Cleaning & Deodorizing Your Garbage Disposal

To clean and deodorize your garbage disposal we are going to employ our first exploits into a little home chemistry! We are going to use Chlorine Dioxide, but with a little twist!

How Do I Clean My Smelly Garbage Disposal Without Using Expensive Lemons?

Freezing lemons in ice to clean a garbage disposal can be quite expensive.

There are plenty of blogs that will tell you of the amazing success you can enjoy from freezing lemons into ice cubes only to then waste them by disposing them into your garbage disposal. The fact of the matter is that lemons are expensive! Certainly there must be a better (and cheaper) way, especially when a tray like this reflects a minimum of $5.00 worth of lemons. Well, we have the way to do it for just pennies, all while removing the odor, and brightening the stainless steel.


You see, the 'lemon trick' is depending more on the sharp, rigid edges of the chopped ice to remove the food debris from the disposal and the lemons are there as a pleasant masking fragrance. They do nothing to encourage the breakdown of the built-up proteins within the chamber, and the do next to nothing to destroy the odor-causing bacteria that has been enjoying a feast within the smorgasbord of food waste.

Our method still uses the chipped ice, but only as the first step in a highly effective, ridiculously inexpensive method that just makes good sense. Let's really clean and deodorize your garbage disposal using liquid chlorine dioxide solution, breaking down cling proteins, destroying odor-causing bacteria and removing discoloration from your entire sink, not just the disposal.

So, What do I need to effectively clean and deodorize my garbage disposal?

A secondary spray bottle sits in front of a pouch of 1g tablets.

First, you need Envirotab 1g Tablets and a Secondary Trigger Sprayer

Depending on the degree of odor in the garbage disposal, fill your bottle to the top with water, or for really foul odors, fill it only halfway. Either way, to this you will add a 1g tablet and attach the trigger sprayer.

Arm & Hammer baking soda

Second, you need just a tablespoon of traditional Baking Soda

Baking Soda is what we call in cleaning a 'surfactant'. It is able to cling to surfaces and react with other chemicals to make a new compound - it is a surface-reactant, and in this case it will react positively with ClO2.

ice cubes sit in a bowl

Third, you need a bowl of ice cubes to add mechanical action

As mentioned above, ice cubes, when chopped up in a garbage disposal become sharp and rigid (though temporary) mechanical scrapers, removing stuck on food scraps from disposals.

What steps do I take to clean and deodorize my garbage disposal?

The steps from here couldn't be simpler, and in the end, you'll have a clean, sanitary and odor-free garbage disposal.

Step 1: Fill your garbage disposal with ice cubes, sprinkling the baking soda over the ice.

Without running any water, crush the ice cubes within the disposal and coat the inner chamber with the baking soda. It is important to not have the baking soda be flushed down the drain, so again - don't run any water.

Baking soda and water are added to a garbage disposal for the cleaning process

Step 2: While continuing to run the garbage disposal, aggressively spray the edges of the rim with Envirotab.

Spraying around the rim* allows the solution to run down the inner walls of the disposal chamber, reacting with the baking soda to create a light foam that cleans, deodorizing and sanitizes the unit.

Spraying Envirotab into your sink cleans the disposal at the same time

Step 3: While applying the Envirotab to the unit, begin to introduce a slow-steady stream of warm water.

Envirotab works best in warm (but not hot) situations, so we need to bring the temperature up over 70oF. Just run some lukewarm water down the sink while you continue to add Envirotab.

water runs into a garbage disposal as it is being cleaned.

Step 4: Finish up by wiping up... Rinsing and wiping the entire sink with a brush, cloth, sponge or microfiber.

Envirotab is an amazing stainless steel cleaner, leaving behind no residue and effectively removing all traces of hard water deposits and colony-forming, odor-causing bacteria. It is safe for your entire kitchen!

A freshly cleaned sink and garbage disposal

*Be sure to take precautions to prevent spray-back into your eyes, the spinning of the garbage disposal can create splashing.

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