Green Cleaning: Non-Toxic Ways to Clean Your Garbage Disposal

Baking soda and vinegar aren’t only for science projects; their volcanic reaction creates a potent cleaning agent that can solve various drain issues. These two ordinary home products are cheap and free of dangerous chemicals like sodium hydroxide, often known as lye, found in many commercial cleaners.

Why is Cleaning Garbage Disposal Necessary?

Cleaning your disposal regularly will help keep the garbage clean and prevent bad smells. The garbage disposal tends to smell bad after a few weeks, which might be dangerous in your kitchen. As a result, maintaining a clean garbage disposal is essential and hygienic. Bacteria and viruses may thrive in an unclean garbage disposal.

How to Clean Garbage Disposal With Baking Soda and Vinegar?

Baking Soda and Vinegar

When combined, vinegar and baking soda will help your nasty garbage disposal return to its former glory since their well-known fizzing activity eliminates gunks and the bad smell. Discover the most efficient and affordable approach to cleaning your grimy garbage disposal here.


  • 1/2 Cup of Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Cup of White or Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Drain Stopper
  • Hot Water
  • Directions

Clearing a clogged drain pipe doesn’t always require harsh chemicals. Hot water, vinegar, and baking soda can clear garbage disposal blocked with hair or other foriegn objects.

Whether you are cleaning your pipes with chemicals or homemade remedies, do not use them before and after one another, as they can cause an adverse reaction that produces toxic odors. 

To make the foaming drain cleaner, heat a tea kettle with enough water to create foam, and then pour in 1/2 cup to 1 cup of baking soda. Mix 1 cup each of white vinegar and hot tap water in another container, and set these aside until the kettle boils. 

Add boiling water to the clogged drain pipe first, followed by the baking soda. It’s okay that some baking soda doesn’t go down the drain directly, as it can be washed with vinegar. Add vinegar and water mixture after the baking soda, then close the plug with its top. Wait for 5 to 10 minutes and boil another kettle of water. Remove or open the plug, then pour boiling water down the drain.

Once the baking soda has formed clumps, turn on the faucet for a couple of seconds. Now your garbage disposal is clean, odor-free, and ready to use. If you can still smell the overpowering chemical odor, you should perform this method again.

Note: Consider using the above cleaning hack on both basins of a double-basin sink simultaneously to get the best results.

The Science: How Baking Soda & Vinegar Help Unclog Drains

When vinegar and baking soda are combined, a chemical reaction (fizzing action) takes place that can remove oily residues and tough gunk. Because of this, vinegar and sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) has become a common and affordable DIY solution for various cleaning tasks.

And unlike a regular water system, drainage pipes are not pressured, and pressure increases when hot water is used for flushing the drain. In addition to gravity, this pressure helps unclog drains and remove unwanted gunk from pipes.

Baking soda, vinegar, and boiling water may all be used to clean drains naturally, but you might need something more powerful, such as Liquid-Plumr, to clear out those stubborn blockages completely.

Tips for Keeping Your Drains Clean

strainer basket
Elkay Strainer Drain Fitting

To protect your pipes and avoid a costly emergency call, you should always use strainer baskets when cooking to prevent pasta, shells, bones, egg shells, and other foreign objects from going down your garbage disposal.

If grease, oil, or fats are present in cooking foods, clean the cookware area thoroughly before washing so that as little product as possible gets into your sink or drain.

To prevent clogs, it is helpful to reduce the build-up of greasy food by regularly adding boiling water and grease-fighting dish soap down the drain.

You can use baking soda, vinegar, and salt to clean and freshen your garbage disposal. To remove odors from a garbage disposal, reduce the required amounts of baking soda, water, vinegar, and salt by half and follow the directions above.

How Often Should You Clean the Garbage Disposal?

Make sure to clean the disposal unit in your residence a couple of times a week to keep it running smoothly and avoid disgusting smells while you’re on vacation. Keep away from onions, egg shells, animal bones, nuts, seeds, and banana peels. Avoid these items as they can make the process more difficult and may cause damage.

When to Contact a Plumber

If you’re having difficulties unclogging a blockage, you might be tempted to buy a store-bought liquid drain cleaner, but many of these emit hazardous chemicals and even harm pipes. If you want to give it a shot, try using a drain cleaning with enzymes or bacteria. Call for assistance if your drain is still blocked or is draining slowly. A professional may use more powerful instruments to remove blockages and uncover any other issues in your plumbing.


Will Vinegar Clear A Slow Drain?

You can use vinegar to clear clogged drains or slow drains, but it requires patience as vinegar needs time to work.

However, vinegar alone will not work. Instead, combine the vinegar with another agent, such as baking soda.

Using baking soda and vinegar can fix a slow drain. The general formula uses 1/2 of each cupful to create your recipe.

Is It Safe To Clean Drains With Baking Soda And Vinegar?

Using baking soda and vinegar to unclog a drain is safe, but it is essential to be careful when mixing the chemicals. Be sure to follow the instructions carefully, and test the mixture on a small area before applying it to your entire drain.

It’s not surprising that people use baking soda and vinegar in the kitchen, and the two ingredients work together to dissolve clogging agents.

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