Garbage Disposal Maintenance Tips

If you’ve got a garbage disposal in your kitchen sink you know how much of a workhorse it is. Scraps of food, fruit, meat, veggies, etc get shoved into its swirling, tearing, cutting, gaping maw with reckless abandon without a thought about how to keep your garbage disposal spic and span for years of reliable use.

With a little knowhow about how to use your garbage disposal (sometimes called an Insinkerator) properly and some regular maintenance you can avoid costly repair jobs or worse, a replacement.

Remember if you’re reading this,and need a garbage disposal installed, please give us a call on 0424 141 174.

There’s a smell in my garbage disposal - what do I do?

If you find there’s a bad smell coming out of your disposal unit (and it isn’t blocked) there’s a fair chance that some foodstuffs have made their way into an area of the disposal unit that the water from your sink isn’t getting to in order to flush it down.

If this is the case there’s a few things you can do.

The lemon treatment

Cut up a lemon into quarters and shove them into your garbage disposal unit. Then get some warm (not hot or boiling) water and pour it into your unit whilst running it. The citric acid from the lemons is a great way to get things clean.

You can also try using vinegar instead of warm water – this works great. Incidentally, lemon juice and vinegar is by far the best BBQ cleaner I’ve found. Give it a go at your next cookup.

Ice and Salt

I know that this sounds a little bit like a margarita recipe but trust me, this also works really well to clean your sink disposal unit. Fill up the disposal unit with as much ice as you can, then pour in some rock salt. Run the garbage disposal until all the ice and salt has been crushed up. Then run some water through the system to clean it out a little more.

Feel free to try your own combinations of cleaning methods for your garbage disposals, or try the two above either by themselves or one after the other for persistent smells.

How to clean your garbage disposal

If you’re looking to keep your garbage disposal nice and clean it’s a good idea to periodically clean it so you don’t get nasty smells building up in the system (if you do get that see above).

Dishwashing Liquid

One great way to keep your system clean is to squirt some dishwashing liquid in and run some room temperature water through the system whilst it’s turned on.


Another great way to keep your garbage disposal system clean is to pop a couple of ice cubes in and run it. I try to do this every other day or so. It’s a cheap and effective way to make sure your unit keeps relatively clean on a regular basis. Although it’s worth noting that my dog really hates the sound (sorry Brewster!).

Vinegar Ice

If you’re inclined, you can also make vinegar ice cubes to use in the garbage disposal unit. Just don’t put them in the kids cordial by mistake!

Frozen Citrus Peels

Another great way to freshen up your garbage disposal is to freeze some citrus peels (things like lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit, mandarins, etc) and then put these into the unit to give it a bit of a clean and a nice smell to boot. Just don’t try to put too much in at once or have large pieces as this can and will jam your unit.

So there you have it – loads of different ways to make sure your garbage disposal unit is clean, fresh and smelling nice no matter what you throw in there!

Call us today on 0424 141 174 for all your garbage disposal installation requirements.