In order to keep your garbage disposal working its best and prevent odors, you need to clean it regularly. Food and soap scum easily build up in all the nooks and crannies of your garbage disposal, which can lead to clogs and improper drainage. Fortunately for you, cleaning your garbage disposal regularly does not have to cost you an arm and a leg and it can be done relatively easily with a few simple, household items you likely already have on hand.

Cleaning You Disposal in Five Easy Steps

  1. Gather your supplies – for this task, you will need 1 cup of ice cubes, 1 cup of dish soap, 1 peeled lemon (halved), and dish washing gloves.
  2. To keep your hands clean, put the gloves on, then place the ice cubes in the garbage disposal.
  3. Run the disposal for a few seconds to break up the ice cubes, then turn the water on cold and add in the dish soap. Let the water run for about 30 seconds to lather then rinse away the soap.
  4. Turn off the disposal. Once the blades are no longer moving, place the lemon halves in the garbage disposal then turn the water to hot. Again, run the disposal for about 30 seconds to thoroughly clear away any lemon bits.
  5. Turn off the disposal but continue to let the hot water run for a few more seconds.

How It Works

The ice cubes help to sharpen the blades and chip away any stuck-on food particles. This is important to prevent any future clogs. It also helps protect the longevity of your garbage disposal.

The dish soap is used for exactly what you think it is – it cleans and degreases the inside of your garbage disposal to keep things working properly and the drain flowing freely.

The lemon halves are a great natural disinfectant, which is important in a setting like your garbage disposal that is a warm, dark, wet place that is ideal for bacteria to grow. If bacteria is present and your turn on the disposal, it can get sprayed up and out of the disposal and onto your hands and face. So regular disinfecting is vital for your overall health and wellbeing. The additional benefit of using lemon is that it is also a great deodorizer, so it will help your kitchen, especially your sink to smell clean and fresh.


In order to keep your garbage disposal clean, smelling fresh, and working properly, it is important that you follow these five steps at least once a month. This will keep your drain from clogging and ensure that your garbage disposal lasts for years to come. If you are having difficulty with your garbage disposal not working properly then give Conyers Plumbing a call to have one of our technicians come out and diagnose the problem. We are here to help you keep your plumbing working in tip top shape.