YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

You Asked About . . .

Cleaning Tips for the Waste Disposer

October 03, 1985|MINNIE BERNARDINO | Times Staff Writer

Question: Can you please give some tips on getting rid of odors in waste disposers, trash compactors and dishwashers? Occasionally I encounter this problem and would like a quick solution.

Answer: Odor problems are most apt to occur in appliances where food residue isn't visible, such as in the appliances you mention.

Here are some tips provided by Thermador Waste King for cleaning care:

Waste Disposers: To remove odors:

--Flush baking soda through the disposer with cold water and continue to run cold water for 30 to 60 seconds.

--For heavy-duty models, mix citrus peels (limes, lemons, oranges or grapefruit) with other food wastes and flush with a lot of cold water.

--Remove splash guard and clean throughly using a detergent and hot water.

--Scrub the underside of the drain closure by hand or in the dishwasher.

To prevent odors:

--With each use, continue to run cold water for 30 seconds after the food is ground up.

--Run the disposer with cold water every few days, even when no large pieces of food waste need to be ground.

--Once a month, use the drain closure and fill the sink with cold water. Leave water running, remove closure and turn on the disposer until all the water has drained out of the sink.

--Keep the closure out of the disposer open when not in use. Letting air reach the inside of the disposer will minimize odor buildup.

Dishwashers: To remove odors:

--Wipe out any particles remaining on the bottom of the tub and in the disposal drain area.

--Check for food pieces on the heating element. If the heated dry cycle has not been used for a period of time, bits of food pieces may stick to the heating element. If this happens, an odor occurs when the heated dry cycle is used. This odor is a temporary condition and disappears as soon as the heater cleans itself.

--Use a household cleanser to remove food and liquids dropped onto the outer edge of the door as it is loaded. Rinse and dry.

--Wipe clean any deposits of oily food soil that have built up behind the bottom edge of the inner door and inside the overflow protection float, if the dishwasher is equipped with such. Be sure to replace the float before using the dishwasher.

To prevent odors:

--Wipe the outer edge of the door to remove food particles and drippings before they harden and need scrubbing.

--Periodically check for food particles on the bottom of the tub and in the disposal drain area.

--Use the correct amount of detergent in each load to remove the oily food soils. Skimping on detergent can result in oily scum collecting on the inner door and overflow float.

Trash Compactors: To remove odors:

--Pull out the trash container, bundle and remove trash.

--Wash compactor walls, floor and inside chute with mild detergent. Rinse and dry.

--Clean the ram surface the same way, making sure that no glass or metal fragments are stuck to the ram.

--Wipe the liner and container with non-abrasive cleaning products.

To prevent odors:

--Always rinse food residue from disposable containers such as cans, bottles, milk cartons and plastic bags before putting into compactor.

--Wipe compactor with household deodorizer after each regular cleaning.

--Bundle and remove trash every week, even sooner if bag is full.

Removing odors may take more than one attempt. When odors are removed, preventive care is the best approach to hinder occurrence.

Address questions on food preparation to You Asked About, Food Section, The Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles 90053. Personal replies cannot be given.

Los Angeles Times Articles