Having a garbage disposal unit in your kitchen sink can save a lot of time and energy when it comes to cleaning the dishes.
Instead of having to scrape food off plates and fish bits of your meal out of the sink, you can pour everything down the drain and let the disposal unit take care of the rest. It all sounds very easy, that is until you get a clog.
The most common problem with drains and garbage disposal units is clogged pipes. Clogs can be caused by a variety of things, from soap scum, to large pieces of food or small bones left over from your meal.
If your pipes become clogged, it’s important to get them cleaned out as soon as possible before they cause serious damage to your home's plumbing. This is where a good drain cleaner comes into play.
Drain cleaners are often sold at hardware stores or supermarkets, and there are several types available, each designed to handle specific blockages. Some drain cleaners contain harsh chemicals for dissolving grease and other debris, but these can sometimes cause more damage than good for your pipes.
As such, it is vital to buy a cleaner that is safe to use with your garbage disposal. You want a product that will break down food and other matter, without dissolving your pipes in the process.
This article will help you decide what kind of drain cleaner is best for keeping your garbage disposal clean and free from blockages.
Rejuvenate Disposer And Pipe Cleaner
The Rejuvenate Disposer has been specifically designed to work well with garbage disposals, so you won't need to worry about it damaging your pipes. This product contains enzymes which help to dissolve organic material such as food scraps and hair.
If your garbage disposal has a septic tank, then the enzymes in this pod will also work to break down the food waste in it, so you won't need to pump it as often.
Rejuvenate is a prevention product that is used to keep your drain clean, but it isn't powerful enough to remove blockages that have already formed.
As such, you will want to use it regularly to remove any built up solids in your garbage disposal. Doing this will stop any clogs from forming in the first place, which saves you the job of having to fish them out.
It is recommended that you run this product through your garbage disposal once every week or two, depending on how much food you put down the drain.
As well as breaking down any solid matter that has accumulated in your disposal unit, this product can also get rid of any nasty odors coming from your sink.
- Lemon scented - This cleaner has a pleasant smell and removes odors from your kitchen sink.
- Safe for septic tanks - Rejuvenate breaks down organic matter in your septic tank, so you don't have to pump it as often.
- Biological cleaner - Since this cleaner uses enzymes, it won't damage the pipes attached to your sink.
- Doesn't work on clogs - You can't use this product to clear a fully blocked drain.
Also available at HomeDepot.
Green Gobbler Drain Clog Remover
If you're looking for something that removes clogs and is simple to use, then Green Gobbler will be right up your alley. This product is another biological cleaner, but is much stronger and capable of eating through blockages of hair, food waste or grease.
As such, green gobbler is a great choice if your sink isn't draining properly, and you need something a bit stronger to clear it.
One of the best things about this product is how simple it is to use.
Each sachet contains the exact amount you require, so there is no need to measure out anything. Simply pour the contents of the pack into your garbage disposal, add a little hot water and leave it to sit for up to 30 minutes.
This product is great for getting rid of stubborn clogs before they become too big to manage, but some blockages may be more difficult to remove than others.
That's why the company has included a free plastic hair grabber tool, which can be used to break up clogs and fish out large solids before you use the cleaner. Doing this will give your sachet a much better chance at cleaning your garbage disposal, so it drains properly.
- Works well on clogs - Can eat through blockages and remove them, rather than just prevent them.
- Easy to use - Pour a sachet down the sink, add hot water, and let Green Gobbler work its magic.
- Hair grabber tool included - Fish out large objects or hair, to make cleaning your garbage disposal even easier.
- A small amount in each sachet - Two sachets may be required for extremely large clogs.
Also available at GreenGobbler.
If you are looking for an all natural solution to keeping your sink clean, then look no further than Bio-Clean. It contains biological enzymes, which means it will clean your pipes without dissolving or otherwise damaging them.
As well as being highly effective at removing built up organic matter from your garbage disposal, Bio-Clean is also non-toxic and completely biodegradable.
You can use this product to keep your sink clean, but it may be less effective at removing a full clog. However, as long as your sink is draining a little, then one scoop of Bio-Clean should be enough to start breaking down grease and other organic matter.
Repeated applications every month will leave your pipes completely clean and free from gunk.
Since you only need one scoop per application, one tub of this product can easily last you a few months. It is also great at breaking down solid matter in your septic tank, so you won't need to pump it as often.
Bio-Clean is suitable for use in bathtubs, kitchen sinks, garbage disposals, cat litter boxes and much, much more.
- Non-toxic - Made from 100% natural ingredients, so it's safe to use around kids and animals.
- Biodegradable - Will degrade once it's finished working and is environmentally friendly.
- Good at removing grease and other build-ups - Contains enzymes that will dissolve grease and other organic matter, leaving your pipes completely clean.
- Require drainage to work - This product cannot unclog a fully blocked drain.
Also available at Walmart.
CLR Clear Pipes & Drains
The CLR Clear Pipes & Drains range of products have been specially formulated to tackle the problem of clogged drains. They're easy to use, and will quickly clear any kind of blockage, whether it's caused by soap scum, hard limescale deposits, or food waste.
It is worth noting that this product is a preventative measure and won't work well at clearing drains that are fully clogged.
This product is ideal for cleaning a variety of different household appliances, from toilets to garbage disposals.
Since it uses natural enzymes to break down organic matter, CLR won't corrode or dissolve the pipes in your home. CLR Clear Pipes & Drains is fully EPA certified and safer to use than many chemical drain cleaners.
Each bottle of this cleaner contains 42 ounces, which should last you a long time before you need to buy more. It is also easy to use, and all you need to do is pour 2 ounces down your sink or garbage disposal per month to ensure clean, functioning drains.
Adding a small amount of CLR to your septic tank will work well to break down solids, reducing the number of times you need to pump it.
- Easy to use - Simply pour CLR Clear into your sink, and wait for it to dissolve any build-up.
- Won't harm your plumbing - Won't dissolve your pipes like some chemical cleaners.
- EPA certified - Environmentally friendly and safe for regular use.
- Preventative measure only - This product can't unclog a drain that is fully blocked.
Also available at Lowes and Walmart.
Garbage Disposal Cleaner Brush
As you have seen, many chemical drain cleaners won't be as effective when it comes to removing very large blockages. In these instances, it can help to have a tool for breaking up the clog, so your cleaning solution can do its job better.
If you want to remove tough gunk from your drain by hand, then this garbage disposal cleaner brush could be just what you need.
The bristles on this tool are made from nylon, so they won't damage your pipes, but will work at scrubbing away food waste and other solids. Plus, they can reach deep inside your disposal to loosen up any stubborn gunk that has built up over time.
Once you've used this tool, you can use your preferred chemical cleaner to remove any leftover blockage.
There is a long handle to help this brush reach further down your garbage disposal. In total, the whole thing is 15in long, which should be more than enough for clearing most blockages.
Using this brush on a regular basis, will help to keep your drain and garbage disposal free from blockages as well as foul odors.
- Easy to use - Makes it simple to manually remove blockages from your garbage disposal.
- Works in conjunction with chemical cleaners - Break up blockages before clearing them entirely with a chemical cleaner.
- Durable - The bristles are sturdy for loosening gunk, but won't scratch or damage your pipes.
- Messy - Using this tool over a chemical cleaner can be messy.
Glisten Disposer Care Foaming Drain/Pipe Cleaner
This is another preventative product for regularly maintaining the garbage disposal in your kitchen sink. Glisten Disposer Care is an excellent choice for doing this because it's non-toxic, biodegradable and very easy to use.
It is a powerful cleaning product that can remove accumulated solid from deep inside your disposal unit and pipes, while also eliminating foul odors.
Using this foaming cleaner is very simple, since you don't even have to open the packet when adding it to your garbage disposal.
While trickling hot water into your sink basin, add the unopened packet to the mouth of your disposal unit. Then turn on your disposal, sit back and watch Glisten scrub away any gunk or debris from your drain.
It is very important to not add too much water to the sink when using Glisten, as this may severely limit its effectiveness. This product is made with all natural ingredients, so it is perfectly safe to use without damaging your pipes.
As well as getting rid of bad smells coming from your disposal, this product has a refreshing lemon scent that will make your kitchen smell cleaner the moment you use it.
- Won't harm your pipes - No abrasive chemicals that will damage your plumbing.
- Easy to use - Simply place the unopened packet into your disposal unit and turn it on.
- Biodegradable - Breaks down quickly once it has been used.
- Won't clear full clogs - This product isn't strong enough to clear a fully blocked sink.
Also available at TargetOffice and Walmart.
Clogged drains can be a real problem, causing trouble for your house's plumbing and creating bad smells in your kitchen.
If you have a garbage disposal unit, it is vital to have some means of regularly cleaning it to prevent build up of solids inside your plumbing system. Here are some helpful tips on how to choose the best cleaner for your garbage disposal.
Chemical vs Biological vs Manual
Drain cleaning products work by dissolving hair, grease, and other materials that build up inside your pipes. There are three main kinds of drain cleaners: chemical, biological and manual.
Chemical drain cleaners usually contain strong acids that break down substances like grease and oils.
Biological products are similar to chemical ones, except they use enzymes instead of acids to eat through blockages.
Manual drain cleaners are tools that typically consist of an auger-like device for pushing debris through the pipe, or simply a brush for loosening gunk off the sides.
Manual drain cleaners are generally less effective than chemical ones, as well as being messier to use. However, they are better suited to removing larger objects such as leaves and twigs, which makes them great for getting rid of tough clogs.
After you have broken up the blockage, you can then use a biological cleaner to eat through the rest of it. As such, it is always handy to have some kind of manual cleaning device for your garbage disposal, rather than just relying on chemical methods alone.
Chemical drain cleaners are usually made from strong acids, or other caustic solutions, and as such should not be used in your garbage disposal. This is because the chemicals are so corrosive, they can end up eroding your pipes as well as any matter that has built up inside them.
Always choose a biological cleaner for kitchen drains, as they are great at removing food waste and other solid matter, without damaging your plumbing in the process.
The amount of product you need will depend on the size of your sink and the severity of the clog. However, most cleaners work best when used as a preventative measure to stop clogs occurring in the first place.
As such, you will want to buy enough cleaner that you can use a small amount in your garbage disposal every month or two. Doing this will prevent bad smells coming from your kitchen sink, and will prevent the buildup of solid matter becoming a full blockage.
Cleaning Septic Tanks
Some people have their garbage disposal units connected to their main septic systems. The problem with doing this is that it can lead to an excess of solid matter in your tank, which will require you to pump it out more often.
If your garbage disposal is linked up to a septic tank, then you should buy a cleaner that is safe for use in these tanks. A good biological cleaner will break down solids, which helps to keep your tank functioning and reduces how frequently you have to pump it out.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Can You Put Down A Garbage Disposal?
Garbage disposals must be cleaned out regularly, as food scraps can become stuck in the blades if left too long.
Oils and fats can form a thick paste that will make your garbage disposal clog up. Pasta, rice and other starch-based foods can also be difficult to clean out since they swell up to form a sticky mass.
You can still put all of these items in the disposal unit, but doing so may mean you have to clean it out more frequently.
Keep items like banana peels or hard items like fruit pits out of your garbage disposal, and avoid putting nonfood items such as paper scraps or cigarette butts into it as well. Coffee grinds are normally fine but can still accumulate at the bottom of your unit to cause a clog.
Is It A Good Idea To Connect A Garbage Disposal To A Septic Tank?
Connecting your garbage disposal to a septic tank is convenient and can save you having to clean it out as often. However, this will lead to more solid matter building up in your septic system, which means it will need to be pumped out more frequently.
As such, it is better to not connect your garbage disposal to a septic tank, unless you have a suitable biological cleaner for breaking down the solid matter that will accumulate in it.