Keep Your Garbage Disposal Running Fresh and Clean . . . Naturally!

lemon vinegar cubes

Sometimes I worry (who am I kidding? I worry all the time about SOMETHING!) that the majority of posts I do on this website are too “down and dirty”….”nitty gritty”….very UNglamorous….to say the least!  I mean really….cleaning dirty ovens and toilets aren’t the most charming of subjects!

So today I thought for a change of pace we would focus on something more appealing and refined… cleaning the GARBAGE DISPOSAL.  :-))   haha! I’m sorry…I didn’t mean to tease…I couldn’t help myself.

To be honest, I DO sometimes think I should focus on more “pretty” things on my blog….but I guess pretty is in the eye of the beholder because I really DO think a clean and fresh garbage disposal in your home is a very attractive thing. :-)

Besides…I took some pretty pictures of the process…that’s got to count for something, right?? :-)

Funny thing about this blog post idea…I was talking with my Mom on the phone two days ago and she said she had a couple of ideas that she thought would be good candidates for “One Good Thing”.  ONE of those ideas was how to keep your garbage disposal clean, fresh and sanitized. I agreed and put it in the list of stuff I needed to look into. Then that very afternoon I was on Pinterest and found this pin with THE BEST solution for EXACTLY what my Mom had been wondering about!

Coincidence? I think not! It choose to believe it was the blog Gods intervening and pointing out the importance of a happy garbage disposal.

So here is a quick, easy and cheap idea for keeping your kitchen smelling fresh and your sink drain working properly…..thanks to my Mom, the blog Gods and Shari at Turn Style Vogue.

Feed your garbage disposal a steady diet of Lemon and Vinegar Ice Cubes!

Even though I hardly feel like I have to explain how to make your own lemon and vinegar ice cubes….I figured it couldn’t hurt to demonstrate the process. (I am personally a very visual learner!)

Here is what you’ll need:

Lemons, vinegar, an ice cube try or two (or more!)

Here is what you’ll do:

Slice your lemons and put a piece in each ice cube mold.

Then fill each with vinegar. Do not dilute it.

Place in plastic bag in freezer.

Every other day…or every couple of days…throw a handful in the garbage disposal and run until dissolved.




lemon vinegar cubes


lemon vinegar cubes


lemon vinegar cubes


lemon vinegar cubes


lemon vinegar cubes


lemon vinegar cubes

A Couple of Tips:

  • If citrus peels are unavailable and your garbage disposal is in desperate need of cleaning and deodorizing, use two tablespoons of vanilla, orange or lemon extract instead.
  • Never pour grease down a garbage disposal. It will stick to every nook and cranny, causing odor when it hardens and becomes rancid. If grease is accidentally poured down the drain, rinse immediately with hot water.


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  1. says

    Hey! Thanks for the little shout-out. This is one of the best cleaning tools in the kitchen for me, I use them daily and love how they are so easy to replenish for long-term use. I think they are much better than the store-bought tabs you can buy. Glad you tried it and liked it as well. Have a great Easter weekend!

    • Jillee says

      You’re more than welcome Shari! Thanks for sharing this great idea with us! It’s so simple but so effective! I used several ice cubes yesterday and my sink smells so fresh and clean everytime I have used it since. :-)
      You have a great weekend too!

  2. Kay says

    I also pour baking soda in my disposal, drop in ice cubes, and run cold water slowly down the drain while running the disposer. It doesn’t smell but it gets rid of the gunky smell. Also, I make it a habit to run the disposer every night before bedtime so small bits don’t set up housekeeping in it.

  3. Catherine Hoffman says

    My morning routine is COFFEE, loving on my fur babies and the bipping around Pinterest. It just tickles my fancy when I open a pin and see it’s from Jillee. They are always informative, funny and useful. Thanks so much for all the things you share. I always look forward to the e-mail part of my morning so I can read your latest post. Keep it up Jillee, you are appreciated!

  4. Denise Powis says

    Just wanted to say that I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your “One Good Thing” post every day. I found you on Pinterest and have repinned almost every post, just so I won’t forget them before I get to try them. I have tried many and so far they have all been wonderful. I love that you find a clean house to be so rewarding – there are a few of us out here – keep up the good work!

  5. Tessa says

    Thanks for the tip Jillee, my house is so much cleaner since I’ve “met” you by Pinterest. I love making my own cleaning products and your tips and photos help so much!

  6. Charli says

    I’ve always heard that it’s bad to put ice cubes in the garbage disposal (same with potato peels, uncooked rice, etc). Has anyone else heard this? Does anyone know why? I’d love to try this but don’t want to hurt anything.

    • Laura says

      “Garbage disposal units don’t have blades. They have impellers that are not sharp.”
      “Simply grind up a couple of ice cubes and some lemon rinds, orange rinds or baking soda for a fresh clean odor. Ice cubes and vinegar can also be used.”

      “The smelly odor on the sink is called “bad breath” and this occurs because small food particles, grease, and soap scum have build up on the garbage disposers. To remove these waste substances that are causing the bad odor simply fill the garbage disposer with ice cubes from your refrigerator’s ice tray and run the unit until all the ice cubes have been grind up. The ice cubes is ideal for cleaning and scouring the small pieces of food particles that are clinging inside the garbage disposer. The next step is to run hot water down the garbage disposer to stop the freezing of the water on the unit and you will see that everything will eventually go down the drain. If the smelly odor on the sink still lingers around on your sink you can use peels from citrus fruits such as orange, lemon, lime, or grapefruit and grind it down using your garbage disposer.”

  7. says

    I’ve missed you! I used a reader app for my phone and apparently it didn’t catch the update you did April 1 :(. I noticed that I was seeing pins from you that I hadn’t seen before and then started putting it all together. So now I’ve updated my reader and am almost caught up! Hope no one else experienced this problem, because your blog is too good to miss!
    God bless!

  8. Cindy says

    Jillee you inspire me! As a write this post my oven holds the potential to be clean (ammonia and boiling water). On Easter Sunday my mom looked at me rather perplexed at her gift – an industrial size jug of vinegar and a huge bag of baking soda! I introduced her to your site and we spent the next couple of hours reading recipes and doing experiments. When she was satisfied I was on to something, I explained the rest of my gift. I promised to come to her house and spend a day doing spring cleaning YOUR WAY! Thank you for sharing your gift with my family!

  9. Noahla says

    I love this idea!!! Thanks so much!! I also love your blog!!! I have another hint for you. If you throw some Kosher salt in there as well it will act as a scouring agent. I used to just add ice, lemon and kosher salt to mine but freezing the lemons in the ice cubes? Genius!! I will have to try making these! I wonder if the salt could be added to the ice, or if it would dissolve? hmmm…

  10. says

    I love your site and have so many of your ideas! I never intentionally put grease down the disposal, but I have heard that if you do put it down, you actually want to use COLD water and a touch of dish soap like Dawn, so that it will thicken and actually get ground up and washed out the drain. I’m not an expert, but someone told me that a plumber told them that at one point. Just a thought! Thanks for the tips and keep ‘em coming :)

  11. ashley says

    Love, love, love your site! I tried this and while it may have cleaned the disposal, it left my house and refrigerator/freezer smelling like vinegar for days! I usually use vinegar to clean our bathrooms (we have tile showers) but we always open a window and keep the fan going which helps air out the smell. I think next time I try this I will just freeze the lemons in plain water and skip the vinegar. If the disposal should need to be cleaned a tad more after that, I will just pour some down the drain.

    Thanks again for all your work on this site! I look forward to my emails from you daily!

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