DIY Garbage Disposal Cleaning Tabs

posted by Andrea | 06/11/2014

diy garbage disposal tabs

Have you ever noticed a gross smell coming from your sink — or, more likely, from your garbage disposal?

Compared to most people, I have an extremely sensitive nose (just ask Dave) and I’m always sniffing out stinky kitchen odors. I’ve noticed that in general, smells get worse for me in the summer time — probably because the weather is warmer so things rot quicker.

Our garbage disposal is right next to our trash can, so usually, when I smell something stinky in the kitchen, it’s one of those two options. If the smell doesn’t go away after I take out the trash and flush the disposal with cold water, I know it’s time for a “garbage disposal cleaning tab” — which I make myself and keep on hand for stinky situations.

This “recipe” is extremely easy and can be whipped up with almost no effort. Also, since these cleaning tabs ares frozen, you can make a bunch at a time and store them for as long as you want.

Recipe for Garbage Disposal Cleaning Tabs:

INGREDIENTS: 

  • a variety of citrus peels and/or whole fruits (you should be able to make 12 ice cubes with one large orange or grapefruit peel)
  • white vinegar
  • ice cube trays or mini muffin tins

DIRECTIONS: 

  • chop citrus peels (or whole citrus fruits) into small chunks
  • place chunks into ice cube trays or mini muffin tins
  • pour vinegar over peels until compartments are full
  • place trays in the freezer until completely frozen
  • store tabs in trays or in a zip-top bag in freezer until you’re ready to use

CLEANING INSTRUCTIONS:

When you’re ready to freshen your garbage disposal, simply shove a couple tabs down your disposal, turn on the cold water, and run the disposal until the grinding sounds stops.

The vinegar should help disinfect any bacteria in your disposal, the citrus peels will give off a pleasant aroma, and the ice will help to sharpen your disposal blades!

The assembly process should only take a few minutes (I can easily make 24 cubes in less than 3 minutes), and then you’ll just need to wait for them to freeze.

This is a GREAT use for citrus that might be going bad in your refrigerator — or even the peels of citrus you eat on a regular basis. Just put the peels in a bag in the freezer and once the bag gets full, use those peels to make your disposal cleaning tabs. Also, keep an eye out for citrus on the discount produce rack. Who cares if it’s a little bruised or past it’s prime if you’re just going to chop it up for the freezer.

I love this simple method for cleaning the garbage disposal… it’s so quick and easy — and almost free! 

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14 comments

  1. Laurel

    06/11/2014

    Funny, this very same thing just popped up on my Pinterest yesterday! Maybe we are not the norm, but I really have never noticed our garbage disposal smelling and I too have a very sensitive nose. I do however notice the trash in the garage smelling sometimes as it gets close to trash day. Any tips for that?

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Well I guess just use a smaller trash can and empty it more regularly…

    [Reply]

    Julia K Reply:

    Hi Laurel

    Don’t put anything that is likely to rot in your trash ! Instead – place the item (food scraps / meat offcuts) in a plastic trash bag and freeze it. I keep a brightly coloured trash bag in the freezer for all these little nasties. Come garbage collection day – simply take your bag of frozen garbage out of the freezer and dump it in the trash can before it goes to the kerb.

    Also when you bring the trash can in from the kerb – have a look inside – if it’s looking a bit grubby or there looks to have been something leaking into the bin – give it a rinse out with the hose. Sometimes I dump a cup of homemade household cleaner or disinfectant in the bin and add a kettle of boiling water. I let it sit for a while and mop it out and then hose it. Leave to dry in the sun.

    Hope this helps.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Good tips Julie — Thanks!

    [Reply]

  2. Peitra

    06/11/2014

    This is great timing! I have a bunch of lemons that I’m not using:)

    [Reply]

  3. lydia @ five4fivemeals

    06/11/2014

    I love the smell of citrus! I have never had a garbage disposal. But I remember my parents had one as a kid and got it removed because my mom just couldn’t control the smell.

    [Reply]

  4. Ashley B

    06/11/2014

    These are so pretty, too! Nice little bonus to something practical ;)

    [Reply]

  5. Debbie

    06/11/2014

    Great idea!

    [Reply]

  6. Rose

    06/11/2014

    Morning! Off the topic a bit here….We are gutting our entire house — we are getting a farm sink installed and are now looking into faucets…what brand do you have in your kitchen sink, and are you still happy with it?????? PLEASE let us know! Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Hi Rose, All of the information for everything purchased in our kitchen is at the end of this post… and yes, we still love our faucet!

    [Reply]

  7. Raquel

    06/11/2014

    Great Idea!

    [Reply]

  8. Linda

    06/11/2014

    Wow! I love this idea! Thanks for posting!

    [Reply]

  9. Alyssa

    06/13/2014

    I have spent a lot of money buying these from the grocery store in the past – I will definitely be trying the homemade ones! I’ve been searching through some of your old posts for do it yourself cleaning recipes and I’m excited to get started. I’m so sick of wasting money AND cleaning my house with gross chemicals. One question – when you started, did you re-use bottles you already had in the house or did you go out and buy empty ones?

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yay — glad to help you save a few bucks!

    As for the containers, I actually just bought about 4 spray bottles from the dollar store and labeled them all — this way I didn’t have to worry about cleaning out the old containers.

    [Reply]