Don't let food reek havoc in your kitchen sink
Feb 16,2007 00:00 by Bend_Weekly_News_Sources

Spring cleaning tips on how to keep your garbage disposal odor-free

As spring fever spreads, homeowners will begin the spring cleaning process. But there's one area homeowners often forget to include on their to-do lists -- the garbage disposal.

"Your garbage disposal may start to smell when food debris builds up," said Mary Kennedy Thompson, president of the Mr. Rooter Corporation. "It may be a lingering odor or an overpowering stench, but a good dose of spring cleaning can clear the air."

Mr. Rooter offers these steps to help eliminate the odor:

  -- Place a handful of ice cubes and citrus peels -- lemons, oranges or

      limes -- in the disposal.

  -- Turn on cold water and then the disposal for 15 to 30 seconds.

  -- Then turn off the disposal and continue to rinse with cold water for 15 

      more seconds.

In the spirit of spring cleaning, get rid of the grease buildup as well by following these steps:

  -- Turn on hot water and then turn on disposal.

  -- Squeeze a tablespoon of dishwashing liquid in the disposal.

  -- Then run hot water for 15 to 30 seconds while the disposal is running.

  -- Finally, turn the disposal off and continue to let hot water run until

      the suds are gone.

"Of course, the best way to ensure an odor-free and grease-free kitchen sink is to prevent the stench and buildup before it begins," Thompson said. "Never put bones, grease, celery stalks, shrimp peels or onion peels down the garbage disposal."