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The Common Kitchen Item You Should Be Cleaning (And 3 Super Easy Ways To Do It)

The key to really getting your space clean? Not just scrubbing the surfaces you can see, but also the ones you can’t. And in your kitchen, that means going beyond your counters – and even past the basin of your sink – to give this overlooked (but often used) device a deep clean. So today, we’re teaching you how to tackle your garbage disposal – and the easy ways to ensure it’s working (and smelling) its best. 

A garbage disposal might not be an obvious spot that needs cleaning (isn’t it getting rid of messes anyway?) But over time, food particles and scraps can build up and stick to the walls – leading to an unappealing odor and some nasty gunk. So we’re showing you the easiest ways to dispose of any smells or residue (and don’t worry, you don’t even have to stick your hand in!)


Keep scrolling to see the 3 easiest ways to clean your disposal – and the clever products to help you do it.



Want even more cleaning tips? Check out Our 12 Best Cleaning Hacks To Save You Time And Effort and #CleanTok: The Satisfying Videos That Show You How To Really Clean Your Home.



Photo: Amy Bartlam

1. The Ice Cube Method

2 everyday items (that you already have) are all you need to get your disposal looking and working as good as new. The combination acts as an effective scrub to dislodge even the most stuck-on food residue in just a few seconds.



  • Ice Cubes
  • Salt



  • Fill the disposal with 6 large ice cubes and 1 tbsp salt
  • Turn on for a few seconds with no water running until ice is crushed
  • Rinse with hot water for 30 seconds

2. The Cleaner Method

For the absolutely easiest way to get your disposal disinfected, simply grab a prepackaged cleaner. They come in lots of varieties but are essentially a capsule or tablet that foams to remove debris, leaving behind a fresh scent in just a few minutes. (See all our favorites below.)



  • Prepackaged Disposal Cleaner



  • Turn on hot water
  • Place capsule inside your disposal
  • Turn on disposal for a few seconds
  • Allow product to foam
  • Rinse away foam and any residue

3. The Citrus Method

Prefer a totally natural and sweet-smelling cleaning method? Combine these common products for an effective gunk-eliminator (that will also leave behind a pleasant, citrus scent).



  • Orange, lemon, or other citrus rinds
  • White Vinegar
  • Baking Soda



  • Pour 1/2 cup of baking soda into the disposal
  • Wait a half-hour and then pour in 1/2 cup vinegar
  • Allow to foam and rinse with hot water
  • Cut up a handful of citrus rinds into smaller pieces
  • Place in the disposal and turn on for a few seconds with cold water running