Two Easy Ways to Keep Your Disposal Clean and Odor-Free

DIY Garbage Disposal Refresher
credit: Ana Stanciu

Garbage disposals can be a blessing and a curse. They're handy kitchen helpers for getting rid of kitchen scraps ... until they start emitting mysterious, funky odors. Maybe you put the wrong thing down the disposal (like potato and banana peels, which are a no-no), so if it's starting to smell not so fresh, try these two easy-to-make refresher recipes.

Baking Soda Garbage Disposal Refreshers

A mixture of baking soda and salt work together to zone in on all the hard-to-reach spots and wipe out buildup. Fresh lemon and essential oil help degrease the blades and walls, and leave the sink with a citrus-clean scent.

Fresh garbage disposal with baking soda
credit: Ana Stanciu

Things You'll Need

  • 1 lemon

  • 1 cup baking soda

  • 1 cup coarse or kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon lemon essential oil

  • Ice cube tray

Garbage disposal refreshers with lemon
credit: Ana Stanciu

Step 1

Cut a fresh lemon into quarters. Put the quarters — peels and all — into a food processor, and pulse until smooth.

Grinding lemon for garbage disposal
credit: Ana Stanciu

Step 2

Combine the baking soda, salt, and pureed lemon in a large bowl. Add the essential oil and stir until the mixture is uniformly wet.

Combining salt, baking soda and lemon
credit: Ana Stanciu
Baking Soda Garbage disposal refresher mixture
credit: Ana Stanciu

Step 3

Scoop a spoonful of the lemon mixture into an ice cube tray. You can also use a mini muffin tin or any kind of flexible silicone baking mold.

Press down to pack as much as possible into each slot. Leave the tray at room temperature for one to two days to allow the cubes to dry out.

Making garbage disposal refreshers in ice cube trays
credit: Ana Stanciu

Step 4

When the cubes have dried and hardened, remove the cubes from the ice cube tray and store in a jar with a lid until ready to use.

Citrus garbage disposal refreshers
credit: Ana Stanciu

Step 5

When ready to use, place one to two cubes into the garbage disposal, turn on cold water, and run the garbage disposal, allowing water to flow the whole time.

Use lemon garbage disposal refreshers
credit: Ana Stanciu

Vinegar Garbage Disposal Refreshers

Ice and vinegar are both excellent garbage disposal cleaners. Grinding up the rough texture of the frozen cubes will help dislodge oil and grime buildup as well as sharpen the disposal blades. Adding lemon peels helps deodorize and eliminate odors.

How to freshen garbage disposal with vinegar and lemon
credit: Ana Stanciu

Things You'll Need

  • Distilled white vinegar

  • Lemon peels

  • Ice cube tray

Step 1

Put two to three citrus peel pieces into each slot of an ice cube tray. Cover the peels with vinegar.

Making vinegar garbage disposal refreshers
credit: Ana Stanciu

Step 2

Stick the ice cube tray in the freezer. Once frozen, pop out the cubes and transfer to a lidded container. Keep frozen until ready to use.

Frozen vinegar garbage disposal refreshers
credit: Ana Stanciu

Step 3

When ready to use, place one to two ice cubes into the garbage disposal, turn on cold water, and run the garbage disposal, allowing water to flow the whole time.


Stephanie Gerber

Stephanie Gerber

Stephanie Gerber is the founder and editor of the beauty and wellness site, HelloGlow.co. She lives in Nashville with her husband and three children.