how do I clean my garbage disposal?
January 10, 2007 1:59 PM   Subscribe

My "garbage disposal" is all gunked up. How do I clean it?
posted by indigo4963 to Home & Garden (17 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
Depends on brand, but there may be a hex-wrench type deal on the underside. Get a hex wrench that will fit it and work the gears/grinders back and forth until the jam clears. Works on mine.
posted by Devidicus at 2:03 PM on January 10, 2007


See also here and here.

Unless "garbage disposal" is a euphemism for something else, that is.
posted by contessa at 2:05 PM on January 10, 2007


Whaddya got? A Clarkman?

It's a big job. You've got to dismantle the latch hasp from the auxiliary drainage line.
posted by wfc123 at 2:06 PM on January 10, 2007


I would think a gel drain cleaner would help a lot.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 2:08 PM on January 10, 2007


Drop a lemon in it
posted by zeoslap at 2:08 PM on January 10, 2007


My garbage disposal's manual advised grinding up some ice cubes (to knock the crud off the blades) followed by a baking baking soda + vinegar soak and topping off with grinding up a lemon.
posted by jamaro at 2:11 PM on January 10, 2007


Echoing jamaro and zeoslap: Ice cubes and lemons. And not just a few cubes and a tiny slice of lemon. Bowls of cubes and at least a whole lemon (cut into 1/2 to avoid it bouncing around like a racketball).

They also make this stuff in a can that you spray in and it foams up and expands and fills the entire chamber. You should be able to find it near the dishwashing soap at the store.
posted by Ynoxas at 2:18 PM on January 10, 2007


Yup. Ice and lemon.
posted by bob sarabia at 2:20 PM on January 10, 2007


Baking soda and vinegar? Are you sure? That's like Mentos and Coke.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 2:46 PM on January 10, 2007


Baking soda and vinegar isn't that dramatic; it's a very safe household cleaner and pretty good for disposals. Nothing is as satisfying as ice and lemons, though.
posted by Lyn Never at 3:15 PM on January 10, 2007


Re vinegar + baking soda: yes, quite sure. (What, you skipped school the day everyone makes a volcano?)
posted by jamaro at 4:12 PM on January 10, 2007


YES. Ice, baking soda and lemon. But, DO NOT cram the disposal full of ice (as I did) and then turn it on. This will cause the disposal to lock up as soon as you turn it on and burn up the motor in a matter of seconds. Then you have to buy a new disposal (as I did). For best results, turn the disposal on and only then add the ice a couple of cubes at a time. Keep going till you think it's had a good dose.
posted by wsg at 1:37 AM on January 11, 2007


We didn't do food volcanoes at my school. We were using vinegar and baking soda to launch rockets.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 6:46 AM on January 11, 2007


wsg: Thanks for mentioning that. As a good practice, you should always have the disposal running (with water running) anytime you start dumping anything down your sink. We don't all do it everytime, but it is much easier on the disposal to already be up to speed when it encounters, say, several ice cubes and 1/2 a lemon. :-)
posted by Ynoxas at 8:35 AM on January 11, 2007


Thanks for all the suggestions. Perhaps "garbage disposal" is a euphemism for something else.
posted by indigo4963 at 12:52 PM on January 11, 2007


Perhaps "garbage disposal" is a euphemism for something else.

I'd still recommend ice cubes and lemons, just perhaps administered differently.
posted by Ynoxas at 10:22 PM on January 11, 2007


On the "my disposal is broken" front -- if you have a "dead" disposal, check for a circuit breaker on the disposal's motor.

They sometimes look like a little "turkey's done" popper -- push it back in (after clearing out whatever caused it to sieze up and take a nap) and presto, it's working.
posted by catkins at 8:19 AM on January 12, 2007


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