Thursday, May 08, 2008

Frozen Lemon Scraps Freshen Disposal Breath

When it comes to an in-sink garbage disposal, I have little tolerance for unpleasantness. There's something totally unpalatable about smelling damp variety goo when pouring a glass of milk or peeling an apple nearby.

We used to be big fans of Plink, but then we found an elegant solution that is cheap, easy, and reuses kitchen waste.

According to my dad, one of the reasons the disposal smells is because little bits of nastiness get left behind. Apparently, if you run ice through your disposal, it knocks loose all the bits of cruft lurking down there in the dark. Dad also attests to the miracle power of ice to sharpen blades. I don't know if it's true, but in 11 years of home ownership where I periodically feed the disposal ice, I've not had disposal problems.

To get the super-fresh smell of lemons, we grind up frozen chunks of juiced lemon rinds with the ice. It's a brilliantly clean scent. Whenever we juice a lemon (limes work too!), we cut up the juiced rind into chunks no bigger than an ice cube and throw them in a container in the freezer.

Whenever the disposal gets monster breath, we throw in a cup or two of ice and a few pieces of rind (usually 1/3 of a lemon or 1/2 a lime). Run the disposal until the ice is gone then let the cold water run another minute.


Anonymous said...

We also use citrus fruit peels and ice to clean/sharpen blades. Never thought about freezing the peels, I may have to try that. Here's an excerpt from our owners manual:
• Grind hard materials such as
small bones, fruit pits, and ice. A
scouring action is created by the
particles inside the grind chamber.
• Grind peelings from citrus fruits to freshen up drain smells.

Christy said...

I love to use citrus in the disposal. My mom used to do that when I was a little kid and I got hooked on the smell. Not only is it practical, it's one of life's little pleasures!

Anonymous said...

I, too, use the ice and lemon method. I figured the ice was great at cleaning things up (like you said knocking them loose). I also have heard that putting egg shells in with the mix helps. I think I heard that it "sharpens the blades"; but I consider that an old wives tale. But it does seem to be good for it!

MetaMommy said...

I use the ice method, but I haven't tried the citrus. I'll definitely do that next time. One thing to keep in mind for the novice, per my plumber, is that it's possible to put too many ice cubes down the disposal at once. So I tend to keep it to half a dozen cubes per grinding...just in case :-)