Anyone who has garbage disposal knows one thing or two about the awful smell it sometimes develops. You will have to get rid of the smell from time to time.
In fact, of all problems that the garbage disposal has, smelling is one problem that you will always hear of.
The good thing is that you don’t have to worry about it because often it’s something you can clear by just cleaning the disposer right.
Remember, sometimes the food may stick on the walls, gasket, and blades. Over time this will begin to smell.
Sadly, when the smell is so strong, it gets hard to work in the kitchen, let alone sit in the house. With the article, you will learn how to get rid of the smell.
Why Does the Garbage Disposal Smell?
Before you can get rid of the bad odor completely, you need to know why it smells like it does. Don’t take the manufacturers word for it, while you may dispose a lot of food waste into the disposal. Some will cause the bad odor.
If you take, for example, some very rotten meat and put them in the disposer, it will bring back the bad odor. You shouldn’t throw anything like chicken bones (Check out the complete guide Garbage Disposal Dos and Don’ts )and meat in the disposer. That’s unless you have them in very tiny pieces.
Sometimes you may be dealing with a clog
When there’s a clog, the smell might be inevitable. Remember, it takes long before the clog forms. That means that the food particles have been attaching on each other for a while.
Therefore, if you don’t get rid of the clog whether it’s in the drain line or under the blade, it will begin to smell.
You could have a clog in the drain line or vent. This clog can back up into the sink and be the cause of the bad smell you have now. This gives you a single option, which is to get rid of the lousy clog in the vent.
You will use the disposal, but unless you clean it thoroughly every once in a while, it will begin to smell. It’s only in the thorough cleaning that you will get rid of the formed gunk and dirt. When cleaning, you should clean the gasket and sink flange among other different parts.
Is it getting old?
When the disposer reaches its last leg, it starts to exhibit all the different kinds of problems that need repair. If it’s old and almost failing sometimes, it gets hard to get rid of the smell clogs and jams too.
How to Get Rid of The Smell Completely?
There are several ways to get rid of the smell, but below are the best options to use. We will highlight to you the most natural choices to take. And more specifically the ones that you can do daily.
What you will need
- Kosher salt/rock salt
- Ice cubes
- The dish soaps
Remember, you will need to thoroughly clean the garbage disposal to get rid of the bad order. So, to begin, use the disposer brush and the dish soap to clear the visible gunk. Scrub it nicely making sure that you clean even the gasket.
You can do this at the very beginning or the end. It’s all a personal preference but I often do it at the end.
While we always say use a lot of water for the process, sometimes the water won’t reach all the parts of the disposer. Therefore, you should soak, and by that, I mean, block the drainage so that the water remains in the disposer for a few hours.
So then block the sink drainage and run the water to almost ¾ full depending on the size of the sink. Add some dish soap and vinegar. Alternatively, use just vinegar.
Then release water into the disposer and go on to switch on the disposer for it to start running. This will help to splash the water all through the disposer. Hopefully, this will make the water reach even the cervices.
Add the kosher salt or rock salt
Since you sometimes can’t get rid of all the food residue, the salt will act as a scouring powder. In this case, it acts as an abrasive powder.
Add the ice cubes to fill the disposal then add a cup of kosher salt. Switch on the garbage disposal and let it grind it. This will help to crush the remaining residue that’s in the disposer. Hopefully, it will eventually get rid of the gunk or even the clog.
Finish this off by adding the lemon rinds. If you wish you can add the citrus juice to help to get rid of the rust. The disposer will smell perfect and sweet after that.
Baking soda and vinegar
These will give your disposal a power clean which then gives it no room for that awful smell.
The process is easy as you only need to pour a cup of baking soda into the garbage disposal. Some people let it sit in the disposer for about 30 minutes before adding the vinegar. The soda acts as a scouring powder. It cleans even the hardest parts to clean.
The cup of vinegar you add on the baking soda will allow it to form a strong chemical reaction. This is a foam that clears out all the waste and dirt but also the bad odor. Therefore, the vinegar becomes your deodorizer.
Ice cubes and vinegar
Sometimes you may have to use the vinegar in the place of the salt. This is where the ice cubes scrub out the gunk, and the vinegar acts as a deodorizer. At the same time, the vinegar will kill germs and give your disposal a power clean.
It will clean the blades getting rid of all the buildup. In the end, the smell has no room in disposal that clears all the dirt.
Use only the lemon peels
The best deodorizer you can ever use is the lemon peels. If you know the disposal is clean, you can grind in the rinds to clear of the bad odor. It feels like a temporary option yet, it’s quite useful.
So, run the cold water into the disposal once you clean it and then let the lemon rinds in and let it grind it for a few seconds before you let it drain out.
If you can do this frequently, it will only be a matter of time before the bad odor ultimately leaves the disposal.
Tips to Keep the Disposal Odor Free
Use citrus fruits
If you can put the citrus fruits in the disposer, it will naturally deodorize the garbage disposal. Lemon and lime are some of the fruits you can use in the disposer.
Know what to put in the disposer
You shouldn’t put every other food in the disposer. Don’t put the rotten food scraps because it will leave behind a strong odor.
Clean the rubber gasket
It will hold the smell, especially when it has gotten old. Therefore, after some time you need to change the gasket. This will make it easy to clean and tone down the smell.
Use the garbage disposal then clean it
The good thing about the disposal unit is that it will clean the inner parts of the garbage disposal. It will even help you in getting rid of the gunk.
Remember, sometimes the smell is not from inside the disposal but from the lid of the disposer. Always clean the cover thus getting rid of gunk. In short, ensure you clean all the parts of the disposal and not only the inside.
Some store-bought products
There are quite several store-bought products that have the right ingredients to clean and get rid of the odor. Just make sure you only choose the product that is meant for the garbage disposal.
Clean even the drainage
You should give your disposal a power clean, but if you don’t take care for the drainage it will still keep smelling. So, ensure your drainage is free of any clogs or gunk. This you can do by just running enough water into the disposal.
The way to go about it is filling the sink up to a ¾ level then let it all flow into the drainage pipes. The force will push out all form of waste and clogs.
Another thing that will keep the odor at bay is taking adequate care of the disposal. So, the way to go about it is by cleaning the disposal unit monthly or twice in a month.
Also, you can use the dish soap and water to clean the disposer every time you use the disposer to grind the food.
Don’t forget that the disposal is not a trash can
Not everything will go into the disposer; otherwise, it will have a lingering smell even when you wash it every time. Know what to put in and what never to put in the disposer. You will still have the garbage can so use it for the prohibited foodstuffs.
Its quite easy to keep the disposal clean, especially when you know the products to use. You can use all the above suggestion. But remember that sometimes the smell will linger on. If it does then you should check its sewer and drain line.
Also, it might be an indication that the disposer has worn out. You will, therefore, need to buy a new one. But before you do consult with the plumber for better advice.