plumbing tips for how you can deep clean a garbage disposal and get your home smelling fresh again.
Safely and Effectively Cleaning A Garbage Disposal
The black rubber baffle that you see in your sink is the place for food particles, not fingers and hands. So the best way to clean your garbage disposal safely and effectively is to make sure you follow these steps in order.
Step 1: Unplug/turn off the garbage disposal
Even though cleaning out your disposal doesn’t involve sticking your hands all the way into the actual drain, it is much better to be safe than sorry. Underneath the sink, your garbage disposal should be plugged into an outlet. If there is a visible plug, unplug it, and try your garbage disposal switch once just to ensure it is disconnected from any power. If the wire goes straight into the wall, shut off the circuit breaker.
Step 2: Wash the baffle
The baffle of your garbage disposal often collects fatty oils and sticky liquids that come off your food waste. Take a sponge and some dish soap, and scrub the baffle. Want to get it extra clean? Pull the underside of the baffle up, and thoroughly clean the backside as well.
Step 3: Flush with baking soda and vinegar
Remember the volcano science experiment we all did as kids? It can come in handy after all! Pour ½ cup of baking soda into the drain, and add a full cup of vinegar. It will start to bubble like Mt. St. Helens within the confines of your sink — let the bubbles work for no longer than ten minutes, then run water to clear the drain.
Bonus Vinegar Tip: If you want to keep odors out of your disposal for a few extra days, use an ice tray to make vinegar ice cubes. Drop a few in each day to slowly disperse this garbage disposal cleaner, and keep odors at bay.
Disposal Still Stinky or Noisy? Call the Pippin Plumbing Pros
After you’ve plugged your disposal back in and used your sink normally for a day or two, pay attention to your disposal. If you are still hearing strange noises, noticing a garbage disposal clog, or smelling something foul, it is probably time to bring in a plumbing professional. Pippin Brothers will have a certified plumber at your home as soon as possible, ready to diagnose your garbage disposal issues. We’ll fix it fast, fix it right the first time, and for less than you’d expect!