All You Need To Clean Your Garbage Disposal Is A Tray Of Ice Cubes

From vegetable scraps to leftover bits of dinner, garbage disposals can pulverize leftover food like nobody's business. Granted, the best place for food waste is undoubtedly the compost bin. However, for those who don't have access to composting programs, the garbage disposal is a great option for keeping food waste out of landfills, too. Of course — as you're probably well aware — the handy kitchen tools sure can get smelly, which is a good indication that your garbage disposal is in need of a good cleaning. But, you don't need any fancy scrub brushes or detergents to get your drain smelling fresh again. You can actually just grind up a few ice cubes in the disposal to get the blades squeaky clean.

The genius cleaning hack is already making rounds on social media. After hearing about the ice cube trick on TikTok, user @dm3lt tried it out for herself. "I swear I didn't think anything from TikTok would ever actually work," she captioned along with a video showing her shoving ice cubes into the sink. As it turns out, not only does cleaning your garbage disposal with nothing but frozen water work — it's actually one of the most effective ways of displacing any food that may have built up in the drain.

The ice cubes help to dislodge food

Who knew the power of ice cubes extended far beyond their ability to make drinks cooler? That's right, when it comes to banishing pesky smells in your sink, ice is really all you need. Despite the garbage disposal's powerful grinding prowess, food particles can still get stuck and build up in the drain. That's where the ice comes in because crushing up a handful of cubes in the drain helps to dislodge any stuck-on food remnants that may have adhered to the blades. 


I swear I didn't think anything from TikTok would ever actually work

♬ original sound – Desiree

It's important to note that although the TikToker crammed quite a bit of ice cubes down her drain while running hot water, experts say the best way to apply the ice method is to only use about one cup of ice along with cold water (per Roto-Rooter). Not only does cold water keep the machine from overheating, but it also helps to clean the drain better. This is due to the fact that hot water can actually cause any lingering fats and grease to congeal and stick to the blades. However, if your garbage disposal is in need of a stronger clean — just turn to the deodorizing power of lemons.

For a deeper clean, just add lemons

From wiping down cutting boards to polishing stainless steel utensils, there are many ways to naturally clean your kitchen with fresh lemon. Well, you can add garbage disposal to the list because the citrusy fruit also works wonders in the drain. To make the ice cube trick really go the distance, simply place one halved and peeled lemon into the drain using a pair of tongs and add in the ice cubes. Then run the garbage disposal along with cold water for about 30 seconds for a deeper clean. 

For more pungent odors, you can also use a few squirts of liquid dish soap. And you can certainly use the ice method to clean out your sink at the very hint of any unsavory odors. However, in order to prevent bad smells from occurring in the first place, a good rule of thumb is to clean your drain about once a week, especially if you run the disposal on a regular basis.