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Best Garbage Disposal Cleaners of 2023

It’s at your disposal which disposal cleaner you use. 

A garbage disposal is a handy way to break down food waste and dispose of it. But of course, a system like this can get pretty dirty and smelly.

That’s why we’re here to recommend the best garbage disposal cleaners. These bad boys tackle bad smells, food waste, and bacteria build-up.

We spent hours researching dozens of products, expert advice, and real customer reviews to create this list. We studied each product’s ease of use, ingredients, odor-fighting abilities, and whether it was septic-safe. Get ready to find an amazing solution for your garbage disposal smells.

Our Top Picks

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Product Comparison Table

Product Image of the BioWonder Septic Tank Treatment - 100% Organic - 3X More Powerful - Perfect for Disposals, Septic System, RV's, Drains, Toilets - 2lbs 60 Treatments
Best Natural Garbage Disposal Cleaner
BioWonder Septic Tank Treatment
  • 100% natural ingredients
  • Multi-purpose
  • Reduces odors
Product Image of the Plink Garbage Disposer Cleaner and Deodorizer, Lemon, 40 Count, 2 Pack, 80 Count, 3.2 Ounce
Best Deodorizing Cleaner
Plink Garbage Disposer Cleaner & Deodorizer
  • Fights bad odors
  • Easy to use
  • Fresh lemon scent
Product Image of the Glisten Garbage Disposer Cleaner, Odor Eliminator with Foaming Action, Removes Build-up and Deep Cleans, Lemon Scent, 4 Uses
Best Powder
Glisten Disposer Care Cleaner
  • Biodegradable packets
  • Cleans hard-to-reach places
  • Works in a couple of minutes
Product Image of the Drano Max Gel Drain Clog Remover and Cleaner for Shower or Sink Drains, Unclogs and Removes Hair, Soap Scum, Blockages, 80 oz
Best Liquid
Drano Max Gel Drain Clog Remover
  • Unclogs drains quickly
  • Safe on pvc & metal pipes
  • Multi-purpose uses around the house
Product Image of the Mr. Scrappy Universal Garbage Disposal Brush, Sturdy Grip Handle, 11-Inches
Best Cleaning Brush
Mr. Scrappy Garbage Disposal Brush
  • Universal fit for all garbage disposals
  • Helps with built-up food
  • Easy to use & rotate
Product Image of the Grab Green Natural Garbage Disposal Cleaner, Deoderizer & Freshener Pods, Thyme + Fig Leaf—With Essential Oils, 12 Pods, Plant & Mineral-Based Ingredients
Best Pods
Grab Green Natural Garbage Disposal Cleaner
  • Convenient pod design
  • Natural ingredients & scents
  • Fights odors and loosens grime
Product Image of the Sani Sticks SANI 360° Garbage Disposal Cleaner Kit —Lemon Scent, 10 oz Bottle of Foam with Cleaning Brush and Tray - 8 to 10 Uses
Best Garbage Disposal Cleaning Kit
Sani Sticks Garbage Disposal Cleaner Kit
  • Thick foam cleans hard-to-reach places
  • Saves money
  • Fights bad odors

Product Reviews

We’ve spent hours researching garbage disposal cleaners. In addition to studying expert advice and reading customer reviews, we’ve applied our own insight. We have combined our list of the seven best garbage disposal cleaners below.

Check out these spectacular cleaners now.

1. BioWonder Septic Tank Treatment

Best Natural Garbage Disposal Cleaner

Many garbage disposal cleaners use some natural ingredients. However, the BioWonder Septic Tank Treatment uses 100 percent natural ingredients.

This amazing product has multiple uses, so you can use it for all kinds of jobs. Of course, it works wonders in garbage disposals. It attacks bad odors and even eliminates drain flies.

However, you can also use it in septic tanks, sinks, toilets, showers, floor drains, porta-potties and much more.

BioWonder contains three billion CFU (bacteria per gram) and six unique strains of bacteria to give you the deepest clean of your septic system. This is about three times more powerful than other septic treatments.

Customers absolutely love how well this works to fix clogs and reduce odors. With BioWonder, your garbage disposal will look (and smell) brand new again!


  • 100% natural ingredients.
  • Multi-purpose — you can use in toilets, showers and more.
  • Three times more powerful than other septic treatments.
  • Reduces odors inside your drains.
  • 60 uses per pack, saving you money.


  • You must wait six hours before using drains again.

Product Specs

Type Powder
Ingredients Natural
Septic Safe Yes
Odor Fights odors
Number of Uses 60

2. Plink Garbage Disposer Cleaner and Deodorizer

Best Deodorizing Cleaner

Bad smells getting you down? Embarrassed when you have guests over? Then you need the Plink Garbage Disposal Cleaner and Deodorizer tablets!

These tablets are designed by plumbers and begin working in just seconds. They break open to fight bad odors in the garbage disposal unit. Then they dissolve fatty deposits and break up food particles which both prevents clogging and attacks the source of bad smells.

To use, run a gentle stream of warm water. Add the Plink ball to the garbage disposal, and turn it on. In seconds, it will fight odors and clean your unit. Not only will it make your unit smell clean, but it will also make your whole kitchen smell incredible.


  • Fights bad odors.
  • Easy to use.
  • Fresh lemon scent.
  • Dissolves fatty deposits.
  • Designed by plumbers.
  • Works in seconds.


  • May need to use a few to get the scent strong enough.
  • Safety warnings include skin irritation, flammable vapor and allergic reaction.
  • Scent may only last a few minutes.

Product Specs

Type Tablets
Ingredients Synthetic and natural blend
Septic Safe Yes
Odor Fights odors
Number of Uses 40

3. Glisten Disposer Care Cleaner

Best Powder

The Glisten Disposer Care Cleaners come in a powder form, but they’re pre-packaged for ultimate convenience. Simply drop the little packets into your garbage disposal. Turn on the water and the garbage disposal.

The cleaner will start to foam which means it’s working. When the foam subsides after about two minutes, that means the job is finished. Super quick and convenient!

This product uses a bleach alternative to deeply clean the disposer and drain pipes.

The packages are biodegradable, so you don’t need to worry about them clogging up your pipes. In fact, the packets actually have a bonus purpose. They scrub tough grunge and build-up from the unit to give it a good clean and reduce odors.

Overall, these Glisten Care Cleaner packs freshen and clean your disposer, leaving behind a fresh scent.


  • Convenient packets that are biodegradable.
  • Cleans hard-to-reach places.
  • Lovely lemon scent.
  • Works in a couple of minutes.
  • Great alternative to bleach.
  • Removes bacteria and grunge.


  • Only four bags per back.
  • Don’t reduce odors as well as some other products.
  • The results aren’t very long-lasting.

Product Specs

Type Powder (in packs)
Ingredients 45% natural ingredients
Septic Safe Yes
Odor Fights odors
Number of Uses Four

4. Drano Max Gel Drain Clog Remover

Best Liquid

If liquid cleaning products are your go-to, you’ll love the Drano Max Gel Drain Clog Remover. Its powerful cleaning ability can unclog drains quickly.

It cuts through water and goes straight to the problem to break up the clog. It works for PVC, metal pipes, garbage disposals, and septic systems.

Although many liquids require an overnight treatment, the Drano Gel works in as little as 15 minutes. So you can go from a dirty garbage disposal to a spotless one in a short time.

Not that you have hair in your garbage disposal, but this product is strong enough to break up hair clogs. So imagine what it can do to the food, bacteria, and dirt build up in your garbage disposal. Plus, this multi-purpose product is great to have in the house because it works in all other drains!

Just note that this is an expensive product because you need to use ⅕ of the bottle each time you use it.


  • Unclogs drains quickly.
  • Safe on PVC and metal pipes, as well as septic systems.
  • Works in as little as 15 minutes.
  • Multi-purpose uses around the house.
  • It can penetrate standing water.


  • Expensive price point.
  • Super overwhelming scent.

Product Specs

Type Liquid
Ingredients Synthetic, also includes bleach
Septic Safe Yes
Odor It does not fight odors
Number of Uses Five

5. Mr. Scrappy Universal Garbage Disposal Brush

Best Cleaning Brush

The useful Mr Scrappy cleaning brush can attack food waste residue in any garbage disposal unit. Removing food waste residue can immediately help with bad odors, which is a great way to clean units and eliminate bad smells.

The sturdy cleaning bristles are stiff enough to break up stubborn and stinky debris inside the unit. Of course, you will need to rinse away the debris after using the brush. For that purpose, we recommend pairing this brush with another one of our cleaning solutions.

We think you’ll love the design of this brush. It’s 11 inches long to fit into all garbage disposal units.

The handle is sturdy and short, which gives you maximum control. You can easily rotate the brush for maximum cleaning.

Even if you’ve been using a strong cleaning solution for a while, you’ll be surprised by how much extra gunk this brush removes.


  • Universal fit for all garbage disposals.
  • Helps with built-up food, bacteria, and odors.
  • Easy to use and rotate.
  • Works great in conjunction with a cleaning solution.
  • Stiff cleaning brushes provide a deep clean.
  • 11 inches long fit far into a disposal unit.


  • Hard to maneuver it into hard-to-reach spaces.
  • Debris and dirt fly around when you pull it out the sink. Remove slowly.

Product Specs

Type Brush
Ingredients None
Septic Safe N/A
Odor Fights odors by removing food buildup
Number of Uses N/A

6. Grab Green Natural Garbage Disposal Cleaner

Best Pods

The Grab Green pods are very convenient for cleaning your garbage disposal. They remove odors, loosen grime and prevent future clogging.

They’re naturally scented with a thyme and fig leaf aroma, which will smell great in the kitchen! In fact, the ingredients are natural so you can say goodbye to toxic chemicals.

These convenient pre-measured pods are highly effective and save hassle for you. Simply run some warm water and put the pod in the garbage disposal. Then let it run for a few minutes before turning on the garbage disposal.

Overall, customers adore how clean their kitchens smell after using these! So, if your garbage disposal is causing bad smells throughout your home — this is the way to go.


  • Convenient pod design.
  • Natural ingredients and scents.
  • Fights odors and loosens grime.
  • Helps prevent clogging.
  • Lovely thyme and fig scent.


  • The scent doesn’t last long.
  • Doesn’t foam up, so won’t hit hard-to-reach places.

Product Specs

Type Pods
Ingredients Natural
Septic Safe Yes
Odor Fights odors, four scent options
Number of Uses 12 pods per pack

7. Sani Sticks 360 Garbage Disposal Cleaner Kit

Best Garbage Disposal Cleaning Kit

Save your pennies by buying a garbage disposal cleaning kit. We recommend the Sai Sticks 360 kit for the ultimate deep clean.

What’s included? First, a fantastic enzyme-based foam cleaner. The enzymes remove odor and organic build-up in the garbage disposal unit. This includes the sidewalls, blades, splash guard and drains.

The thick foam expands and deeply cleans hard-to-reach areas. You can either choose a lemon, lavender or unscented option. The lavender and lemon options use essential oils to help deodorize the unit and leave behind a fresh scent.

It comes with a handy brush, too. Simply insert it down the garbage disposal to scrape and scrub off build-up, providing an overall deeper clean. Once you’ve used the foam and the brush, simply turn on the tap to rinse away the solution.


  • You save money buying a kit.
  • Thick foam expands to clean hard-to-reach areas.
  • Enzyme formula fights odors quickly.
  • Fresh lemon scent made with essetnial oils.


  • The brush doesn’t fit all disposal units.
  • The brush is poor quality and the handle breaks easily.

Product Specs

Type Kit
Ingredients Mix of synthetic and natural ingredients
Septic Safe Yes
Odor Fights odors
Number of Uses 8-10

Product Comparison Chart

Product Best Type Ingredients Septic Safe Odor Number of Uses
BioWonder Septic Tank Treatment Natural Garbage Disposal Cleaner Powder Natural Yes Fights odors 60
Plink Garbage Disposer Cleaner & Deodorizer Deodorizing Cleaner Tablets Synthetic & natural Yes Fights odors 40
Glisten Disposer Care Cleaner Powder Powder (in packs) 45% natural Yes Fights odors 4
Drano Max Gel Drain Clog Remover Liquid Liquid Synthetic, including bleach Yes It does not fight odors 5
Mr. Scrappy Universal Garbage Disposal Brush Cleaning Brush Brush None N/A Fights odors by removing food buildup N/A
Grab Green Natural Garbage Disposal Cleaner Pods Pods Natural Yes Fights odors, four scent options 12
Sani Sticks 360 Garbage Disposal Cleaner Kit Garbage Disposal Cleaning Kit Kit Mix of synthetic & natural Yes Fights odors 8-10

How Often Should You Clean Your Garbage Disposal?

Aim to clean your garbage disposal once a week, but at least every two weeks. If you’re going to be out of town for a little while, always clean your garbage disposal before you go. Otherwise, food that’s sitting in there can start to rot.

Types of Garbage Disposal Cleaners

There are a few different types of cleaners, so you can find something that is easiest and most effective for you.

Tablets and Pods

Tablets and pods are the easiest to use. Simply drop the pod into the garbage disposal, run warm water, turn the unit on, and let the pod do the hard work!

We recommend doing this weekly, which won’t be too difficult with pods. Pods are also usually cheaper than liquid cleaners.


  • Super easy to use.
  • Minimal effort required from you.
  • Cheaper than liquid cleaners.
  • Starts working in seconds.
  • Many options available.


  • Sometimes the scent isn’t very long-lasting.


Liquid garbage disposal cleaner is also easy to use, although it’s more expensive. However, it’s excellent for clogs and its thick consistency helps to unblock the system.

Simply pour the recommended amount down the drain and wait. This varies depending on the brand, but it works best overnight, so you need to plan ahead.


  • Easy to use.
  • Great for unclogging garbage disposals.
  • Many septic-safe options.
  • Works quickly.
  • Many are multi-purpose.


  • More expensive than other optios.
  • You might need to wait a while to use your drain again.


Brushes are great for loosening dirt, food waste, bacteria, and debris inside your garbage disposal.

We like that they’re easy to use and super affordable. They work best in conjunction with a chemical cleaner, as the brushes themselves don’t come with any cleaning solution. So while it might tidy up your garbage disposal, it doesn’t do a deep clean.


  • Amazing for breaking up clogs.
  • Affordable price point.
  • Removes build-up inside the garbage disposal.
  • Universal fits.
  • Easy to use.


  • Works best in conjunction with cleaning solution, which you may need to purcahse separately.
  • Can be hard to clean in hard-to-reach spots.
  • Debris might flick off when you remove from the drain.


Powder garbage disposal cleaners aren’t as common. They usually come in little packets to ensure the correct amount and maximum convenience for the user.

Depending on the manufacturer’s instructions, they work similar to pods. Just place them over your garbage disposal and run water. Similar to liquid, powder is a more expensive choice.


  • Easy to use.
  • Often come pre-measured for convenience.
  • Many use natural ingredients.
  • Might be multi-purpose.
  • Great for tackling odors.


  • Can be expensive.
  • Not as many options available.
  • You might need to wait a while to use the drain again.


A garbage disposal cleaning kit comes with a cleaning solution and a brush. This means you can save a bit of money and also get products that work well together. This ensures a deep clean since the solution can loosen dirt and kill bacteria, while the brush can scrap away loosened debris.


  • Includes brush and cleaning solution.
  • Saves you money.
  • Allows for a deep clean, removing dirt and bacteria.
  • Brush can be cleaned and reused.


  • The brush might not be the highest quality.

What to Look For (Buying Guide)

What details should you consider when shopping for a garbage disposal cleaner? We’ve outlined them below.


Consider whether you’d like a powder, liquid, pod, or cleaning kit. All have their pros and cons, so it all comes down to personal preference.


Always look at the ingredients when buying a cleaning product.

Some of our recommendations are natural and organic. Others use synthetic materials, which can be harmful to some people. This is especially so if you have asthma, allergies or respiratory problems.

Still, it’s worth noting that some synthetic materials are good for a deeper clean. They may be the way to go if you’re stuck and desperately need to unblock a unit.

Septic Safety

Check that your cleaner is compatible with septic systems. Using a cleaner that won’t ruin your septic system is important. We’ll let you know if each product is septic-safe.

Odor Control

If you hate the bad smells your garbage disposal emits, get a cleaner with odor control. You could also choose a scented cleaner that leaves a lovely aroma behind.

Number of Uses

Lastly, consider how many uses you get from each cleaner. This will determine how much value you’re getting for your money. Our recommendations range from four to 60 uses per product, with the average being around five.

Garbage Disposal Cleaner FAQs

How Do You Clean a Garbage Disposal That Smells?

Of course, most of our recommendations fight odors. So you can definitely use these cleaners. In fact, sometimes, even just brushing the unit can help reduce odors.

But just in case you have run out of cleaning solution, or want to make your own, try this method.

  1. Lift and pour: Lift the rubber flaps of the garbage disposal entrance and pour in ½ cup of baking soda.
  2. Add vinegar: Next, pour ½ cup of distilled white vinegar into the drain. This will fizz up.
  3. Wait: Let the solution sit for one hour.
  4. Run: Turn on the garbage disposal and run cold water for one minute.

Keep In Mind

Do this occasionally, as vinegar can damage rubber elements in a garbage disposal. It’s always best to use any of our seven products, as they’ve been tested and designed to be safe!

Can You Put Bleach Down the Garbage Disposal?

No, you should never pour bleach down the garbage disposal. This can damage the unit and the pipes (1). This is especially likely if you have a septic tank.

Also, if the bleach doesn’t fully get flushed away, then it can create toxic fumes if it reacts with other chemicals later on, such as ammonia (2).

Note This

The Drano Max Gel Drain Clog Remover contains bleach and is septic-safe because of additional ingredients and its chemical makeup. Just beware of using other chemicals, such as ammonia, in your household if it reacts with the bleach.

What Shouldn’t You Put Down a Garbage Disposal?

Here are some things you should never put down a garbage disposal:

  • Grease and oil: It can harden and clog your drains.
  • Coffee grounds: They can get trapped in your unit.
  • Pits and seeds: Be careful when disposing of fruit waste.
  • Stringy fruit and vegetables: The stringy bits, like that from celery, can wrap around the blades.
  • Rice, oatmeal and pasta: They expand in water, so they can easily clog the unit.
  • Egg shells and onion layers: The membrane part can wrap around the blades.
  • Animal bones: Although most units can handle bones, it’s best to avoid.
  • Potato peels: They can turn into a starchy paste.
  • Non-food: Don’t toss paper, wrappers, or other junk down the garbage disposal.
  • Nuts: When nuts get ground and chopped up, they turn into butter.

Can You Use Vinegar To Clean a Garbage Disposal?

Yes — vinegar and baking soda together can clean and deodorize a garbage disposal.

Can a Garbage Disposal Make Your Dishwasher Stink?

Yep, it can! Your garbage disposal and dishwasher are likely using the same hose.

Disconnect the hose from your garbage disposal, and you’ll be able to smell if that’s where the stench is coming from. To fix this issue, you’ll need to clean the hose and your garbage disposal.

Why Does a Garbage Disposal Smell Bad?

Unfortunately, there are a few causes for stinky garbage disposals.

  • Rotting food: If you don’t clean it regularly, food and grease can start to rot.
  • Mold: The warm wet environment is the ideal breeding ground for mold and bacteria. These can lead to bad smells.
  • Sewer gases: If the trap in your sink isn’t working, sewer gases can sneak in which is both smelly and hazardous.

Can You Plunge a Sink With a Garbage Disposal?

If your garbage disposal is clogged, you can use a plunger if the clog is in the disposal drain pipe. But if the clog is in the unit, you must clear it before plunging the drain.

Check the manufacturer’s guidance for your unit on how best to do this. Overall, it should be feasible to do it yourself, but definitely call a plumber if it’s not working out.

How Many Years Does a Garbage Disposal Last?

A good one should last about 10 years, but hopefully up to 15 (3). Warranty times range from one to 20 years.

How Much Does a Plumber Charge To Fix a Garbage Disposal?

Plumber prices depend on where you live, but it varies between $70 and $400 (4).

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Headshot of Beth McCallum

About the Author

Beth McCallum

Beth McCallum is a freelance writer & book blogger with a degree in creative writing, journalism, and English literature. Beth firmly believes that a tidy house is a tidy mind. She is always looking for new ways to sustainably clean and tidy her house, that's kind on the environment but effective in the house, too!