Cleaning the Garbage Disposal – Vinegar Ice Cubes

As summer approaches (although this weather makes me wonder if summer is actually coming), one of the things I don’t like is those pesky fruit gnats. And I really hate when they get in the garbage disposal.

(Here’s a tip – if you don’t know whether they are in your garbage disposal, just cover the opening with some natural waxed paper, weighting down the edges. You’ll seem them collect on the waxed paper after a couple of hours.)

Fruit gnats love to feed on fruits and veggies – paticularly if they are rotting. Clean out your fruit bowl and wipe it down to get rid of their buffet. But even this may not eliminate them if they are in your garbage disposal. They can get in the garbage disposal if there is food bits collected, particularly if food is stuck on the “blades” of the garbage disposal. A bit of lemon or orange peel can freshen the disposal, but peel isn’t that effective at getting food off of the blades.

What can get the food off of the blades are vinegar ice cubes. Just put 1 cup vinegar in an ice cube tray and fill the balance with water. Freeze. Once frozen, pop a few cubes down the disposal and let it run. The vinegar ice cubes should take any food stuck on the blades off. Voila!

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.


  1. I’ve done this one before. Told my brother-in-law about it too when he was complaining about his garbage disposal needing to be cleaned. It’s so simple, yet so few people know about it.

  2. Awesome tip. I’ve seen you post this on twitter numerous times, but other than freshening I didn’t realize the benefit of removing food, making better than citrus peels. Thanks for explaining that.

  3. Great tip! Thanks for sharing.

  4. wow!!! this is a news!!
    I didn’t know about it!!
    glad I found your blog!!
    I don’t know weather I am a green mom…but I definitely pay a lot of attention to this kind of things! 🙂

  5. That’s a great environmentally friendly way to ensure Gnats don’t become a problem. The problem we find with pest control that is dependent on nasty chemicals is that while it attacks the problem (The Gnats), it doesn’t attack the source (The food). Using such strategies as citronella beads in dumpsters to repel bees and other pests will do the job in your outside refuse collection. Thanks for the tip and keep blogging!

  6. This is genius! I neer thought about vinegar ice cubes, although i use hot water, vinegar, and baking soda to clean it all the time. Thanks!

  7. Love this idea! I’ve yet to learn what vinegar can’t solve. It’s amazing stuff. Thanks for the easy step here!

  8. Here is another idea that works great if you have a pile of fruit flies and you want to get rid of them.

    Take a tall, narrow glass and place a piece of yummy food in the bottom such as a peach pit, plumb pit, etc. Take a standard (8.5 ” x 11″) piece of paper and roll it into the shape of a funnel leaving a very small hole (about 1/8″ should do). Tape the seam of the funnel and then place the funnel over top of the glass. The opening of the funnel should ideally be 2-3″ off the bottom of the glass. Tape around the perimeter of the glass to close off the air space where funnel meets glass.

    Now, the only way into the glass is through your 1/8″ hole. Fruit flies will go through this hole to get at the yummies but given their low intelligence, they won’y be able to find their way out!

    This method will catch so many fruit flies, it will boggle your mind. If you are the kind hearted soul like me, just take the glass outside, remove the tape and release the little buggers to the great outdoors.

  9. What a great tip. I will use this because we have been seeing lots of gnats in our home, naturally because people eat more fruit during the warm weather months. Thank you!

  10. The most amazingly effective way to get rid of fruit flies is to get a little cup, pour a little apple cider vinegar and some liquid dish soap. I like to use a tiny glass cup so I can see how many flies I get(the soap makes the solution a little cloudy so you may not seen it from the top). My husband thinks it’s nasty how I enyoy counting them… LOL.


  1. […] with water for an all purpose rinse, or freeze vinegar and water into ice cubes and use them as a garbage disposal cleaner. Check out our guide to DIY non-toxic cleaning supplies for more […]

  2. […] Disposal Cleaner: Try this recipe from the Smart Mama–Combine water and distilled white vinegar in ice cube trays and use the frozen cubes as a […]

  3. […] toilet bowl, hardwood floors, windows (with a little water and newspaper or rag), and even vinegar ice cubes for the garbage […]

  4. […] Garbage Disposal Cleaner – LOVED this one – vinegar ice cubes – Brilliant! […]

Speak Your Mind