The kitchen is an area where you'll be cooking with fresh ingredients and making delicious meals; hence, it's vital to keep the kitchen area along with all of its equipment both clean and smelling fresh.
The garbage disposal, in particular, is an area that you should be cleaning regularly. If you’ve noticed that your garbage disposal is smelling a little funky, this guide can help. Here, we’ll provide you with everything you need to know about how to make your garbage disposal smell better and more.
Why Do Garbage Disposals Often Smell Bad?
Wondering why your garbage disposal is smelling bad? Here are the most likely causes:
Homemade Solutions You Can Try (Pouring Down the Sink)
To get rid of those nasty smells, here are some homemade solutions that you can try at home:
Ice is great at getting rid of foul smells. As a bonus, ice can also help with sharpening the blades of your garbage disposal. It’s also something you don’t have to go out and purchase, as it’s likely that you’ve got plenty of ice at home. Simply fill your garbage disposal with ice, let your garbage disposal do its thing, and you should be good to go.
Another great homemade solution is citrus. Simply cut either a lemon, lime, or even an orange into small pieces and place them into the running garbage disposal. The fruit should help with washing away any foul odors and replacing it with a fresh citrus smell.
Vinegar and Baking Soda
You can’t go wrong with vinegar and baking soda. All you’ve got to do is turn on your garbage disposal before pouring down a cup of dry baking soda. Then, flush the baking soda away with a cup of distilled white vinegar. Wait for a little, and the foul smells should be gone.
If you're using bleach, make sure that it's a mild product and ensure that the water is running. Then, start by pouring just a little bleach down the garbage disposal as the cold water runs, and it should both erase the scent and help to dislodge any food particles that might be stuck in the pipes.
Garbage Disposal Cleaning Products
If none of the above home remedies suit, you can also find specialty garbage disposal cleaning products that are specially designed for ensuring that your garbage disposals smell better. They're typically made with various ingredients and are good at getting rid of any nasty smells.
How To Permanently Make Your Garbage Disposal Smell Better
While the above homemade solutions are a good start to making your garbage disposal smell better, you can’t always just pour a solution down a garbage disposal and expect the smell to stay away forever.
Sometimes, there’s more effort required in cleaning a garbage disposal that smells - especially if it’s old.
Below are some recommendations on how to clean a garbage disposal that smells.
Replace the rubber collar at the top
As mold and bacteria can grow in the rubber collar of your garbage disposal and cause a foul odor, replacing the rubber collar is always a good idea. This particular rubber collar is a good option as it not only has an antimicrobial feature that will inhibit the growth of bacteria, but it'll also help to reduce the noise of your garbage disposal and prevent food and water from splashing upward.
Best of all, you can also easily remove it and place it in the dishwasher for cleaning.
Use a foaming cleanser
What it comes to how to make your garbage disposal smell better, a foaming cleaner is always a good option. This foaming cleaner comes with 40 packets and even has the addition of bleach. All you’ve got to do is place this in the disposer every month, and it’ll remove and clean that garbage disposal smell.
Use a garbage disposal brush
This universal garbage disposal brush is one of the must-haves in your kitchen when it comes to how to make a stinky garbage disposal smell better. Not only will it eliminate residual food waste inside the garbage disposal, but it’ll also help to break up any gunk and debris. Once you’re done brushing your garbage disposal, simply rinse your brush under the faucet or place it in a dishwasher, and you’re good to go.
Specialist deodorizing balls
Deodorizing balls are incredibly easy to use and one of the best solutions for how to remove odor from a garbage disposal. These deodorizing balls will not only remove sink buildup, but it’ll also effectively unclog disposals and deodorize. It's also quick and easy to use. Simply place it in the garbage disposal with some running water while turning the garbage disposal on, and you'll be all set.
Replace the disposal
If you've tried all the methods above but you can't seem to make your stinky garbage disposal smell better, it's probably time for you to replace your garbage disposal with a new one.
5 Tips for Keeping Garbage Disposals Clean
Here are a couple of tips on keeping your garbage disposal clean and preventing it from becoming smelly in the first place.
People Also Ask (FAQs)
What are the worst foods to put down a garbage disposal?
You shouldn't be putting coffee grounds down the garbage disposal as well as starchy ingredients. Also, avoid animal bones, nuts and shells, eggshells along with fruits and vegetables that are fibrous. Read our full article on what NOT to put down the food disposer.
Should you run hot or cold water down the garbage disposal?
You can run hot water down the drain after you’ve used your garbage disposal, but you should only use cold water when you’re doing the grinding process. Remember to also avoid putting grease, fat, or any fibrous waste into the garbage disposal!
Can a garbage disposal make your dishwasher stink?
In some cases, it is possible. If there are issues with the air brake, the water will go back into the dishwasher and cause it to stink. If this happens, though, it means that your garbage disposal is no longer working correctly.
Will vinegar clean a garbage disposal?
Yes, you can use vinegar as part of your home remedy. You wouldn't just be using vinegar on its own, though. Instead, you'll be combining it with baking soda. After you've poured baking soda and vinegar down your garbage disposal, let it bubble for a while before turning on the water and garbage disposal.
As seen in this article, there’s plenty that you can do to prevent your garbage disposal from emitting a foul smell. By cleaning your garbage disposal and ensuring you're not disposing of certain foods, you'll be able to maintain the condition of your garbage disposal and ensure that it'll last for many years to come.
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.