Whenever you are dealing with food, there is always the chance that you are going to have spoilage. When that occurs, there are going to be some awful smells. How many times have you opened up a drawer in the fridge only to realize you forgot you had put asparagus in the crisper weeks ago?
Garbage disposals are a great convenience, but they can also be a home for some horrific smells. If they have not been run properly or if something did not grind up all the way, that food can get stuck at the bottom and start to rot. Within a few days, you will have a godawful smell in your kitchen that will make that asparagus smell like roses.
Freshening Your Garbage Disposal
Before you do anything, make sure the switch is turned off. To be honest, when I work on my garbage disposal, I will tape the switch in the off position just to ensure it is not accidentally hit.
When you start to clean, start at the top and work your way down. If you can remove the rubber strainer, take that out, then scrub down the area around the drain and inside the lip. Using a long scrub brush, clean out the sides as much as possible.
Next, you will use the wonder cleaner of white vinegar. You will also need some baking soda and a pot of boiling water. Heat the cup of vinegar in the microwave for about 45 seconds. While that is warming, pour the baking soda down the drain, then add the vinegar, cover the drain, and allow it to sit in the drain for a few minutes. Remove the cover, then pour the boiling water down the drain to flush out the vinegar and baking soda concoction.
Next, you will add ice and kosher salt to the drain and run it through a cycle while running cold water. This creates a natural abrasive that will loosen remnants that were not removed from the baking soda and vinegar.
Finally, add some fresh citrus to the drain to freshen it up. I keep a bottle of lemon juice in my fridge for just this purpose. In addition to the fresh smell, the citrus cuts through any grease that is in the drain. You can also use fresh fruit for an even more amazing smell.