TikTokers filled their garbage disposal with ice and dish soap to clean it, and the hack has a professional cleaner's seal of approval

·4 min read
The viral hack to clean your garbage disposal just needs some ice and dish soap. Royce Renovations/TikTok
  • Professional home renovators on TikTok shared a hack for cleaning garbage disposals.

  • The TikTokers poured tons of ice and some dish soap into the garbage disposal before turning it on.

  • Cleaning expert Melissa Maker, of Clean My Space, approves of this hack.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Related: Watch 5 things get deep-cleaned around the house

A viral TikTok video claims that all you need to clean your stinky garbage disposal is some ice and a dash of dishwashing liquid, and a cleaning expert Insider spoke to agrees.

Minnesota-based couple Kelsey and Brad Royce, who professionally renovate houses together, shared the tip on their TikTok page in December. The video has been viewed 18 million times at the time of writing.


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Brad starts by removing the rubber seal and cleaning it by soaking it in some water and dish soap. He says in the video that an unclean seal might be why your sink "stinks."

Once the seal has been taken care of, he moves on to the garbage disposal itself. The video shows Brad tilting an ice tray over the sink to begin the process.

Screen Shot 2021 03 12 at 2.08.51 PM
First, you pour a ton of ice into the disposal. Royce Renovations/TikTok

"You're going to get a bunch of ice and put it down your garbage disposal with some soap," he said.

"Be sure to put the stopper in for the next part," he added before running the disposal.

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Then, you put a small amount of dish soap down the drain. Royce Renovations/TikTok

The video shows the ice swirling around in the garbage disposal as Brad explains, "Not only is it cleaning, but it's also sharpening those blades."

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Finally, you run the disposal with the ice and dish soap in it. Royce Renovations/TikTok

Brad told Insider that this is a plumber-free way to take care of your garbage disposal

As both dish soap and ice are things people typically already have around their home, Brad told Insider that "it's an easy solution without paying hundreds of dollars to have a plumber come out and clean your disposal/drain."

"I suggest doing it three times a year," he added.

Brad and Kelsey's easy and cost-effective hack for cleaning out your disposal has a professional cleaner's stamp of approval as well.

"The ice/dish liquid will definitely help to sharpen the blades and will provide a bit of abrasion," Melissa Maker of Clean My Space told Insider.

"In terms of the seal, it's rubber, which means it's porous and can break down and absorb odors over time," Maker added. "You should clean [the seal] regularly, and also check to see if it's broken down or if there are any cracks and replace it if needed."

A slight variation of this hack, this one involving hot water, also made the rounds on TikTok last year. For that hack, TikTokers would cram the garbage disposal with ice, and then while it's running turn on the hot-water faucet. This causes dark, grimy water to bubble up into the sink, according to some of the viral TikTok videos.

Apartment Therapy spoke to a plumbing professional about that hack, and like Brad, that expert recommended combining ice with a "gentle cleaning agent" and rinsing the drain with hot water only after the ice has been completely reduced to tiny pieces in the disposal, in order to ensure the grime washes away down into the sewer.

Easy cleaning hacks are popular on TikTok

TikTok is full of helpful tips for tackling cleaning smelly drains in particular.

Cleaning experts have signed off on some of these hacks as safe and effective. Insider's Joey Hadden previously wrote about TikTok users pouring baking soda and vinegar down their drains to unclog them.

Bailey Carson, head of cleaning for the household-services app Handy, told Insider that while this hack works, baking soda and vinegar, on their own, aren't strong enough to dispel clogs created by fat and grease buildup.

"To make this hack as effective as possible, pour boiling water down the drain before and after the vinegar-and-baking-soda combination," Carson told Hadden.

Read the original article on Insider

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