Most of us never give a thought to the health of our garbage disposal. Instead, we keep washing food waste and debris down the kitchen sink and assume that the disposal will keep doing its job. But as every homeowner knows, there will be a point when your garbage disposal demands your attention. It could be a loud grinding and clunking that grabs your attention. Or the response could be more subtle as your sink begins to fill with nasty water and bits of food. But at that moment, you know that the disposal has had enough and it is time for a good cleaning.
A Foreign Object Removal
If you heard some incredible noise and grinding sounds, the issue is most likely a foreign object in the disposal. It could be anything from a stray piece of silverware to a bottle cap or large piece of bone. But it will need to be removed before it does some permanent damage to your disposal. The first step is to get under the kitchen sink and unplug your disposal. If it is hardwired to the electrical system in your home, shut off the breaker to that part of your kitchen.
When you return to the kitchen, turn the disposal switch on to ensure no power to the unit. As long as nothing happens, turn the switch back to the off position and remove the disposal splash guard from the sink drain. This will give you a better view of the inside of the disposal. Ideally, you will see the object that is making all the noise and be able to grab it with a long pair of kitchen tongs or even a set of pliers. Putting your hand inside the disposal is always dangerous. Once the culprit is removed, replace the splash guard and restore power to ensure that the disposal is working correctly.
Proper Cleaning By Homeowners
Most homeowners decide to clean their garbage disposal because of an odd or foul odor. This is not a shock when considering all of the food bits that get ground up by this appliance. Then couple that with the bits of debris that remain on the grinder assembly, and you can create some rather unpleasant fragrances.
To combat the odor and remove some of the residue, pour about a cup of baking soda into the disposal, followed by an equal amount of vinegar. The bubbles will help loosen the sticky residue and food grime, while the vinegar will help neutralize the odor. Let the concoction do its cleaning for about five minutes and then flush the disposal with hot water for several minutes. For more frequent odor removal, running a few slices of citrus fruit down the disposal will help remove odors and clean the grinder assembly.
A Professional Solution
Professional drain cleaning is a process that uses nothing but high-pressure water to remove clogs, and sticky, smelly residue from inside your home’s drains. The process can also be used to clean the inside of your garbage disposal. However, it is only a drain safe and disposal safe process when a highly skilled licensed plumber uses it.
If you are constantly having issues with disposal clogs and foul odors, it is time to go beyond the cleaning and deodorizing that you can do on your own. Call (406) 823-3680 to schedule an appointment with the pros at Mountain Valley Plumbing & Heating. Our experts have years of experience removing all of the foul odor and stubborn clog-causing grime in your home’s drains. We even back our drain cleaning with a full warranty against future drain clogs.