Clean your Sink & Garbage Disposal

We’re breaking down the daunting job of cleaning the kitchen into ten tasks. Just ten. You can do them in one weekend, or spread them out over the next few weeks. Either way, taking the time to freshen your kitchen will pay out when you realize: Life is Better in the Kitchen.

How long has it been since you gave your sink and disposal some much needed attention. They’re easy to forget about. Until they’re stinky. And then you can’t ignore them.

If you’ve been ignoring your food waste disposer, read on to find out our tips and tricks for a fresh and clean garbage disposal.


1. Be conscious about the food you’re allowing into your disposal.

Your garbage disposal is not a trash can. It shouldn’t be used as one. Scrape your plates into the garbage can before rinsing off into your sink. This will remove the large pieces of food, allowing your disposal to do its job with the small scraps.

If you prefer rinse everything down, there are a few foods you should try to keep out: 1) fruit and vegetable peels 2) pits and seeds 3) starchy foods – rice & pasta 4) egg shells 5) grease. This will keep your pipes cleared and happy.

2. Take care of your disposal while its running. 

While processing the food in your disposal, keep cool water running the entire time. Manufacturers suggest cool water to prevent overheating of your disposal unit. Easy!

Once the food is done processing, continue running your disposal with a stream of water for 30 or so seconds. This will ensure your disposal is completely clear and will rinse the food particles completely down the pipe.

3. Clean your disposal.

You will also want to scrub the inside of the disposal unit. Using a soapy rag or a long handled scrub brush, reach your hand inside and scrub the bottom, sides, and top of the unit. If your disposal has a black, rubber guard, they can sometimes be removed and cleaned further.

If you’ve never cleaned the inside of your disposal, you’re sure to find some treasures 😉 But cleaning often will result in a fresh and clean disposal. Not much is better!!

4. You can freshen your disposal.

A couple times a month, you can use products to freshen the smell of your disposal.

Every other week, throw a Plink into your disposal. In just a couple of minutes, your disposal will be fresh smelling. And it will stay fresh for a couple of weeks! Super simple and effective!

You can also grind a couple citrus wedges to freshen the smell. The citrus oils will clean and freshen inside the disposal.

Simply place a cup or two of ice cubes in the disposal. Throw a bit of salt on top. As it grinds, the ice will help to remove any sludge or debris built up on the sides.


We wash dishes in the sink every day, but it’s easy to forget that the sink itself loves a little scrub down. Of course you can give it a little cleaning with a little dish soap and a scrub brush. That’s a great way to maintain it every time you wash dishes.

But how do we get our sink sparkly clean? Whether you’re washing in stainless or ceramic, sinks tend to get hard water deposits, marks and start to look dull over time. Enter = our best friend, Bar Keepers Friend.

This *magical* little cleaner is a non-abrasive cleaning powder derived from a rhubarb plant (doesn’t contain bleach or chlorine). You simply wet the sink, sprinkle the powder, use a small scrub brush or sponge and rinse clean. It activates quickly and requires hardly any elbow grease!

It’s safe on any non-porous surfaces (don’t use it on any stone products!). Your ceramic cook top! Your oven! Your microwave! We will likely use it every day during this cleaning challenge. And because it is so effective, you need very little to get your kitchen sparkly clean. We will still have lots left to use in the months to come.


Ready for the next task? Find the full list here.

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  • Reply
    Happy Hiller
    December 19, 2022 at 6:58 am

    Hey! Thank you for sharing such helpful tips. I just want to add one more thing.
    Some plumbers say that egg shells help sharpen and clean the garbage disposal unit and the coffee grounds help eliminate odors. While this may be true, it is also true that egg shell membranes and coffee grounds can clog your drains and pipes, especially if you have a septic tank. So it’s best to avoid putting eggshells and coffee grounds in the disposal. However, a small amount every once in a while should be perfectly fine.

  • Reply
    Gervais Mechanical
    June 2, 2023 at 8:05 am

    Thanks for sharing such valuable info. But let me add that homeowners should be picky when choosing commercial drain cleaners. Chemicals in drain cleaners are not only hazardous to people, but they can also be harmful to the pipes. The chemicals can erode the interior lining of pipes, which means the likelihood of leaks increases with each use. While chemical products will usually free up water flow temporarily, they don’t entirely remove the obstructions. Therefore, the clogging is likely to recur.

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