How often do you remember to clean your kitchen’s garbage disposal? As great as it is for getting rid of messy food bits, we tend to forget that over time, all that gunk can pile up and cause problems (not to mention some not fun smells).
We aren’t talking about when your drain gets super backed up or clogged. Instead, there’s a pro-approved trick to keep our disposals clean and avoid ever getting that bad to begin with — and it only takes about 30 seconds. All you need is some ice, a lemon, and liquid dish soap.
How to Clean a Garbage Disposal with Ice
According to the experts at Roto-Rooter, you can peel and half a lemon and use tongs to put those down your sink’s drain. Then add some ice cubes on top of that. You don’t have to stuff in a whole bunch, just about a cup’s worth. At this point, turn the disposal on and let it start crunching up the lemon and ice.
As it runs, pour in a cup of liquid dish soap and start running cold water from the tap. Let this go for about 30 seconds and then turn off the disposal. You should be left with a refreshed garbage disposal that runs smooth — and without any unpleasant odors!
A slightly different version of this trick made the rounds on social media recently. In this case, the woman shoved a ton of ice in her drain and used hot water. The results were pretty compelling as you can clearly see it work to dislodge icky debris.
Take a look:
Paul Abrams, a representative from Roto-Rooter, told Apartment Therapy that although there was nothing wrong with the video’s approach, “The ice cramming method only serves to fill the disposal to capacity so that some of the gunk has nowhere else to go but up and out of the drain when the user turns on the hot water, further filling the disposal and drain beyond capacity.”
Using the ice, lemon, dish soap, and cold water method his company recommends, on the other hand, might not give you the oddly satisfying visual of gunk rising out of the drain, but it will get the job done.
Roto-Rooter also recommends keeping hard or fibrous food, like popcorn kernels and celery stalks, from going down the drain as they can snag on the disposal and cause the blades to jam up.
Otherwise, just give it a quick clean with ice every now and then!