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When it comes to extreme convenience in the kitchen, your garbage disposal is quite a handy appliance.

But food and other debris that get dumped down your disposal can cause some seriously icky and even potentially dangerous buildup as time goes on.

Read on to discover some of the things that could be lurking inside your garbage disposal, and what you can do to get rid of the mess.

The Dark Truth About Your Disposal

Think about it: you dump food scraps down a dark hole and then add water. What could possibly go wrong?

Well, over time your garbage disposal can quickly become a haven for all kinds of nastiness including bacteria and even some forms of fungus!

Even though the disposal is designed to break down food, it’s not perfect. Scraps of food will get stuck inside and when they get wet, it’s a recipe for disaster.

Mold and mildew can get trapped in the garbage disposal as well as rotting, decomposed bits of your dinner from weeks ago. If you start to notice foul odors coming from your sink, it’s a red flag that your disposal needs some serious cleaning.

When you use the sink and water splashes back up, you could potentially be spreading the germs from inside your disposal onto your hands and clean dishes. Everyone should clean this mysterious part of the kitchen on a regular basis to keep the funk to a minimum.

Besides staying hygienic and safe from any lingering bacteria and germs, no one wants their kitchen to smell like a compost pile. With a few good habits and regular cleaning, the disposal doesn’t have to be a scary part of your kitchen.

Follow Good Garbage Disposal Habits

In order to be a good steward of your disposal, there are a few things you should do on a regular basis to keep it running its best. First, keep in mind that this appliance is not a trash can. Sure, you can scrape your plates into the sink, but don’t dump huge items down the drain.

Food like banana peels, raw chicken, and other large and smelly items should never be put into the disposal. The unit is only made to break down so much, and it could clog your drain and cause the garbage disposal to malfunction.

Whenever you do use it, make sure you run cold water at the same time. Never turn it on without running water or else you could burn out the motor. When the water stops running, keep the disposal running for around 20 seconds to make sure everything is broken down and has been rinsed down the drain.

Only put biodegradable materials down your garbage disposal. Never put items like paper, plastic, or other trash in it or else it will stop working completely.

Avoid dumping things like drain cleaners and bleach down your garbage disposal, especially if you have a septic system. These chemicals can interfere with your septic system and can also cause the components of the disposal to corrode or rust.

If you happen to drop a utensil or other item down the drain, make sure you turn the disposal off and try not to use your hands to retrieve it. The last thing you want is to get injured or to put your fingers on icky items covered in gunk! 

If it gets jammed, use an Allen wrench and manually crank the disposal using the slot that’s usually found on the bottom of the unit under the sink.

Disposal Cleaning Tips

To avoid nasty smells and combat the spread of germs, you should clean your garbage disposal on a regular basis.

If you really want to clean the unit thoroughly, look for specialized garbage disposal cleaning products that contain citric acid. This ingredient is a safe and effective cleaning agent that does a fabulous job of breaking down nasty gunk.

Another perk of using products with citric acid is that they optimize the pH levels in your disposal and break down easily and safely. This ingredient is completely safe to use, and you’ll be amazed at how well it works to keep kitchen appliances nice and clean.

Fight Those Scary Disposal Germs

From mold and fungi to dangerous and odor-causing bacteria, your garbage disposal can be a safe harbor for all kinds of harmful things. You can easily combat this with some good maintenance and regular cleaning.

Try a quality product containing citric acid for a safe and effective way to get rid of the icky gunk in your disposal. Avoid tossing trash or large items down the drain, and you should be good to go!

Visit our website to see our full line of incredible cleaning products, and visit our blog for tons more information about how citric acid can keep your home sparkly clean.