I Tried the Bestselling Garbage Disposal Cleaner on Amazon — Here’s My Honest Review

updated Feb 18, 2021
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Someone holding garbage disposer tablets over sink.
Credit: Sarah Crowley

The idea of cleaning the appliances that exist just to clean other things was quite the revelation for me. It had simply never occurred to me that the dishwasher or garbage disposal needed a scrubbing. However, I recently noticed funky fumes coming from my sink. After a year of non-stop cooking, I shouldn’t have been surprised that this supposed self-cleaning appliance needed some special attention.

I went on the attack with all the home remedies I could find, from drizzling dish soap down the drain to grinding lemon peels through the gears. But the sink stink stuck. I searched on Amazon for the answer and decided that the more than 7,800 people who reviewed the best selling garbage disposal cleaner couldn’t be wrong. I quickly added the cleaner to my cart, and here’s what happened next.

Credit: Sarah Crowley

The cleaner could not have arrived at a better time: right after testing recipes for Kitchn’s Garlic Week. The aroma coming from my sink was … extra-pungent.

Glisten’s Disposer Care Freshener promises to clean the gunk from the gears and freshen the scent. The pellets are impossibly easy to use. First, turn on the hot water and run the disposal to make sure all of the food is ground and washed away. Flip the switch to turn off the garbage disposal and slow the water pressure to a steady stream. Drop one of the tablets down the drain, then run the disposal for 15 seconds. That’s it!

Credit: Patty Catalano

The biggest drawback from my DIY cleaning attempts: the ear-crushing noise that the disposal made when breaking down ice cubes or lemon halves. These shiny spheres make much less noise while quickly replacing stinky odors with a citrusy scent that made me crave Lemonheads. The lemon scent lingers, too. In a good way! It’s most fragrant in the first few hours after use, becoming stronger again whenever the hot water runs.

A quick safety note: As a mom to two young kids, I always keep gel-packed cleaners like these out of reach — especially ones that so clearly resemble sweets. I was happy to note that the capsules contain a bitter flavoring to prevent young ones from ingesting the product.

While the product is intended for daily use, I’ve found that if I run the disposal for a minute with hot water running after doing the dishes, I can go a week between cleanings (unless I’ve added something especially pungent down the drain). That means this 10-pack of garbage disposal tablets should last several more weeks! At less than $4 a package, this cleaner is worth every penny to keep my garbage disposal in shape and my sink smelling fresh.

How do you clean your garbage disposal?