location  5151 Sunbeam Rd, Suite #5, Jacksonville, Florida 32257

phone    (904) 287-3855

Garbage Disposal Cleaning Tips

Maintaining and properly using a garbage disposal is just as important as any other appliance in your home. Improper use can lead to costly expenses for repairing, unstopping and at times replacement of the garbage disposal. At the request of our customers here are a few simple tips and our “how to video” to help you, the consumer, keep your disposal clean, drain cleared, sink smelling fresh and hopefully help you maintain your disposal so you are able to get your full money’s worth out of it.

First and foremost is Safety; NEVER place your hands in the disposal and be sure the power switch is off when trying to clear an object from your disposal.  If something accidentally drops in to the disposal that needs to be removed, try using tongs instead of your hand.  Also never pour drain cleaning products into a disposal. However if you did place a drain cleaner in your disposal allow the liquid to drain / seep out. Once it has drained down flush it with water. Also advise any service technician if drain cleaner has been used.

Now on to our helpful tips:


Did you know that placing ice cubes and a few drops of dish detergent in to the disposal helps clean the blades and clear sludge built up in the disposal? I know you are probably saying sludge, I do not have sludge, will yes there is sludge build up in disposals.  This happens from the grinding up of food waste. This waste builds up and adheres to the inside of your disposal as well as the drain. Here is what you can do to help clean your disposal:

Fill a large cup with ice, turn the disposal on then dump the ice in the disposal while it’s running. Do not dump the ice in to the disposal before it is turned on as it could bind the disposal up. If the ice does not go in to the disposal; push the ice in with the base of the cup. Now add a few drops of dish detergent, turn on the water and let churn around. The combination of ice and detergent will help knock sludge and debris off of the grinding elements so that they can make their way down the drain. 

Cleaning The Drain

Part of the garbage disposer maintenance does include a periodic purging of the drain line leading from the garbage disposal. Cleaning the drain helps push any sludge built up or broken up from the cleaning of your disposal down the drain line. Think of it this way too, when you take an aspirin or medicine they tell you to drink a full glass of water with it. Well your sink needs help washing down what you have put in to it too. Here is what you can do:

Place the sink stopper in to the drain. Fill the sink with water. When about ¾’s full turn the disposal on and then pull the stopper. The dumping of water should help push the sludge down the drain that was loosened from cleaning the disposal. This process can also be done anytime you rinse and or wash dishes.    

Freshening Your Drain

Due to the buildup and grinding of food waste your disposal can develop an odor. To freshen a drain here is what you can do:

Take any juice such as lemon or lime juice.  Pour some juice in to the disposal and let it run for about 10 seconds. The citrus juice will leave a nice fragrance.

Last but not least items NOT to place in to a garbage disposal - Keep in mind yes the disposal is there to help grind and process food waste but not all items should be placed in a disposal.  These items include but are not limited to shrimp / lobster tails, corn husks, potato peels, shells from nuts, pits from fruit, plastic, pasta, rice, greens, bones, dry dog food, steak and so forth. Again if something happens to fall in the drain or you put something in there that should not be, do not place your hands in to the disposal try using tongs first.

We hope this information has been helpful to you. If you have any questions or need help with your disposal please contact Aldridge & Sons Plumbing at 904-287-3855.

Serving the entire Jacksonville & St Johns County Area including the following communities: Arlington, Atlantic Beach, Avondale, Baldwin, Beaches, Clay County, Eagle Harbor, Fernandina Beach, Fruit Cove, Green Cove Springs, Mandarin, Middleburg, Neptune Beach, Northside, Old City, Orange Park, Palm Valley, Ponte Vedra, Riverside, Southside, St. Augustine, St Augustine Beach, Switzerland, Westside, World Golf Village