What is the best way to clean a food disposer?

If your unit is working well and used daily it should not need cleaning neither should it smell.  Always make sure that it is used with the cold water tap full on for at least 20 seconds after the last waste goes in to ensure that the waste is always flushed away and not left hanging around.   Also avoid putting hot fat or solid cooled fat directly into the unit.  These can be processed provided that they are emulsified with plenty of washing up liquid first (which can be warm).  They also need to be cooled to normal ambient temperatures to avoid melting the plastic waste pipework.

If the waste pipe is not plumbed in correctly passing to a sealed fitting such as a u-bend, p-trap or bottle seal then you will get smell coming up from the waste pipe.  This can be easily fixed by getting one of our McAlpine waste disposer fitting kits.  If there has been some build up of grease leading to some unpleasant odours then there are various options.  You do not need to dismantle the unit and take it apart, neither does it require any “annual service” that some unscrupulous firms like to charge for. Do not use chemical cleaners such as caustic or washing soda or drain cleaner.  More gentle cleaners such as bicarb can work but as far as aborbing bad odours like in a fridge then forget it as all you will do is wash it away.  The most popular ways to clean a waste disposer are as follows:

1. Ice – throw a few cups of ice into the unit with the water flowing slowly.  This helps solidify and then dislodge any grease that is hanging around in the unit.

2. Citrus fruit – any old fruit such as lemons, oranges, apples have citric acid in them which despite being in food and perfectly safe is quite a strong acid and so can cut through any grease with ease.

3. Vinegar – this is also quite a safe but strong acid and so suitable for cleaning off grease and other mess.

To clean the chamber thoroughly you can put stronger food waste materials down which will take longer to dispose of and so give the unit a good clean at the same time.  Things such as small poultry bones or even pineapple tops are ideal.  Although many disposers cannot cope with these Waste-Force will with easy  leaving a very small ball of “string” which needs to be removed with tongues or hand (ensuring first that the unit is not only off but also electrically isolated by turning off the mains spur).