The garbage disposal ice trick: does it work, and should you do it? A rather unhealthy smell emanates around your kitchen, and you have seen videos on social media regarding a nifty garbage disposal cleaning hack. Desperation grips you because you need to get rid of the smell, but you can’t help wondering if the ice trick is safe.
A garbage disposal unit constitutes one of those essential home appliances that we use every day. Like the humble dishwasher, we wouldn’t want to be without it. However, when the garbage disposal starts to stink, you risk life and limb to eradicate the stench.
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The Garbage Disposal Ice Trick: Does It Work, and Should You Do It?
Nasty smells, especially in the kitchen, give the impression that your kitchen is dirty. Consequently, we end up crawling around the kitchen to find out the cause of the stink. More often than not, the culprit appears in the form of your garbage disposal unit.
The action of running hot water down the disposal unit and pushing ice cubes down the opening may result in a nasty grinding sound and dirty, smelly water swirling to the surface.
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The ice cubes sharpen the garbage disposal unit’s blades and scrape away any food deposits found inside the workings, and while the action may feel alarming, it does work—kind of.
The garbage disposal ice trick: does it work, and should you do it? The answer is yes, but only to a degree.
Why Does My Garbage Disposal Stink?
Nothing hits your stomach worse than the stench drifting out of your garbage disposal unit.
Like our dishwashers, cleaning our garbage disposal units remains a job we tend to put off, but our apathy may result in a foul smell.
The unflushed truth
When we put our food scraps into the disposal unit and turn on that mystical button, we expect all our waste to disappear down the tube as if by magic.
We hear the blades spinning impossibly fast and imagine our waste flushing away through miles of endless pipes. However, that isn’t always the case.
Food particles build up under the blades and around the pipes. The food particles begin to rot and form a nasty decomposing sludge, and that nasty residue causes the stink that so inflicts your nostrils.
Clean your flange
A sparkling clean kitchen always makes me feel good, and we spend ages cleaning everything in sight. While the garbage disposal unit looks good, and you have cleaned the flange around the disposal hole, have you cleaned underneath it?
Bacteria and mold may form beneath your flange, and unless you scrub it away, the growth starts to smell. The lesson here remains simple. When you clean your garbage disposal unit, don’t forget to lift the flange and clean underneath it!
It’s a trap!
Sinks and disposal units use a water trap that prevents sewer gases from rising up out of the drains to infest your home. Your garbage disposal unit and your sink need a water trap to avoid the smelly backdraft.
Check that your unit uses a water trap. Sometimes the trap may leak or block, and you can unscrew the trap to empty it of its foul contents and hopefully solve the problem. Furthermore, you can use a proprietary drain clog dissolver to unblock and clean your pipes.
Fire and Ice
The garbage disposal ice trick: does it work, and should you do it? It does work but only to a degree.
Shove some ice down the garbage disposal unit and put plenty of ice around the hole. Turn on the hot water and allow the hot water to mix with the ice as you poke it down the hole. When you turn on the device, the blades grind down the ice, and foul, dirty water surges up into the sink.
Complete the task until you use up all the ice and the water runs relatively clean. However, why does this hack work?
Why does the garbage disposal cleaning hack work?
In reality, the ice cleans the garbage disposal for you and may work without the hot water’s inclusion. The hot water helps the ice to melt and moves it through the system quickly.
The ice proves sharp enough to sharpen the garbage disposal blades and scrape away residual food deposits from beneath the blades and around the pipes.
The trick works, but it has some drawbacks.
The ice hack trick works for cleaning the blades and the surrounding pipes.
However, running hot water down the garbage disposal unit causes grease and fatty deposits to melt and run down inside your plumbing. As the fatty, greasy mixture cools down, it solidifies and coats the interior of your pipes.
The resulting fatty mixture may continue to build up over time and clog your plumbing resulting in damage to your plumbing and costly repairs. Furthermore, the blockage may lead to burst pipes and leakages.
One other point to take into consideration derives from the smell. The ice hack trick doesn’t get rid of the smell in your garbage disposal unit. While it may scrub away any rotting food deposits, bacteria and mold growth clings to the sides of the pipes to cause foul smells.
Ice Hack Amendment
Instead of using hot water with the ice, consider the following to eliminate foul odors safely.
Ice and lemon
Try adding thick wedges of lemon to your ice instead of hot water. While not a gin and tonic, the ice and lemon prove more effective in eliminating the odors.
The ice breaks down the rotting deposits while the lemon naturally breaks down fatty deposits and emits a fresh, clean smell.
Salt and vinegar
Rock salt, baking soda, and vinegar prove an effective, natural solution to curing the stench emanating from your garbage disposal unit. Sprinkle either rock salt or baking soda into the device as you add the ice and turn on your machine.
Wash down the mixture with cleaning vinegar. The vinegar helps to strip the interior of the machine of fatty deposits and breaks them down naturally. Consequently, the mixture flushes harmlessly into the sewers.
Alternatively, you can use bleach with your ice, rock salt, or baking soda. However, you may wish to wear gloves and a mask as the mixture may release toxic fumes.
Prevention Proves Better than Cure
In an ideal world, we take preventative measures to stop the buildup of food deposits and foul odors. By following a few simple steps, you can avoid stinky garbage disposal units.
Don’t do it!
Don’t put greasy, fatty items down the machine. The fat and grease build up on the interior of the pipes and cause blockages and smells.
Furthermore, some things such as eggshells, coffee grounds, and potato peelings stick around inside the machine and attract particles to form a sticky, foul-smelling ooze.
One of the main culprits of smells and food buildups derives from stopping the machine too soon. Run the device for at least 5 to 10 seconds after the initial grinding noise stops.
The action allows the device to clear the pipes efficiently. If you stop your machine too soon, it may leave behind waste, which then starts to rot and cause smells and blockages.
Don’t turn off the water!
Run hot water through your garbage disposal unit after each use. The hot water helps to efficiently flush out the machine and loosen any persisting sticky particles.
If you remember to avoid putting greasy items down the device, the hot water won’t cause any harm and may help stop the bacteria buildup, which causes foul smells.
Make It Regular
Regular maintenance and cleaning of your garbage disposal unit should prevent the buildup of food deposits and smelly bacteria. Using a garbage disposal cleaner regularly helps to deodorize the machine and scrub away tough food deposits.
Regularly putting citrus peels down the disposal helps to keep it smelling fresh and clean. Furthermore, you may use disinfectants and water to clean the housing unit.
How to clean the housing unit
Stop up the sink and fill it half full of water. Add a dash of disinfectant and turn on the garbage disposal unit.
This action pushes the water and disinfectant through the housing unit to sanitize and clean it, keeping the device clean and smelling fresh.
The Garbage Disposal Cleaning Hack Explored
The garbage disposal ice trick: does it work, and should you do it? The ice trick works to a degree.
However, it proves more efficient if you don’t add hot water to the mix. The ice sharpens the blades and dislodges food buildup from under the blades and around the pipes, though it won’t eliminate any bad smells.
Using a mixture of ice, lemon wedges, and rock salt efficiently cleans your machine’s innards and helps eliminate stinks.
By avoiding fatty and greasy elements in your device, you can keep your pipes clear of damaging clogs. Try running hot water through your machine regularly to help dislodge any remaining particles.
Regular cleaning and maintenance using proprietary cleaners help keep your machine in clean working order. Don’t forget to clean under the flange and flush out the housing from time to time with disinfectant.
Do you have any special tricks for cleaning your garbage disposal? Let us know all about it in the comments.