Informational Guide

Can You Put Orange Peels In A Garbage Disposal?

See if oranges can be put in a garbage disposal with our complete guide. Learn more about citrus, drain and sinks.

by Ian Haynes

Whether you are trying out a new recipe or making an old favorite, you are bound to have some food waste. While your garbage disposal system can handle many things thrown its way, not all foods are suitable.

Orange peels have essential oils in their skin that can easily cut through grease and fat to clean your garbage disposal. These oils also release a pleasant citrus aroma that can deodorize your kitchen and remove unpleasant smells.

Suppose you want to try putting orange peels in the garbage disposal. In that case, we recommend cutting them into small pieces to avoid clogging your system and flushing them down there with cold water.

It is possible to do it without the water – try both and see which works best for you. The deeper the disposer, the smaller the pieces should be.

orange peel

How to Clean Garbage Disposal with Orange Peels?

Can orange peels go in the garbage disposal? Yes, with proper care, they can effectively deal with grease build-ups and unpleasant odors. There are a few ways to try cleaning with orange peels, including:

The orange peel method:

  • Cut orange peels into wedges.
  • Turn your disposal system on and put the wedges down there one at a time.
  • Let the system grind for around a minute while running cool water through your system.

The ice and orange peel method:

  • Pour a bowl of ice cubes and one cup of chopped orange peels into the disposal.
  • Run your cold water and the disposal for 30 seconds.
  • Turn off the disposal.
  • Rinse your system with hot water for around 15 seconds.

The orange cleaner method:

  • Put ¾ cup of white vinegar into a jar.
  • Add four drops of citrus essential oils into the jar.
  • Put two medium oranges worth of chopped peels inside the jar.
  • Add ¼ cup of vinegar to the jar if necessary.
  • Put the lid on and let sit for 24 hours minimum.
  • Pour the contents into your garbage disposal while it's running and rinse with warm water.
  • Turn off the disposal.
  • Run cold water for around 15 seconds to flush any remaining food.

Uses of Orange Peels: Kitchen Cleaning Aide

Natural Sponge

The essential oils released when orange peels are cut easily removes any grease and fat stuck to the sides of your disposal.

Air Freshener/Deodorizer

By boiling orange peels or drying and burning them, you can create a pleasant citrus aroma in your kitchen or bathroom. Alternatively, putting a little salt on the peels can make a great smell.

Natural Cleaner

It is possible to make orange peel vinegar for a natural homemade cleaning alternative. There are various recipes and tips to try if you are interested; we recommend using something like this.

Other Ways to Remove Nasty Smell from Garbage Disposal

Baking Soda & Vinegar

Pour half a cup of soda and vinegar into the garbage disposal. Cover the drain if possible and leave to soak for a few minutes. Once this time has passed, pour a kettle's worth of hot water down the drain to flush it.

Foaming Cleaner

You can find plenty of commercial-grade disposal cleaners to cut through any nasty clogs or smells. Read the product description carefully to ensure that the cleaner you have in mind is right. We recommend trying a foaming cleaner for gentle but effective cleaning.

Iced Cubes

It may seem odd to put ice cubes into your disposal, but there are plenty of benefits. The ice can remove stuck-on food from the blades and simultaneously sharpen the edges for optimal functionality. They can also knock or shake off other food pieces on their journey through your disposal system.


Can orange peels be composted?

Yes, they can. As they break down, phosphorus, nitrogen, and potassium, among other vital nutrients, are added to the compost heap.

Can dried orange peels remove smells in the kitchen?

Yes, they can be either left as is or burnt for a more potent fragrance.

Do other citrus fruits work in the same way?

Lemon works in a similar way to orange peels to clean and deodorize your disposal. However, we do not recommend using other citrus fruits the same way due to clogging or lack of effectiveness.


Orange peels present a simple, natural, and pleasant way to clean your garbage disposal and create a pleasant smell in your home.

Give some of our solutions above a try to see if they work for you. If you are looking for more garbage disposal tips and tricks, you can find plenty of articles on our website.

Ian Haynes is an expert writer who has successfully deployed over 500 plumbing pages and other related content. He has an excellent understanding of home plumbing issues and translates his experiences via Plumbing Lab so readers can have a better understanding of common household problems. Outside of his work, Ian likes exploring Brooklyn with his Labrador.