August 1, 2011
This week I had the unfortunate occurrence of a broken garbage disposal, and it seems to be beyond a normal jam. The end result is trapped food and muck that has quickly made an unpleasant scent in my kitchen. I normally use ice cubes and lemons to clean and refresh my disposal, but with broken blades, I had to get more creative.
I’ve always heard of baking soda and vinegar as great sink basin and faucet cleaners, but had considered them for inside the drain. If you find yourself with a broken down garbage disposal, give this technique a try – you will need:
- 1/2 cup baking soda
- 1 cup of vinegar, microwaved on high
- 1/2 gallon of hot water
First, dump the baking soda into the disposal drain. Pour in the cup of heated vinegar, and let the effervescent chemical reaction take place for about five minutes. Follow up by pouring the hot water down the drain. You may find that you need to repeat this process.
If muck persists, you can further clean the disposal out with a bottle brush, sponge-tipped if possible (note: turn off the power supply to the disposal before sticking anything down there). Until the disposal is repaired, it may be nearly impossible to clean it 100%, but baking soda and vinegar have a great deodorizing effect that I noticed immediately.
You can continue to use just these two common household items to keep your sink clean:
- soak a towel in vinegar and wrap it around your faucet overnight to remove grime buildup in the morning
- make a paste with baking soda and water; spread it around your sink and scour with a sponge. Rinse with warm water mixed with a splash of vinegar
- keep 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water in a spray bottle for daily sink touch-ups and wipe-downs
- sprinkle a little baking soda down the drain daily to absorb any unpleasant odors