I've been engaging in a bit of fall cleaning. For some reason, I'm more inclined to do so as we prepare to go into the holidays and cold months than I am in the more traditionally-acknowledged season for deep cleaning--spring. Maybe it's because this is the time of year when we have more guests over or simply because we tend to turn more inward during these months. Of course, this entire year has felt that way.

The kitchen is often given the most attention when it comes to cleaning--and for good reason. This is often the heart of the home, where people want to gather, and where you are preparing food. So, it's best to keep things as hygienic as possible. Often neglected? Our kitchen garbage disposals.

They do so much. They dispose of our kitchen scraps like magic and don't usually require much maintenance. BUT. Although it's not a pleasant thought, it's good to remember little bits of those scraps accumulate over time. Over too much time, and you may notice strange smells coming from that magic hole in your sink. Thankfully, cleaning it doesn't take too much effort. Here's the "recipe" for cleaning it quickly and effectively:

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Put a few ice cubes down the drain, followed by about a tablespoon of that magical solution we call baking soda. Then add a few lemon wedges and a small amount of bleach--say, a teaspoon. (SMALL amount--a tiny bit will do the job.) Then add several more ice cubes. Turn on your disposal and let it grind for a bit, before turning on the water. Once the grinding is lessened, run cold water while the disposal continues to run.

Don't forget about the splash guard, which often becomes quite dirty, too. After unplugging, remove it if you can. Cleanse thoroughly with more baking soda and warmer temped-water. You can also often put it in the dishwasher. (Check and make sure, though.)

Ta-Da! Enjoy your clean disposal. It seems like a little thing, but cleaning this can make your whole house smell better, just in time for all of those holiday gatherings.