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7 Ways to Keep Your Sink Drain and Garbage Disposal Clean

You use your sink every day — you should make sure to keep it clean! It's easy to clean your sink and garbage disposal with these common household items. 

By
Bruce and Jeanne Lubin
2-minute read

Vinegar deodorizes

Keep your garbage disposal running properly and odor-free with this simple once-a-month trick: Fill an ice-cube tray with white vinegar, and when frozen, grind about a dozen cubes. The ice sharpens the blades while the vinegar deodorizes the drain.

Is Vinegar + Baking Soda the Ultimate Cleanser? Ask Science investigates. 

Use mouthwash to freshen the scent

Odors coming from your garbage disposal? Pour about 4 ounces of a minty mouthwash down the drain. Rinse and repeat as needed.

Deodorize the disposal with lemon

A quick and easy way to deodorize your in-sink garbage disposal is to grind a lemon peel inside it every so often. It will get rid of grease—and smell wonderful!

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Salt as a de-greaser

Pour ½ cup salt down the drain of your kitchen sink with warm running water. This simple step will freshen your drain and keep it from getting bogged down with grease.

Make a drain volcano

Most people know the old science fair project of mixing vinegar and baking soda to cause a chemical reaction worthy of a model volcano, but not many know that this powerful combination is also a great drain cleaner. Baking soda and vinegar break down fatty acids from grease, food, and soap buildup into simpler substances that can be more easily flushed down the drain. Here’s how to do it: Pour 2 ounces baking soda and 5 ounces vinegar into your drain. Cover with a towel or dishrag while the solution fizzes. Wait 5 to 10 minutes, then flush the drain with very hot water. Repeat until your drain is clear.

Your oven is probably coated in grease, too. Check out Who Knew's guide to degreasing your oven.

Use Alka-Seltzer

Kitchen sink clogged up? Skip the commercial drain cleaners, which contain harsh chemicals that can destroy your pipes. Instead, slip three Alka-Seltzer tablets down the drain and turn on the hot water for just a few seconds. The tablets will fizz up and get to work on the clog. After 15 minutes, run the water again and the drain should be clog-free.

Baking soda hack

Instead of throwing away baking soda when it’s finished its 30-day stint in your fridge, dump it down the garbage disposal with running water. It will keep your disposal fresh, too!

About the Author

Bruce and Jeanne Lubin

Bruce Lubin and Jeanne Bossolina-Lubin are the proud parents of three boys and more than a dozen books. After saving thousands per year using everyday tips and simple lifehacks, they started their own business in the hopes of sharing their knowledge with others. They have been known to go into their friends' refrigerators to turn their eggs upside down so that they last longer.