How to Remove Bad Smells From Your Garbage Disposal

April 11, 2017 8:44 pm Published by

kitchen sink

How to Remove Bad Smells From Your Garbage Disposal

At some point, a homeowner will step into their kitchen and wonder what that horrible smell is. After spending a considerable amount of time making sure that the trash was taken out and that there is no spoiled food in the pantry or refrigerator, inevitably the homeowner will discover that their garbage disposal is the smelly culprit. How did the garbage disposal become so foul smelling, and what can the homeowner do to fix it?

How a Garbage Disposal Works
A garbage disposal is built to allow foods to pass smoothly from the sink into the waste plumbing, after pulverizing said foods. Homeowners who have garbage disposals find them handy, as they help to eliminate the amount of trash that must go into their waste bins. Only food products and food waste are meant to go into a garbage disposal, it is not meant to pulverize plastics, metals, or papers.

What Causes a Garbage Disposal to Smell?
Considering that the items fed into a garbage disposal are foods, the foul smell emanating from the disposal is strictly due to the same foods rotting. This is not to say that all homeowners have an issue with a smelly disposal, but many do at least once. As the food waste (both cooked and raw) are pulverized and flushed through the plumbing, some of the waste may collect or build up over time. As the time passes, and the waste breaks down further, the smell increases. Fortunately, there are ways a homeowner can clean their garbage disposal that is both safe and highly effective.

The Best Garbage Disposal Cleaning Methods
One trick that is used by many households around the world is the power of citric acid. This does not require a special trip to the hardware store, only the purchase of a lemon. The process is simple, only requiring a lemon and a knife. First, cut the lemon into quarters. Once the lemon is cut, feed one-quarter of the lemon into the sink and run the disposal. When the disposal has completed its chopping, stop the disposal. Repeat the process three more times with the other three-quarters of the lemon. Once you are finished, the disposal will be clean and smell lemony fresh. The citric acid that is natural to the lemon not only cuts any grease or built up food oils, but the lemon scent will overpower any foul smells.

Another method often used is the ice and salt scrub. By feeding whole ice cubes into the disposal (use a tray’s worth) followed by a few teaspoons of kosher salt, the rotting foods are frozen and scrubbed away. An additional alternative to the salt and ice scrub is a baking soda and vinegar scrub. Pour a quarter cup of baking soda into the disposal, then pour one cup of distilled white vinegar down the drain. The chemical reaction that ensues between the two components releases carbon in the form of thousands of bubbles. The bubbles naturally scrub any leftover food particles from the garbage disposal.


Be sure to share these simple steps on “How to Remove Bad Smells From Your Garbage Disposal” to any friends or family with a mysterious source of the smell in their kitchen!

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This post was written by joe