We've aaallllll been there at one time or another -- for me it was just yesterday morning . I walked into the kitchen, and my nose was assaulted with a very unpleasant odor...
First I checked to see if our Weimaraner puppy had left any "presents" when my back was turned; nope. Next I checked the trash and pantry for any rotten fruits or veggies; nope. Then I noticed the smell was getting closer as I neared the sink, and that's when it dawned on me that it was our garbage disposal!
And I was actually kind of relieved that was all it was. I mean it only makes sense that things get gunked up in there and that eventually it might need a little extra TLC to keep it smelling fresh and clean. Plus, cleaning your garbage disposal is actually really easy, especially when you keep a batch of these DIY garbage disposal cleaning tabs on hand!
How To Make Homemade Garbage Disposal Cleaning Tabs
Five minutes of prep will yield enough of these homemade garbage disposal bombs to last several months. I've made them in the past, but when I ran out about a month ago, I didn't have enough baking soda on hand to make another batch -- and then I forgot to add it to my grocery list. #fail
So I made a quick trip to Walmart after my kids got on the bus to grab my supplies. And while I was there, I picked up a new storage container to store them on the counter next to my sink! I just love the look of natural wood and glass and lots of white in a kitchen, and this gorgeous acacia wood-top jar from Better Homes and Gardens provided two of the three -- we'll hopefully be working on the white soon.
I picked up the smallest size to keep my garbage disposal cleaning tabs in, but I'm planning to go back to buy several of the largest size for my countertop flour and sugar storage. I adore my giant 2-gallon Anchor Hocking Heritage Hill storage jars, but I was dismayed to find a couple of ants swimming in my flour last week. We have an ant problem every spring, and I really need storage jars with a silicone seal -- which these BGH jars have.
The base of these garbage disposal cleaning tabs starts with baking soda and salt. You'll want to stir them together in a large bowl to eliminate any clumps.
To this mixture we're going to add the zest of two lemons, along with 2 tablespoons of your favorite dish soap, and give it a good stir.
I choose an unscented dish soap, because I didn't want to overpower the fresh and lovely lemon scent. I also added 20 drops of lemon essential oil, which is optional, but it really takes the lemony scent to the next level. If you have some on hand, I highly recommend adding it!
Finally, cut the zested lemons in half and squeeze the juice into the baking soda mixture, stirring and squeezing until you achieve a slushy consistency. It will take about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of juice all together.
Now it's time to mold the mixture into the tab shapes. I used a 1-tablespoon cookie scoop for this purpose, but you could also just use a regular tablespoon measuring spoon. Scoop each "tab" out onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and allow them to dry for a full 24 hours before using.
How To Clean Your Garbage Disposal
When I'm ready to clean my garbage disposal, I first throw a handful of ice cubes down the drain and turn it on to remove any gunk. Supposedly ice helps to sharpen the blades, as well. Then I toss one of these homemade garbage disposal cleaning tabs down in and let it sit for a few minutes. I run the disposal again, and it smells clean and fresh!
If it's still smelling a little funky and/or it's your first time cleaning your disposal, it may need a little extra elbow grease. Pull out the seal and give it a good scrub with an old toothbrush, and then repeat the ice and cleaning tab process. I've even thrown my seal into the dishwasher with a load of dirty dishes when it's really gross -- works like a charm.
I think these would make an awesome practical homemade gift -- housewarming, Mother's Day, etc.
Is your microwave getting a little gross, too? Find out how to clean your microwave without chemicals here!