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How to Clean a Garbage Disposal Rubber Flange

top view of a garbage disposal rubber flange installed in a stainless steel sink

Although garbage disposal is an amazing appliance for your kitchen, its maintenance can be a little tricky. Despite cleaning their devices regularly, a lot of people fail to prevent the nasty odors of decayed food. More often than not, the rubber flange (splash guard) of the garbage disposal is responsible for that smell. Due to the continuous bombardment of food particles and debris, it also needs to be cleaned at least once a month.

All you need for cleaning a garbage disposal rubber flange is an old toothbrush, dishwashing gloves, dish soap, and a bowl. Once you have all these things, simply follow the given instructions to get rid of that irritating stench.

  1. Pour some hot water in the bowl
  2. Add a few drops of dish soap to form a foamy mixture and put on your dishwashing gloves.
  3. Now, use the toothbrush and the soapy water to scrub the underside and top of the splash guard flaps. For this purpose, you will need to lift each section of the rubber flange one-by-one.
  4. After cleaning each section of the splash guard, rinse it thoroughly (both sides) with hot water for maximum efficiency.
  5. It is important to keep rinsing the brush during this process to keep the slime under control.

What is a Garbage Disposal Rubber Flange?

Diagram of Garbage Disposal Rubber Flange

A garbage disposal rubber flange is what connects the appliance to the underside of the sink drain. Basically, it is screwed onto the drain and keeps the disposal unit in its place through a mounting bracket. Generally, this part of the garbage disposal is not cleaned regularly due to its inaccessibility from the outside.

Removing a Garbage Disposal

under the sink view of a garbage disposal

If there’s a problem with your garbage disposal, you will need to remove it from the sink to fix it. All you need to do is to unscrew the unit from its bracket and take it out. Even though it is quite an unpretentious task, there are some precautions that you must consider.

Cut the Supply of Water and Electricity

The very first thing that you need to do is to turn off the water supply. You don’t want to have a flooded kitchen that will increase your hassle, even more. Similarly, you need to unplug the garbage disposal to cut off the supply of electricity. If you have a dishwasher in place, you will need to unplug that, too.

Be Gentle with Rust

If the unit has been installed for years, it is quite possible for you to find considerable rust. The use of force is more likely to do more harm than good as it can cause a lot of troubles. For instance, you may twist the pipe or crack the underside of the sink.

A much more subtle and effective way of handling rust is to use penetrating oil. Spray it onto the rust and let it sit there for a few minutes. It will free things up and you will be able to turn the screws easily.

Don’t Underestimate the Weight of the Garbage Disposal

The disposal unit may seem a small appliance but it’s heavy. Keeping this in mind, you need to provide it some support while you unscrew the three retaining screws. You may use an inverted bucket or a plastic stool for this purpose.

How to Replace a Universal Garbage Disposal Splash Guard?

sink view of a garbage disposal with fruit peels in the sink

As you have the disposal out of the drain, it is highly recommended to check and replace the splash guard. This rubber flange can accumulate a lot of debris over time that can produce an unwanted smell. As it is difficult to clean from outside, a lot of people are unable to maintain it. Likewise, it does tend to wear out with time. Therefore, replacing a garbage disposal splash guard is important.

For doing that, you need to start by removing the older one. Replace it with a new splash guard and start assembling the garbage disposal. Once you have mounted the disposal unit, reconnect it to the drain. You should test the newly-installed seal by covering the disposal’s mouth with a stopper and filling the sink. If there are no leaks, connect the power and test the unit.

How to Use a Garbage Disposal Cleaning Brush?

Bucket of cleaning supplies

What is a Garbage Disposal Cleaning Brush?

This is a specialized brush designed specifically for cleaning out your garbage disposal. Its unique shape (broader at the bottom and narrower at the top) allows you to clean the walls, blades, and other parts that are difficult to reach. Buy this amazing product today and you won’t have to worry about cleaning your garbage disposal ever again.

How to Use it?

Before using a garbage disposal cleaning brush, you need to loosen up the debris inside your unit. For this purpose, you need to add some ice, salt, vinegar, and baking soda into your garbage disposal. Not only will this clean the sink from the outside, but it will also slacken the hidden, decaying particles.

Now, take your cleaning brush and insert it into your garbage disposal. Scrub the inside walls, base, and the ceiling (inside top) of your unit by rotating the brush with its handle. Keep the water running to flush the removed material down the drain. Repeat this process several times or until you get a clean brush upon pulling out. Don’t forget to rinse the brush on every iteration.

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This exercise will also wipe away any residue from the blades of the garbage disposal. Don’t be surprised if you get a lot of rotten material in there. This is because the inside of the unit doesn’t get the required attention even if you clean your device regularly.

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