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Lemon Peels in the Garbage Disposal (Good or Bad)

lemons on a dish cloth on the counter next to the sink

It is a tough job, but some appliance has to do it. The appliance elected is the garbage disposal. When handled right, this well-known kitchen appliance turns solid food into drainable pieces and lets you flush the leftovers away.

However, all is not rosy when it comes to garbage disposals. Those leftover food particles tend to stick around and rot inside the appliance. When that happens, you get a foul odor drifting up into your kitchen.

To get rid of that foul odor, just keep reading our article. It has the information you need to know about.

Can You Put Lemons in Your Garbage Disposal

Lemons being washed in the kitchen sink

Yes, this is okay. Lemons may be a fruit, but it is also a food item and the disposal’s blades are sharp enough to dice and slice the lemon down to the right size. For best results, make sure to cut the peel into smaller slices.

There are two main benefits you get by putting cut lemon pieces into your disposal. One is that the rind and the oil help clean the blades, etc. Two, you get a nice lemony smell instead of that rotten food odor coming from your drain.

The one drawback to using lemons is that citric acid can damage the metal components. Do not use lemons every day but only every so often. Also, use them with ice and cold water for best results.

Can Lemon Peels Clog the Drain

Lemon peel isolated on a white background.

If the pieces are small enough, then the blades should make them even smaller, allowing for the drains to work without fear of clogging. However, if you do not cut those peels small before putting them inside the disposal, then there is a chance your drain will get clogged.

There is also a chance if you put too many peels inside your garbage disposal. You shouldn’t use more than one lemon at a time when doing this cleaning trick. Another way to avoid clogs is to run the water during the disposal’s operation and for about 1 minute after the peels have been sent down the drain.

How to Clean Disposals Using Lemons

2 lemon halves in a stainless steel kitchen sink

There are a few steps to this process, and you should not be in a hurry as it is easy to cut too large of a piece or pieces and clog up your drain.

  1. Cut one lemon into small wedges
  2. Squeeze some lemon juice into the disposal first and wait for a few minutes
  3. Turn on the cold water and let it run
  4. Turn on your disposal and add one wedge at a time. Wait for the previous one to be sent down the drain before adding the next wedge
  5. When done, let the cold water remain on for a minute or two.
  6. To clean the entry port, rub a lemon wedge over the metal and the flaps covering the drain. Then throw the wedge into the disposal when done.

How to Break Up a Peel Clog

If you are not careful, you can cut those lemon wedges too large. When that happens there is a chance that they will clog up your drain. Here are some ideas on how to clear that clog.

1. Vinegar and Baking Soda

Vinegar being poured over baking soda in a spoon

There is no real work involved in this method. All you do is pour 1/2 cup of baking soda into your drain. Once that is done, add in a 1/2 cup of vinegar and follow both ingredients up with boiling hot water. Once this process is done, the clog should be gone.

2. Natural Bacterial Enzyme Cleaners

Generic liquid cleaner bottle with leaves arranged around the lid suggesting a natural cleaner.

These natural cleaners are safe for pipes and for you to use. There are no harmful chemicals involved so you should not worry about harming yourself. The enzyme cleaners will eat the peels but this is not the best option to use for clogs.

This method is more of a preventive process and works best when there is little waste in the drain.

3. Plunger

Woman plunging the kitchen sink

Never forget to buy one as they are good for other items than toilets. The plunger is the old-fashioned way of clearing out clogs. They are safe to use as well and only need your strength to operate correctly.

4. The Plumber’s Snake

Hands using a plumbers snake on the kitchen sink

This is your last-ditch option, but it always works. The plumber’s snake rarely meets a clog it can’t clear. Also, easy to use, the only issue is to have one long enough to reach the clog.

There is an electric and manual plumber’s snake and for small pipes, the manual should work the best.

Some Final Words

Using lemons to clean and deodorize your garbage disposal is a good idea. That is as long as you cut those pieces up small enough to be ground into even smaller pieces. The trick is to make sure they are small enough to go down the drain when the process is over.

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