Cleaning Garbage Disposals

Garbage disposals are self-cleaning, but they can get smelly, especially if you let food sit in them for any length of time. To keep your garbage disposal odorless and running smoothly, operate it with a full stream of running cold water. Flush the garbage disposal for a few seconds after turning it off to ensure that all debris is washed away.

Keep the following materials out of the garbage disposal: metal, wood, glass, paper, or plastic objects; fibrous organic waste, such as artichoke leaves and corn husks; and caustic drain cleaners.

If an unpleasant odor begins to come from your garbage disposal, eliminate it by tearing up the peels of citrus fruit and putting them into the disposer. Grind them with a stream of cold running water, and enjoy the fresh smell. Or sprinkle baking soda over ice cubes and grind them in the disposal.

Read the next section to discover useful guidelines for cleaning toasters.