Best Garbage Disposal Cleaner to Keep it Spick & Span

Best Garbage Disposal Cleaner

Scrunching your nose every time you enter the kitchen because of that awful smell from your garbage disposal? You aren’t the only one stuck with particularly stinky garbage disposal. In most kitchens, that’s one piece of equipment that keeps getting ignored until it starts smelling terrible. 

I have been there too. Sometimes, the disposal is so clogged that a deep clean is the only solution. Deep cleaning your garbage disposal cleaner would mean taking it apart and thoroughly cleaning the splash guard and the blades. But doing that is tricky and best left to professionals. 

So how to clean your garbage disposal quickly and efficiently? By using a pre-made cleaning powder, liquid, or tablet. 

And after researching many products online, reaching out to experts, and reading countless customer reviews, I have shortlisted the 5 best garbage disposal cleaners to freshen up and unclog your disposal system. Out of these, my top recommendation is Affresh Garbage Disposal Cleaner, which Removes Odor-Causing Residues.

Before you look at the complete list of the best garbage disposal cleaners, familiarize yourself with the types of garbage disposal cleaners and how to choose the right one. Let’s dive in.

How to Choose the Best Garbage Disposal Cleaner?

Here are some factors you should look for in the garbage disposal you choose:

  • Cleaning Power

Cleaning power is critical in checking in a garbage disposal cleaner. Some cleaners are so potent that you don’t need to scrub. You might have to work hard with others to take off the dirt and grime. 

Of course, those with better cleaning power are expensive, while those that require manual labor are cheaper. Choose your garbage disposal cleaner depending on your budget and the level of convenience you’re looking for. 

  • Scent and Deodorization Power

Generally, you should look for a cleanser that removes terrible odor and freshens your disposal system. Some garbage disposal cleaners are excellent at unclogging the drain but not so great at making it smell good. Some are all-rounders, offering both good cleaning power and excellent deodorization. 

Moreover, see if the cleaner’s scent is something you’d be okay with. Some cleaners can have a strong scent that might cause headaches or be overwhelming. 

  • Formulation and Specialty

Different garbage disposal cleaners have different specialties. For example, some are particularly good for septic tank disposal cleaners. Others are made to work with hard water. Your specific concern will matter significantly when trying to shortlist a garbage disposal cleaner. 

Garbage disposal cleaners are usually available in powders and tablets/pods. The formulation is another essential consideration. Powders tend to have better cleaning power. But some expensive tablets are also great and take far less time than powders. 

Now that I’ve explained what you need to look for in a garbage disposal cleaner, I’ll dive right in to the products I think are best. 

Related: 6 best garbage disposal units to buy in 2022

5 Best Garbage Disposal Cleaners 

Here are the top 5 garbage disposal cleaners you can consider:

Best Overall Cleaner + Deodorizer:

Affresh Garbage Disposal Cleaner, Removes Odor-Causing Residues, 9 Tablets [3 Pack] 

Best Cleaner in Foam Form:

Glisten DP06N-PB Garbage Disposer Foaming Cleaner, Lemon Scent, 2-Pack (8 Uses), 2 Pack, Blue, 9 Ounce

Best Eco-Friendly Garbage Disposal Cleaner:

Grab Green Naturally-Derived, Tangerine with Lemongrass, 12 Pods (4-Pack), Mineral-Based Garbage Disposal Cleaner & Freshener 

Best Garbage Disposal Cleaner Pods:

CLR Garbage Disposal Cleaner and Deodorizer Pods, 20 Count, Fresh Scent Foaming

Best Septic Safe Garbage Disposal Cleaner:

Rejuvenate Disposer and Pipe Cleaner, Lemon Scent, 6 Pods, 7.1 oz (201g)

Best Garbage Disposal Cleaner and Deodorizer Overall

Affresh Garbage Disposal Cleaner, Removes Odor-Causing Residues

Affresh Garbage Disposal Cleaner, Removes Odor-Causing Residues, 9 Tablets

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With over 30,000 reviews on Amazon and a 4.5-star rating, this garbage disposal cleaner from Affresh is an old favorite. It does the job well and works with almost all types of garbage disposals. Granted, it is expensive, but with this one, a monthly clean is all you need to keep your garbage disposal odor-free. So considering the reduced effort and usage, it gives you great value for money. 

Affresh Garbage Disposal Cleaner cleans by producing a thick white foam that rids the blades and the rubber underneath the toughest dirt and grime. In other words, it has impressive cleaning power. It comes in packs of 3 tablets, and one should be suitable for one cleaning session. 

It helps to have a couple of these handy when your disposal starts smelling bad. After popping them into the disposal, turn the hot water on low (Affresh recommends). You’ll see stinking brown foam oozing from the disposal within a few seconds. That’s the cue that the cleaner has done its job. In the end, your kitchen will smell citrusy and fresh.

The only problem I have with this garbage disposal cleaner is that it doesn’t come in eco-friendly packaging. 

Features

  • Deep clean the chopper, internal cavity, and hose of the garbage disposal
  • Safe for septic tanks
  • Produces thick foam that provides excellent cleaning action
  • Quick and easy to use
  • Has a pleasant citrus smell

Pros

  • Excellent for most types of garbage disposals, including those with septic tanks
  • Great deodorizing action
  • Works well on the dirtiest garbage disposals
  • Quick, one-swipe cleaning action

Cons

  • Comes in wasteful packaging
  • Not many fragrance options

Check the Affresh garbage disposal’s latest prices on Amazon

Best Cleaner in Foam Form

Glisten DP06N-PB Garbage Disposer Foaming Cleaner, Lemon Scent 

Glisten DP06N-PB Garbage Disposer Foaming Cleaner, Lemon Scent, 2-Pack (8 Uses), 2 Pack, Blue, 9 Ounce

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Glisten Garbage Disposer Foaming Cleanser is a unique foam cleaner that comes pre-packaged in a biodegradable white packet. This one, too, has a 4.5-star rating from over 14,000 customers, but I’ve found it practical only for mild to moderately dirty disposal cleaners. It doesn’t do much for the tough grime and grease. 

Despite that slight drawback, it has excellent deodorizing action and will leave your disposal system smelling amazing. 

To clean your disposal with the Glisten Garbage Disposer Cleaner, you need to drop the packet into the disposal and turn on the water supply and the disposal. Wait for a few seconds. Then you’ll see a blue foam oozing out of the drain. The foam will get rid of the basic dirt stuck on the side valves and the splash guard. Glisten also claims that it cleans the disposal pipe. 

If you’re choosing this garbage disposal cleaner, I recommend you remove the splash guard and stopper and clean the system by scrubbing it. Then, use the packets to get rid of the remaining dirt and grease and get a pleasant smell. 

Features

  • Drain and disposer safe
  • Septic tank safe
  • Powerful deodorizing action with a lemony smell
  • Comes in water-soluble, biodegradable packaging

Pros

  • Good foaming action
  • Gets rid of foul odors effectively
  • Safe for septic tank garbage disposals
  • Decent pricing

Cons

  • May not be able to clean hard grime and grease as effectively
  • Doesn’t deliver noticeable results in cleaning the pipe

Check the Glisten Garbage Disposer’s latest prices on Amazon

Best Eco-Friendly Garbage Disposal Cleaner

Grab Green Naturally-Derived, Tangerine with Lemongrass, 12 Pods (4-Pack), Mineral-Based Garbage Disposal Cleaner & Freshener 

Grab Green Naturally-Derived, Tangerine with Lemongrass, 12 Pods (4-Pack), Mineral-Based Garbage Disposal Cleaner & Freshener

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Most garbage disposal cleaners are good for your drain but terrible for the environment. They contain phosphates, phthalates, chlorine, etc. But not this one. Grab Green disposal cleaner is naturally derived from plants and minerals and does a fantastic job of cleaning and deodorizing a garbage disposal. 

It has a unique tangerine and lemongrass odor. Moreover, despite being eco-friendly, it removes grease and grime impressively. I am not allergic to chlorine, but I do get headaches sometimes from the intense smell that chemical cleaners leave. If you’re in the same boat as me, using these Grab Green ones will help.  No toxic fumes and caustic chemicals are around the sink after you use one of these.

I also like the convenient velcro-closure package that it comes in, which makes it very easy to store. And the icing on the cake is that it is septic safe. 

Features

  • Eco-friendly, non-caustic garbage disposal cleaner
  • Comes in the form of easily dissolvable pods
  • Cruelty-free and women-first brand
  • Removes odor and leaves a tangerine and lemongrass smell
  • Naturally derived from plant-based ingredients

Pros

  • Eco-friendly yet doesn’t compromise on the cleaning power
  • Very efficient at deodorizing the garbage disposal
  • Free of harsh chemicals and toxins are known to cause breathing issues and migraines
  • Offers different fragrance options: tangerine and lemongrass, magnolia and red pear, fig leaf and thyme

Cons

  • Doesn’t leave a long-lasting smell
  • Does not foam, so can’t reach the tough spots underneath the blade

Check Grab Green’s latest prices on Amazon

Best Garbage Disposal Cleaner Pods

CLR Garbage Disposal Cleaner and Deodorizer Pods, 20 Count, Fresh Scent Foaming

CLR Garbage Disposal Cleaner and Deodorizer Pods, 20 Count, Fresh Scent Foaming Drain Odor Eliminator - 5 Month Supply

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CLR is one of the most trusted brands when it comes to cleaning supplies. This garbage disposal does what it claims: it cleans your disposal system instantly and doesn’t need excessive scrubbing. It also leaves a fresh scent. 

One of the best parts about this garbage disposal cleaner is that it uses citric acid, a milder, less caustic acid. It doesn’t give off aggressive fumes and doesn’t irritate. Ingredients like baking soda also help with better cleaning.

To use this cleaner, follow the directions on the package. You can use it just like a regular garbage disposal cleaner pod and flush away all the foam and debris that oozes from the drain once it’s all cleaned. 

This cleaner may not be appropriate if you have a filthy garbage disposal. But if you scrub a little, you can still use it effectively. 

Features

  • Fast cleaning action that helps get rid of buildup
  • A good scent that freshens up the sink and the disposal
  • Suitable for septic system

Pros

Cons

  • Doesn’t work with too much buildup of grime and dirt 
  • The scent doesn’t last long

Check the CLR’s latest prices on Amazon

Best Septic Safe Garbage Disposal Cleaner

Rejuvenate Disposer and Pipe Cleaner, Lemon Scent, 6 Pods, 7.1 oz (201g)

Rejuvenate Disposer and Pipe Cleaner, Lemon Scent, 6 Pods, 7.1 oz (201g)

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While all the options I recommended above are septic tank-friendly, this one is specially made for septic tanks. Its enzymes actively break down the food residue to ensure the septic tank doesn’t get filled up too quickly. 

The recent formula has improved the amount of suds formed, making for better cleaning power. Most customers have loved its ability to remove drain flies and other insects.  The two available scents are lavender and lemon, and most buyers love both variants. Rejuvenate claims that this garbage disposal cleaner also works on the drainpipe after ridding your disposal’s blade, wall, and splash guard of the buildup. 

The only drawback this one has is its relatively poor deodorizing power. It leaves an instant smell, but the odor doesn’t last long and isn’t as potent as some garbage disposal cleaners. Moreover, it’s also more steeply-priced than some of the bestselling garbage disposal cleaners on Amazon. 

Features

  • The increased foaming action helps achieve better cleaning
  • Pleasant lemon scent
  • Breaks down food residue, making it great for septic tank garbage disposal

Pros

  • Excellent cleaning
  • Works great for septic tanks
  • Gets rid of insects and drains flies

Cons

  • Poor deodorization

Check the Rejuvenate Disposer’s latest prices on Amazon

Natural At-Home Ways to Clean Your Garbage Disposal

The garbage disposal cleaners are convenient, but you may not always have them handy. Here’s the good news: there are natural, at-home ways to get a sparkling garbage disposal. I prefer using these natural garbage disposal cleaning methods regularly and throwing in a chemical cleanse once in a while or when I’m running out of time. 

Here are some of the best natural ways to clean garbage disposal that have worked for me. 

Baking Soda and Vinegar

These two seem to be all over TikTok nowadays. Be it a stubborn oven door or a dirty pan, use baking soda and vinegar, and voila! They leave things clean and shiny. It’s not a gimmick. Baking soda and vinegar are excellent cleaning and disinfecting agents used to clean garbage disposals. Here’s how:

  • Put a half cup of baking soda in your disposal system and pour it around the sink. 
  • Pour white vinegar down the disposal and let it do its thing for 10 minutes. 
  • Run water and turn on the garbage disposal. 

Citrus Fruit Peels

These are best for deodorizing mildly smelly disposal. Just cut your lemon, orange, tangerine, or other citrus peels and throw them at your disposal. Turn it on until the peels disappear and make your disposal fresh again. 

Citrus fruits like lemons also help remove rust from your old garbage disposal blades. Rub some salt and lemon juice on the rusted parts, and you’ll have clean and shiny disposal. However, lemon juice won’t help much if the rust is stubborn. 

Dish Soap and Hot Water

Pour any liquid dish soap down the garbage disposal. Be generous. You might end up finishing quite a lot of the dish soap, but it’s a weak cleaning agent, and to show any effect, it needs to be used in large quantities. Let the soap sit in the disposal. Make sure it’s turned off before scrubbing a little. Finally, pour boiling water down the disposal for about 2 minutes. 

But what about dishwasher tablets? Are they good substitutes for dish soap in this method? 

You can’t clean garbage disposal effectively with a dishwasher tablet. You need a more powerful cleaner to get rid of the buildup, which dishwasher tablets aren’t. However, putting the dishwasher tablet in the sink drain and pouring hot water on top of it occasionally can loosen up the superficial buildup. 

Using a chemical garbage disposal cleaner that deodorizes is one of the best ways to clean garbage disposal. Natural methods work well for mildly dirty garbage disposals and are best if paired with chemical cleaners. You should also pair such cleaning with an occasional deep clean, where you take apart the disposal system and scrub every nook. 

FAQs

How do you clean garbage disposal yourself?

If you’re using a pre-made chemical garbage disposal cleaner, all you need to do is follow the instructions on the package to a T. For natural methods like baking soda and vinegar; you can scroll back up and read the steps listed. Lastly, if you’re looking to do a thorough deep clean, check out my complete guide on cleaning the garbage disposal. 

How do you clean garbage disposal that smells?

Using a deodorizing cleaner is the only way to eliminate the foul odor from your garbage disposal. You can choose one of my recommendations above or use a natural method like baking soda and vinegar. 

Does white vinegar clean garbage disposal?

White vinegar does a fantastic job cleaning your garbage disposal with baking soda. White vinegar is acidic, and baking soda is alkaline. Both react to neutralize each other, and in the process, clean/lightly corrode the surface they’re on. You can also use apple cider vinegar if you don’t have white vinegar. 

Why does my garbage disposal smell like sewage?

Your garbage disposal may smell like sewage because of a drain pipe/vents blockage or leaks in the sewer lines. In either case, the methane trapped in the sewer will flow in the wrong direction and accumulate near the mouth of your garbage disposal. Every time you go near it, this sewage-like smell will be pretty apparent. 

Can I spray WD-40 on my garbage disposal?

No, do not put a WD-40 in your garbage disposal. It doesn’t lubricate the disposal, and the harsh chemicals in it can damage your drain, blades, and the splash guard of the disposal. 

Bottom Line

I hope you have decided which garbage disposal cleaner you need to shop for using my recommendations. Remember to go for a powerful yet budget-friendly option. Also, make it a point to clean your garbage disposal monthly to avoid having it too clogged and smelly. Because if it becomes too clogged, no cleaner will help. 

Have more questions about cleaning your garbage disposal? Leave them in the comments down below!

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