How to Clean a Garbage Disposal with Ice So It Doesn’t Stink Anymore!

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If you’ve ever noticed an odor coming from your garbage disposal, you’ve probably tried to clean it with a combination of baking soda and vinegar. Maybe you even threw in a lemon slice.

That’s what I tried too, but the smell didn’t go away, plus there was a layer of gunk forming on the bottom of the garbage disposal. I really wanted to get my garbage disposal clean, but I didn’t want to stick my hand down there and scrub it!

That’s when I discovered how to clean a garbage disposal with ice! It absolutely worked! The garbage disposal cuts the ice up and scrapes away gunk and food particles left in the disposal.

There is a trick to using the ice though, so in this post I’ll share the tips I used.

How to Clean a Garbage Disposal with Ice

1. Gather your supplies.

You are going to need …

  • lots of ice (I ended up using an entire ice tray from my freezer.)
  • salt
  • baking soda
  • vinegar
  • hot water
  • unused toothbrush

3. Scrub inside of garbage disposal with a toothbrush.

*Please be very careful!*

You may want to cut off electricity to your disposal at this point, so that it doesn’t get turned on. I make sure to keep my hands above the disposal and at the sink level at all times. Never, stick your hands down the disposal.

Before cleaning your garbage disposal with ice, you may wish to use an unused toothbrush to scrub away as much as you can around the inside of the disposal. I have a toothbrush designated to only clean my disposal and keep it under my sink.

4. Pour ice into disposal and sprinkle with ice.

You’ll want to add a lot of ice, but as you are pouring it in, be sure to sprinkle with a little salt. The salt helps the ice from clumping up and stopping the drain.

5. Turn on cold water and run the disposal.

Once the ice and salt is in the disposal and sink, turn on the cold water and allow it to run down the disposal. You’ll want to use cold water instead of hot water, otherwise the ice will melt right away.

After the cold water has been turned on, start the garbage disposal. If you previously turned the electricity off, you’ll need to turn it on at this point.

Allow the garbage disposal to run until it has crushed all the ice in the disposal. Do not shove more ice in while the disposal is running.

Turn the garbage disposal off and refill with ice and salt. Then run the cold water and disposal again. You may have to do this a few times, but you’ll start to see it cleaning when dirty water comes up. It’s really satisfying to see!

6. Add baking soda and vinegar. (optional)

This step is optional, but I gave the disposal one last rinse by adding about a half cup of baking soda and a cup of vinegar. Let the two fizz and clean up any gunk that is left.

7. Finally, rinse with hot water.

After the baking soda and vinegar have finished fizzing, add a final rinse with hot water. I filled my coffee pot with water, but you could simply turn on the hot water and run for a couple of minutes.

How to Maintain a Clean Garbage Disposal

Now that your disposal is clean, be sure to run it at least a few times a week, even if you don’t use it. There is still food particles getting stuck in your disposal whenever you use the sink.

You can use the ice and salt as needed, but shouldn’t have to do it on a regular basis.

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