Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Homemade Garbage Disposal Cleaner

 I've been pretty fortunate when it comes to garbage disposals.  I've never had a problem with one getting a funky rotting smell that some can get.  I don't know if it's the type of garbage disposals I've had, or if it's because I tend to run them for an extremely long time ensuring nothing is left in there. 

Regardless of never having a stink issue, I wanted to try a homemade garbage disposal cleaner to see if it made a nice citrus smell in my disposal.

Homemade Garbage Disposal Refreshers
You Will Need:
  • 3/4 cup baking soda
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid dish soap
  • 1 lemon
  • Sheet pan
  • Parchment paper
  • Small spoon or scoop
  • Sealable glass jar
Measure and add the baking soda and salt to a small mixing bowl, and give a stir, ensuring the mixture isn't lumpy.  Now grate the lemon peel into the mixture along with adding the liquid dish soap.  Slice the lemon in half, and squeeze the juice into the mixture. Continue stirring and adding juice until the mixture resembles course sand.  Cover a sheet pan with parchment paper, use a small spoon or scoop to mold the half rounds, and then tap them out onto the pan. A rounded teaspoon measuring spoon works wonderfully. Continue molding the refreshers until the mixture is gone. Allow to dry overnight.  Place the dried garbage disposal refreshers in a sealable container. When your sink isn't smelling fresh, simply place a few in the disposal, and flip the switch.

 I mixed all my ingredients together and was pretty surprised at how much of the lemon peel I was able to grate off.  I was worried that my big cheese grater wasn't going to work on the lemon, but it worked just fine and the bigger lemon peel pieces blended in ok.

 Using a teaspoon, I was able to get 61 disks and the whole process only took me about 10 minutes.

The Verdict: The next day I grabbed one and was impressed with how hard they were.  If I squeezed one it would break, but they were pretty tough. I used one in my disposal and didn't notice any difference.  So I used another one, and I still didn't notice anything. At that point I grabbed a flashlight, stuck my head in the sink and tried to see if my garbage disposal looked any cleaner. This action created a flashback to The Incredible Shrinking Woman.

My disposal did look cleaner but I started to realized that it was going to be hard to give an opinion on this when I didn't really have one.  So I recruited my friend over at and here is what she had to say;

"My previous experience is with Plink brand garbage disposal cleaner/deodorizers, in both lemon and orange scents. I have used them when the sink area was starting to smell funky or we'd put some stinky stuff through the disposal. They eliminate the bad odors and when you run the hot water for a couple days after, it renews the citrus scent. The homemade ones didn't seem to leave any particular scent, although they reduced the bad ones. As for the cleaning action, I did carefully peek down the disposal and it looked less funky.
Frankly, for the time and money, one could probably achieve the same effect with lemon slices."

So it sounds like these may or may not be worth the effort, it probably just depends on how funky your disposal is and if you want to invest the time to make them. Either way, just check your disposal before you turn it on, you never know if you're going to find a stray fork or Lily Tomlin.


  1. Sorry for the oil reference, but I bet this recipe plus a few drops of any citrus oils or Purify would boost the effectiveness. 61 disks in ten minutes of work is too good to give up on just yet!

  2. I didn't have any citrus oils when I made these. But I do want to try again with now that my oil variety has increased.

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