How to Clean a Garbage Disposal the Fuss-Free Way

Learn how to clean a garbage disposal quickly and easily—no rubber gloves required! Here are our favorite products to do the job.

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After cleaning a mess of dishes, it can be a relief just to flip a switch and have all those scraps go down the drain. Well, it’s a perk until your garbage disposal doesn’t smell so fresh anymore. It’s happened to all of us!

Sometimes a wedge of lemon or a bit of baking soda can do the trick when it comes to cleaning up your disposal. Other times—like when your disposal is extra dirty—you need a specialty cleaner to do the job.

But, like any product, not all cleaners are created equal. Our team of editors grabbed all the garbage disposal cleaners we could find and put them to the test on grimy, dirty disposals. Check out our favorites for your cleanest, freshest disposal ever.

The Best Garbage Disposal Cleaner: Glisten Disposer Care Cleaner


For stubbornly dirty sinks, grab Glisten Disposer Care Cleaner. Using this cleanser is simple—just run the water, drop one of the biodegradable packets in the sink and flip the switch on your disposal. Inside, the cleaning product froths up and gets into all those nooks and crannies inside the disposal. When it’s all done, Glisten leaves the disposal and sink smelling clean and fresh—all within just two minutes. If only washing dishes were so easy!

You can be sure that your disposal runs its best (and that Glisten does its best job) by keeping these foods away from the disposal in the first place!

$2.94 for four cleaning packets; available at retailers nationwide.

Other Great Products for Cleaning Your Garbage Disposal


CLR Garbage Disposal Cleaner Pods

Classic cleaning brand CLR also makes a darn good disposal cleaner. Testers could see these foaming pods pulling away gunk and bits from the sides of the disposal. It left the sink looking clean and smelling fresh.

$5.99 for a package of five pods; available at retailers nationwide.


Lemi Shine Disposal Cleaner

Lemi Shine, a non-toxic, biodegradable and phosphate-free cleaner, is also a good bet for freshening up your disposal. This easy-to-use pod formula foams up and cleans your disposal in less than two minutes. The lemon scent is pretty powerful, so if you’re sensitive to smells beware (though, it dissipates within a few minutes).

$1.87 for a pack of two cleaning pods; available at retailers nationwide.

The Bottom Line

In the end, our top three garbage disposal cleaners all did a good job of freshening up dirty sinks. Any product would be a welcome addition to your shopping cart. What we really liked most—besides their cleaning power—was the convenient pods and packets. It made a dirty chore easy and incredibly quick. With all that extra time on your hands, you can dig into these cleaning tricks to get the rest of your home sparkling.

Be sure to check out our other Best Loved Brands to keep your house feeling clean and fresh (and to keep your pantry stocked with the very best, too!).

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Note: Every product is independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Lisa Kaminski
Lisa is an editor at Taste of Home where she gets to embrace her passion for baking. She pours this love of all things sweet (and sometimes savory) into Bakeable, Taste of Home's baking club. Lisa is also dedicated to finding and testing the best ingredients, kitchen gear and home products for our Test Kitchen-Preferred program. At home, you'll find her working on embroidery and other crafts.