03/04/2024 08:57 am GMT

Garbage disposal units are great for those who don’t want to deal with food scraps. However, over time waste disposals can develop nasty odors from all the food they process. That’s why it’s important to find the best disposal cleaner to keep your appliance clean.

Kitchen waste disposals are easy to use and are a big help in the kitchen. Simply flip a switch and the machine will automatically shred the food into tiny bits which will get washed away through the pipes. No harm no foul. Not a bad invention from back in the late 1920’s!

Not only will it reduce odors (since food won’t be left in the trash to rot), but it’ll also reduce the amount of work that you have to do in the kitchen while also potentially saving yourself from an expensive plumbing service call.

Like all appliances, however, they do require regular maintenance. More specifically, they should be cleaned once every two weeks (or once a week depending on how often you use it). That will prevent bacteria or mold from growing and strange odors from developing while also maintaining the units effectiveness and lifetime.

best garbage disposal cleaners top list For example, many people clean their garbage disposal units with baking soda and vinegar. Grind-up ice and salt is another option. Simply pour them into the drain, turn on the disposal, and the ice and salt will work together as a scrub to clean the machine.

While that may help get rid of mild odors, however, you’ll likely need something stronger if you want to thoroughly clean and maintain your disposer. At the end of the day, you want to use a commercial disposal cleaner as even the best at home remedy’s don’t really stack up compared to the professional offerings.

What is a garbage disposal cleaner? They are exactly what they sound like, specifically formulated cleaning products that are designed to remove odors and grime from waste disposal units. During our testing we quickly realized they work a lot better than any of the popular DIY options.

Which garbage disposal cleaner should you use? How are they different? To find out, be sure to read on- we’ll be going over everything that you need to know in our 2024 best garbage disposal cleaner and deodorizer guide! So no worries trying to figure out what the best garbage disposal cleaner for smell, clogged drains, or long term maintenance of your unit is. We did the work so you don’t have too!

The Best Disposal Cleaners – Our Top Picks For 2024

03/04/2024 12:42 am GMT

Without further delay, here are the top ten garbage disposal cleaners based on effectiveness, performance, and cost.

  1. ACTIVE Disposal Cleaner Tablets
    5.0
    $17.95 $14.33 ($0.60 / Count)

    ACTIVE Disposal Cleaner Tablets feature a powerful foaming formula that will remove food residue, grime, dirt, and odors. They are also compatible with all disposal models including those by Moen, Kitchenaid, Waste King, GE, Farberware, and Kohler, and are septic-safe.

    Cleaning Power:
    5.0
    Ease of Use:
    5.0
    Value:
    5.0
    Our Review: ACTIVE Disposal Cleaner Tablets is at the top of our list with its heavy-duty scrubbing foam, which makes it highly effective at removing grime and smells. They're also easy and convenient to use in that all you need to do is drop them in the drain. Not only will they remove odors but they'll also leave your kitchen with a fresh, citrus scent.


    They're also cost-effective as one pack comes with 24 tablets, which is a year's supply. If anything, it's the best option for those who are looking for something effective that won't break the bank in the long run.
    Type: Tablets
    Amount: 24 Tablets
    Number Of Uses: 24
    Cleaning Frequency: Once To Twice Per Month
    Scented: Yes
    Compatible With All Disposals: Yes
    Safe For Septic: Yes
    Pros:
    • Highly effective at removing food residue, grime, and smells
    • Tablets are easy and convenient to use
    • Features a refreshing citrus scent that lingers after each use
    Cons:
    • Customers outside of the U.S. will have to pay extra for shipping
    Buy On Amazon
    03/04/2024 12:42 am GMT
  2. Glisten Disposal Care Foaming Cleaner
    4.5
    $29.99 $24.95

    Glisten Disposer Care Foaming Cleaner is designed to strip away grease, food particles, and odor-causing grime. Scientifically tested, it will clean all surfaces of the disposer including the blades, sidewalls, pipes, and splashguard. Comes in easy-to-use pre-measured packets. Made with natural ingredients.

    Cleaning Power:
    4.5
    Ease of Use:
    5.0
    Value:
    4.5
    Our Review: Glisten Disposer Care Foaming Cleaner is great in that it reaches deep inside the disposer to remove grime and odor-causing build-up. Powered by a combination of bleach alternatives, it's safe to use as it doesn't contain any abrasive or harsh chemicals. The biodegradable packets are also pre-measured, which makes them super convenient to use.


    The only thing is that the lemon scent is quite mild so the smell may not linger for long after each use.
    Type: Pouches
    Amount: 20 Pouches
    Number Of Uses: 20
    Cleaning Frequency: Once Per Month
    Scented: Yes
    Compatible With All Disposals: Yes
    Safe For Septic: Yes
    Pros:
    • Pre-measured packets are easy to use
    • Packets are biodegradable
    • Effective at removing grime and food residue
    Cons:
    • Lemon scent is very mild
    • Can be costly in the long run
    Buy On Amazon
    03/04/2024 08:57 am GMT
  3. Affresh Garbage Disposal Cleaner Tablets
    4.5
    $9.99 $8.97 ($1.00 / Count)

    Affresh Disposal Cleaner Tablets are specially formulated to clean and eliminate odor-causing grime. Featuring a powerful foaming action, they will clean all areas of the machine including the hidden parts such as the internal cavity and chopper. U.S. EPA Safer Choice Certified and septic tank safe.

    Cleaning Power:
    4.5
    Ease of Use:
    4.5
    Value:
    4.5
    Our Review: Affresh Garbage Disposal Cleaner Tablets are powered by citrus-scented foam and are highly effective at removing grime and residues. Not only will they eliminate odors but they'll also leave your sink with a clean, refreshing smell. The packaging for the tablets is also very easy to open.


    Depending on how grimy your waste disposal is, however, you may need to use more than one tablet to get the desired results.
    Type: Tablets
    Amount: 3 Tablets
    Number Of Uses: 3
    Cleaning Frequency: Once Per Month
    Scented: Yes
    Compatible With All Disposals: Yes
    Safe For Septic: Yes
    Pros:
    • Powerful citrus-scented foam
    • Easy-to-open packaging
    Cons:
    • May need to use more than one tablet at a time
    • Can be costly as one box only comes with 3 tablets
    Buy On Amazon
    03/04/2024 10:37 am GMT
  4. Rejuvenate Disposer and Pipe Cleaner
    4.5
    $7.97 ($1.33 / Count)

    Rejuvenate Disposer and Pipe Cleaner features super foaming deodorizing action that will instantly scrub away grease and odors. It also contains enzymes that will help break down built-up food, reducing the frequency of septic tank pumping. Septic-safe and lavender scented. Made in the U.S.A.

    Cleaning Power:
    4.5
    Ease of Use:
    4.5
    Value:
    4.5
    Our Review: Rejuvenate Disposer Cleaner pods foam up well and do a great job at eliminating odors. They are also effective at removing any backup that's lodged inside the machine. The pods themselves are also quite big, which makes it easy to see the foaming action.


    While it neutralizes smells, however, it doesn't leave much of a scent despite being lemon-scented.
    Type: Pods
    Amount: 6 Pods
    Number Of Uses: 6
    Cleaning Frequency: Once Per Month
    Scented: Yes
    Compatible With All Disposals: Yes
    Safe For Septic: Yes
    Pros:
    • Great foaming action
    • Dissolvable pods are convenient to use
    • Excellent at neutralizing smells
    Cons:
    • Doesn't leave much of a lemon scent
    Buy On Amazon
    03/04/2024 12:47 pm GMT
  5. Lemi Shine Garbage Disposal Cleaner
    4.0
    $3.99 ($1.00 / Ounce)

    Lemi Shine Disposal Cleaner is an all-natural product that's 100% powered by citric acid. Safe to use, it's effective at breaking down food scraps, grease, and build-up.

    It also features FunkGuard, a proprietary odor eliminator technology that eliminates smells at the source. EPA Safer Choice Certified. Made in the U.S.A.

    Cleaning Power:
    4.0
    Ease of Use:
    4.0
    Value:
    4.5
    Our Review: Lemi Shine Garbage Disposal Cleaner is a great option for those who are looking for something environmentally friendly. The dissolvable pods are easy to use and they’re effective at eliminating odors.


    Keep in mind, however, that you have to use the right amount of water for the tablets to foam up. If you add too much, you may not get the desired results.
    Type: Dissolvable Pods
    Amount: 2 Pods
    Number Of Uses: 2
    Cleaning Frequency: Once Per Month
    Scented: Yes
    Compatible With All Disposals: Yes
    Safe For Septic: Yes
    Pros:
    • Dissolvable pods are convenient and easy to use
    • All-natural and eco-friendly
    • Refreshing lemon scent
    Cons:
    • Foaming action depends on the amount of water added
    • One pack only comes with two pods
    Buy On Amazon
    03/04/2024 12:02 pm GMT
  6. Grab Green Garbage Disposal Cleaner Pods
    4.0
    $23.80 ($1.01 / Ounce)

    Grab Green Garbage Disposal Cleaner Pods are specifically formulated to loosen grime, tackle odors, and prevent clogging. Not only are the pods septic safe but they're also made from naturally derived plant and mineral-based ingredients.

    Cleaning Power:
    4.0
    Ease of Use:
    4.0
    Value:
    4.5
    Our Review: Grab Green Garbage Disposal Cleaner Pods are a great option for those who are looking for an eco-friendly product. They also have a refreshing tangerine and lemongrass scent, which lingers after each use.


    While the scent is nice, however, they don't foam up nearly as much as some of the other products.
    Type: Pods
    Amount: 12 Pods
    Number Of Uses: 12
    Cleaning Frequency: Twice Per Week
    Scented: Yes
    Compatible With All Disposals: Yes
    Safe For Septic: Yes
    Pros:
    • Refreshing tangerine and lemongrass scent
    • Made from all-natural ingredients
    • Easy-to-use dissolvable pods
    Cons:
    • Must be used twice a week for optimal results
    • Pods don't foam up that much
    Buy On Amazon
    03/04/2024 02:47 pm GMT
  7. Roebic Disposal Cleaner and Deodorizer
    3.5
    $18.40 ($0.58 / Fl Oz)

    Roebic Garbage Disposal Cleaner contains a combination of biodegradable surfactants and live bacteria that effectively breaks down grease and food residues. Comes with a clean fresh scent. Made in the U.S.A.

    Cleaning Power:
    4.0
    Ease of Use:
    3.0
    Value:
    3.5
    Our Review: Roebic Garbage Disposal Cleaner does a good job of neutralizing odors as long as you don't mind measuring the liquid each time. Another drawback is that it takes at least 6 hours to work, which means you can't run water during that period.
    Type: Liquid
    Amount: 946ml
    Number Of Uses: 8
    Cleaning Frequency: Use As Needed
    Scented: Yes
    Compatible With All Disposals: Yes
    Safe For Septic: Yes
    Pros:
    • Effective at neutralizing odors
    • One bottle can be used multiple times
    Cons:
    • Takes at least 6 hours to work
    • You have to measure the product each time
    Buy On Amazon
    03/04/2024 03:12 pm GMT
  8. CLR Fresh & Clean Garbage Disposal Cleaning Pods
    3.5
    $24.99 $23.08 ($1.15 / Count)

    CLR Garbage Disposal Cleaner Pods are fast-dissolving and will quickly clean all parts of the disposal unit, including the interior areas that you can't see. They can also help prevent build-up if used on a regular basis.

    Cleaning Power:
    3.5
    Ease of Use:
    3.5
    Value:
    3.5
    Our Review: CLR Garbage Disposal Cleaner Pods have a nice lemony scent, which makes them ideal if you want to deodorize the kitchen. While the pods don't foam up too much, they do do a decent job of removing smells and preventing build-up if used weekly.
    Type: Pods
    Amount: 20 Pods
    Number Of Uses: 20
    Cleaning Frequency: Once Per Week
    Scented: Yes
    Compatible With All Disposals: Yes
    Safe For Septic: Yes
    Pros:
    • Nice lemony scent
    • Pods come in a resealable pouch
    • One pack comes with 20 pods (5-month supply)
    Cons:
    • Not that much foaming action
    • Has to be used weekly for optimal results
    Buy On Amazon
    03/04/2024 03:37 pm GMT
  9. Bastion Garbage Disposal Cleaner and Deodorizer Drops
    3.0
    $19.95 $17.95 ($0.36 / Count)

    Bastion Garbage Disposal Cleaner Drops use D-Limonene, a derivative of the citrus fruit, to break up and rinse away oil and food particles. The product also comes with compact packaging, which makes it better for the environment. 

    Cleaning Power:
    2.5
    Ease of Use:
    3.5
    Value:
    3.0
    Our Review: Bastion Garbage Disposal Cleaner Drops are quick and easy to use. They also come in a resealable pouch, which makes things convenient.


    While they have a nice citrus scent, however, they're not the most efficient at removing food residues. They also resemble candy so they may not be the best choice for those with young children.
    Type: Capsules
    Amount: 50 Capsules
    Number Of Uses: 50
    Cleaning Frequency: Once Per Day
    Scented: Yes
    Compatible With All Disposals: Yes
    Safe For Septic: Yes
    Pros:
    • Capsules are quick and easy to use
    • Refreshing citrus scent
    • Comes in a resealable bag
    Cons:
    • Not the best at removing grease and food particles
    • Not ideal for those with children (capsules resemble candy)
    Buy On Amazon
    03/04/2024 03:47 pm GMT
  10. Duracare Garbage Disposal Cleaner Tablets
    3.0
    $9.99 ($1.11 / Count)

    Duracare Disposal Cleaning Tablets are formulated with a powerful scrubbing action to eliminate even the toughest grime and grease. At the same time, they'll deodorize the sink, leaving behind a fresh and clean scent.

    Cleaning Power:
    3.0
    Ease of Use:
    3.5
    Value:
    3.0
    Our Review: Duracare Garbage Disposal Cleaner Tablets are strongly scented, which makes them a good option if odor is an issue. However, they don't foam up that much compared to other brands. There also isn't much scrubbing action despite what it says on the packaging.
    Type: Tablets
    Amount: 9 Tablets
    Number Of Uses: 9
    Cleaning Frequency: Once Per Month
    Scented: Yes
    Compatible With All Disposals: Yes
    Safe For Septic: Yes
    Pros:
    • Fresh and clean scent lingers after using
    • Tablets are easy to use
    • Relatively affordable
    Cons:
    • Not much foaming action
    • Isn't the best at removing food residues and grime
    Buy On Amazon
    03/04/2024 03:57 pm GMT

And there we have it—10 of the best disposal cleaners on the market. As you can see, the ACTIVE disposal cleaner tablets take the number one spot on our list for 2024. Given how effective they are, we suggest you give them a try!

Things to Consider When Choosing The Best Disposal Cleaner

Some disposal cleaners are better than others. Here are a few things to look at when you’re choosing the best disposal cleaner in 2024.

Deodorizing Power

It’s not uncommon for odors to develop inside the garbage disposal unit; this is especially true if you use the machine regularly. Given that, you want to choose a product that will clean the internal parts as that’s where the odor-causing food waste residue tends to accumulate.

garabge disposal cleaner for bad smells This accumulation in the disposal unit can lead to not only odors but also premature wear, ineffective operations, or even complete failure of the unit resulting in the need to replace the entire disposal. With regular maintenance this should be an issue unless you go crazy and put something down your garbage disposal that you shouldn’t.

Different Formulations

Waste disposal cleaners are usually available as tablets, pods, and powders. Generally speaking, tablets and pods are more convenient to use as they don’t require any measuring. During our testing to find the best disposal cleaners we also tried some at home solutions ranging from straight vinegar, to ice plus baking soda, and an assortment of other items you could likely find in your cupboard.

Seriously a lot of people recommended that we research how to clean a garbage disposal with ice and baking soda… After trying a few options, we unfortunately realized that even the best homemade garbage disposal cleaner wasn’t nearly as effective as the commercial offerings. Due to this we decided against including homemade disposal cleaners in this ranking of the best disposal cleaners that our staff tested.

Impact on Environment

If you are someone who has a septic tank, something you really need to keep in mind is choosing a septic-safe product. That’ll ensure that it will break down properly within the tank without affecting the bacteria. Some of the best disposal cleaners are also biodegradable and that’s another factor that you’ll want to take into account.

best garbage disposal cleaners

Garbage Disposal Cleaner – Q&A

What is the best product to clean a garbage disposal?

The best cleaning product for garbage disposals is one that cleans in multiple ways. An effective waste disposal cleaner needs to remove odors while also removing the cause of the odors - usually grime caused by food residue. From our testing, ACTIVE Disposal Cleaner excels in both of these areas by eliminating odors immediately with a citrus scent and removing grime buildup within the appliance.

How do you deep clean a garbage disposal?

For those who don't want to disassemble the disposal to clean it, there are ways to deep clean a garbage disposal without taking it apart. You'll need to find a disposal cleaner that produces foam which will reach all the internal areas of the appliance (we've found that ACTIVE disposal cleaner creates a lot of foam). Run the cleaner following the instructions to fully clean the disposal. Sometimes for extra dirty disposals, you'll need to run multiple cleaning cycles initially.

Is it safe to clean garbage disposal with baking soda and vinegar?

It is generally safe to use this combination of products to clean a garbage disposal. However, there are more effective solutions like dedicated waste disposal cleaning products. Additionally, the vinegar can wear down the rubber parts of the disposal over time so we recommend using the baking soda and vinegar method sparingly.

Can I put Dawn dish soap in my garbage disposal?

You can put a small amount of dish soap into the disposal to clean it but be careful because using too much can create excess suds. There are more effective products to clean a waste disposal but using simple dish soap is better than nothing at all.

How often should you clean your garbage disposal?

Most cleaning products for garbage disposals are recommended for use every 2 weeks. This estimate varies depending on the type of cleaner and how dirty the disposal is. You can also clean your waste disposal whenever you notice foul odors coming from inside.

Is it ok to pour bleach down a garbage disposal for cleaning?

Bleach should not be used to clean kitchen waste disposals. Repeated use of bleach in the disposal can damage the internal parts over time and create issues in the drain pipes as well.

Is it better to use hot or cold water in a garbage disposal?

Generally it is recommended to only use cold water while the disposal is actively running and grinding. Using hot water can cause fats to congeal and make them stick to the blades and inner parts of the disposal, making it dirtier. So it's best to run the disposal using cold water and then run hot water afterwards if needed.

Can I use a dishwasher pod to clean my garbage disposal?

Although a disposal technically can digest a dishwasher pod, it is not a recommended method for cleaning the garbage disposal. Using a cleaner that is made specifically for waste disposals will yield better results.

Our staff didn’t stop at just reviewing garbage disposal deodorizers either! Check out all of our recent review roundups below!

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