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How to Clean and Unclog Your Sink Drain Garbage Disposal

Certified Plumbing of Brevard - January 13, 2023 - 0 comments

Is there a foul smell in your kitchen that no cleaner seems to eliminate? Have you checked your sink drain garbage disposal? Garbage disposals are notorious for trapping leftover food particles, and while those particles rot in your sink, they can spread bacteria! 

Keeping your sink drain garbage disposal clean is important to maintain a healthy home. Not only will it prevent bad odors from coming up through the kitchen sink, but it can also prevent clogs in the plumbing system while limiting the spread of bacteria.

When in doubt, contact Certified Plumbing of Brevard to handle any of your plumbing concerns! We have been trusted in the community for over thirty years! If you’re having any plumbing issues, we are here to help! We offer both traditional and emergency services in order to provide expert-level attention to your property or facility. Our team works hard to provide services such as repiping, leak detection, drain cleaning, and much more! Don’t hesitate when it comes to plumbing. Call us at 321-676-0812 or request a quote!

What is a Sink Drain Garbage Disposal? 

sink drain garbage disposal

A sink drain garbage disposal is a unit located underneath the sink that breaks down food waste particles so they can safely pass through plumbing pipes. This helps reduce clogs and makes it easier for wastewater to flow out of your house. However, if a drain disposal isn’t properly cleaned and maintained, it can become a breeding ground for harmful bacteria that could contaminate your food or make you sick. 

The main risk of not cleaning your drain disposal is an increased chance of bacterial contamination in your kitchen. Bacteria such as E. coli and salmonella can easily accumulate. Dirty drain disposals can also contribute to unpleasant smells from your kitchen sink, which could be another sign of bacterial buildup!

Pros and Cons of Sink Drain Garbage Disposals

sink drain garbage disposal

Garbage disposals are a great and helpful tool in your kitchen. They make cleaning up after meals so much easier. Instead of having to scrape food scraps into the trash, you can grind them up with the flick of a switch.

Additionally, many people find that their kitchen sink drains faster and more efficiently when they install a garbage disposal. The unit helps break down any solid material that could cause plumbing clogs later on.

But with anything, your garbage disposal has a few downsides. They tend to be quite loud when being used. This can be especially annoying if you have an open-concept kitchen that connects to other living spaces in your home, or if you live on the second floor of an apartment complex. The sound, though, is manageable, especially when only used for a couple of seconds a few times a day. 

The main issue with garbage disposals is when food gets trapped in the flaps or lodged in the plumbing line. That’s a real concern! While it may cause a horrible smell that seems impossible to destroy, it can also spread harmful bacteria or damage your plumbing system. 

Proper maintenance of your sink drain garbage disposal is crucial to have a reliable and healthy plumbing system in your home!

How to Clean Your Sink Drain Garbage Disposal 

Cleaning your garbage disposal doesn’t require much time or effort. 

When cleaning the sink drain, it’s essential to use natural ingredients whenever possible. You don’t want to use harsh chemicals that could damage your pipes (especially plastic ones), or be hazardous to you and your family. 

Start by filling a bowl with 1 cup of baking soda and 1 cup of vinegar. Pour the mixture down the drain and let it sit for 30 minutes. Turn on the disposal and let it run for 30 seconds while simultaneously flushing it with hot water.  You can repeat this process as needed. 

After you’ve flushed out all of the vinegar mixture, it’s time to scrub away any remaining dirt or debris. Make sure the power is off when cleaning around the seal.  Use a stiff-bristled brush to scrub around the edges of the sink where dirt is likely to accumulate. Make sure to get into all of those tight spaces around the seal of the sink where food particles might get stuck. Once you’re done scrubbing, rinse everything down with hot water again.

How to Maintain Your Sink Drain Garbage Disposal  

In addition to cleaning your sink drain garbage disposal, it is also important to maintain it properly. Here are some tips on properly caring for and maintaining it:  


  • Grind up small pieces of ice to sharpen the blades. 
  • Run cold water through the disposal while grinding up food waste to help prevent clogs.
  • Only dispose of food waste that will fit through a normal drain. 

Do Not:                                              

  • Dispose of coffee grounds, eggshells, or chicken bones down the drain – these items can damage the blades.  
  • Dispose of starchy vegetables such as potatoes or pasta down the drain – these foods can cause clogs.
  • Pour grease or oil down the drain – these can harden and form a paste, which will cause clogs. 

Remember that a garbage disposal is a useful tool to help minimize waste, but it cannot dispose of all food. And what is disposed of in the garbage disposal leads directly to the wastewater treatment plant or your septic system!

What About Citrus Peels? 

As many people have heard that citrus peels are a great way to deodorize garbage disposals, it isn’t the best method. Over time, using citrus peels can lead to a backup in your drainage system. You’re better off saving the peels. Use the juice instead! Lemon juice can help to cut through the odor. Though, this is more of a cover-up than an actual fix to your odorous drain. 

How to Unclog Drain Disposal

sink drain garbage disposal

Maybe, after cleaning, you’ll realize that there is a different issue with your drain altogether. There could be a blockage. 

The first step in unclogging your drain disposal is to identify what is causing the blockage. Common causes of clogged drains include food scraps, grease, paper towels, and maybe even silverware. But do not put your hand down the disposal! 

You may be able to tackle the blockage by yourself with some basic tools and supplies. Once you have identified what is causing the blockage, it’s time to start removing it. The best way to do this is by using a plunger or an auger. Both of these tools are designed specifically for unclogging drains and should work effectively to remove most blockages quickly and easily. But if the clog isn’t going easy, you may need to call a professional plumber.

Certified Plumbing of Brevard is only one call away. We are available 24/7, 365 days a year, for your emergency plumbing needs!

How Certified Plumbing of Brevard Can Help 

sink drain garbage disposal

Be mindful when using your garbage disposal. It is a tool to help, but it can’t dispose of everything. With proper care and maintenance, it will continue to be a trusted gadget in your kitchen. When you take care of your drainage system, your drainage system will continue to take care of you. If your plumbing concerns require professional help, Certified Plumbing of Brevard is here! 

Certified Plumbing of Brevard is here to assist you with any of your plumbing needs. We have served Brevard county for the past 33 years. Read what our satisfied customers have to say about our trusted care. Our team of experts will ensure your drains stay clean and efficient, no matter how big or small your property may be! Contact us at 321-676-0812 so we can service your garbage disposal and get it working properly again! 

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