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5 Simple Ways to Control Your Disposal’s Bad Odors

December 23rd, 2020

5 Simple ways to control your disposalIt is well-known that garbage disposal unit is a contemporary device, typically electrically powered and installed under a kitchen sink between the sink’s drain and the trap. When you drop food waste into the kitchen sink, the garbage disposal is meant to shred it into pieces small enough (usually less than 2 mm (0.079 inches)) to pass through pipes and not clog them. As a result your kitchen sink is kept clean and tidy. Seems pretty simple, isn’t it?

However, the inside parts of the disposal frequently collect spoiled food leftovers and bacteria over time, which can produce a very unpleasant smell coming from your sink. It is no surprise since food can get trapped in the disposal blades or under the lid and rot if not ground properly. Sometimes the disposal starts to stink after you put meal leftovers that were cooked with onions or garlic there.

No matter what is the reason for bad smells emerging from your sink, it is necessary to know how to control and kill the odor before it spreads to the entire kitchen and next rooms.

The following are five simple tips on how to eliminate garbage disposal smells in your kitchen and have your entire house smell fresh. Check the garbage disposal instruction manual before applying any of these tips to prevent any surprises.

1. Hot water and dish soap

Put a stopper in the kitchen sink and fill it with hot, soapy water. Turn the disposal on and unplug the sink to let the water flush through while the garbage disposal is running. This is the first step, which might do the trick!

2. Ice cubes, unrefined salt, and lemon peels

The next step would be to clean the disposal blades of remaining greasy food particles. Try this concoction – combine ice cubes, unrefined salt, and lemon. The ice helps to get food off the grinder while the salt cleans the sides. Repeat the flushing and then grind up a few lemon peels down the disposal for fresh odor.

3. Baking soda and vinegar

If the odor evaporating from your disposal unit is too strong, try to pour 1 cup of dry baking soda and a cup of distilled white vinegar down the drain and turn on the garbage disposal. This should eliminate unpleasant odors from your disposal.

4. Chemical products

A chemical solution is another option to turn to for cleaning your garbage disposal. There are many companies that sell freshening and antibacterial products specifically designed to clean the garbage disposal. If you do choose the chemical product, DO NOT use a regular drain cleaner! It contains some corrosive ingredients that can harm the blades and machinery inside garbage disposals, shortening their time of service.

5. Clean the Disposal Lid

Maybe it is obvious for some homeowners but unfortunately not all of them clean the top of their garbage disposal units. Regularly wash your disposal lid with soap, water and a brush to get rid of any remaining food parts. The smell might originate from the disposal lid itself.

NB: To minimize the recurring smells, always run cold water when grinding food leftovers in the garbage disposal. If you run hot water down the drain when your disposal is on, it only turns grease to liquid, helping it accumulate and clog your drain as a result.

In case if the mentioned tips didn’t work and the bad smells keep returning, it will be best to call a professional plumber who would inspect your garbage disposal for any inconsistencies in its operation. At Norwalk/La Mirada Plumbing Heating & Air Conditioning our trained and trustworthy plumbers will gladly check your garbage disposal for any problems and offer you the possible solutions.


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