How Get Rid Of The Garbage Disposal Smell 

 September 20, 2020

By  Xion Lab

How do you get rid of the garbage disposal smell?

Garbage Disposal Smell The garbage disposal in your home is the electrical unit installed under your kitchen sink between the sinks’ drain and its trap.

This is where the remnants from your plates, bowls, and serving dishes go. This is one of the most efficient ways to dispose of the little chunks of garbage that come right off the plate.

However, inefficient care of the disposal route may end with the garbage disposal, making you suffer a lot more than making your life easier.

You may, at first, ignore the warning signs that your garbage disposal might be sending you, but the more you ignore it, the worse it gets. There will come a time when you will be hit by the smell as soon as you enter your home. You may not realize this, but you and your family are at much greater risk if you do not fix this problem instantly.

The reason that the stink from your garbage disposal is wafting into your room is that the bacteria from the sink to which the food has attached itself to and rotted in are released into the air that you and your family are breathing in.

The garbage disposal in your home is one of the leading causes of bacteria builds up. As the bacteria grow, it can take over your entire sink. What makes the situation worse is that since the sink is often hot and damp, and its improper cleaning or disinfection can lead to molds growing in it. This does not only corrupt the air in your home but also contaminates the water with which you wash the dishes.

Reasons why your garbage disposal smells so foul

  • If you are disposing of a great bulk of food down the drain, there is a chance that a lot of it is getting stuck in the disposal itself, and when you fail to clean the disposal properly, it starts to emit an unpleasant scent of rotting food.
  • Another reason is that when you are cleaning, you are not doing it correctly. You may think that giving it a little rinse and splashing some water in it may clean up the disposal thoroughly, but that is not true. It might get rid of some of the food waste, but the rinsing fails to get out the stubborn food particles that might have attached themselves rigidly to the chute.
  • You might not be aware of the fact that your disposal is clogged. There are times when a piece of food can get lodged somewhere and does not let the rest of the food pass through easily. You might not be able to notice the lodged food until your house starts smelling.

Avoid the problem from the start

The garbage disposal is, perhaps, one of the most useful items present in your kitchen; however, it is prone to break down when misused. This might cause the garbage that you have thrown into the disposal to stay there for prolonged periods of time. There are a lot of signs that your garbage disposal has sustained a breakdown, such as abnormal noises from the appliance; however, the most prominent and worse symptom of garbage disposal breaks down is when there is an extremely foul scent invading your home.

There are some precautions that you can take in order to avoid all the above-mentioned problems from occurring with your garbage disposal chute:

  • The garbage disposal is only made for food to be unloaded into it to be disposed of. If you put in items that are not organic matter, then your garbage disposal will surely get destroyed or at least clogged without you knowing it. Do not throw in things such as cigarette butts or items made of paper, metal, glass, or plastic.
  • If you find that there are some pieces of food that might be a little too big to easily slide down the drain, then make it a point to cut the food into pieces and then throw it in the disposal.
  • There are some organic things you may even need to steer clear of. Just because it is organic does not mean that it can be disposed of. Things like banana peels’ celery sticks, eggshells, onion skin, and large chunks of lettuce should be avoided when disposing of the organic matter. Pasta, rice, and noodles tend to stick together and clog the drain if too much is thrown in.
  • When you turn on the disposal unit, make sure that it is cold water since hot water can dissolve the grease that may be present in the disposal pipe, even though it may seem like a good idea. Also, start disposing of waste by throwing one thing at a time; too much of waste at once will close up the passageway.
  • You can sharpen the blades of the garbage disposal by tossing in some ice cubes whilst running cold water; this cleans the blades as well as sharpens them.
  • Invest in a good de-greaser, which will help in wiping out unwanted accumulated grease. You can either buy a de-greaser with citrus scent or use citrus peels on a regular basis to keep the unit smelling fresh and clean.

How to get rid of the garbage disposal smell?

There are a lot of tried and approved methods of getting rid of the garbage disposal smell:

Hot water and soap

Close the gap of the sink by putting a sink stopper, gather hot water in it, and then take out the sink blocker with a pair of tongs. Turn on the disposal before removing the stopper, and then let the water flush through. The hot water will dislodge the grease that has been built up inside the disposal chute, and the dishwashing soap will clean the remaining grease off the walls of the disposal.

Although it was suggested above that you should turn on the hot water when disposing of the food items, this scenario is different. If you use hot water when disposing of the food, then the grease on it would also become liquefied, detach from it, and cling to the garbage disposal chute. But, when that is done without the presence of any food, then the grease that was present previously will be the one being targeted.

Ice, salt, and lemon peels

Adding to the above-mentioned method of cleaning blades with ice, this is a variation of that includes adding coarse salt and lemon peels to the mix. The coarse salt will scrub the blades of any food particles present, ice cubes will sharpen the blades, and the lemon peels will terminate the foul smell of garbage.

Vinegar and lemon ice cubes

Vinegar has long been a chief ingredient in dozens of home cleaning mixes due to its rapid sterilization properties; the same goes for lemon. Homemade and commercially made cleaning products have always had lemon juice infused in them due to its capabilities of being able to cut even the most headstrong of dirt, grease, and food particles. Hence, this mixture of vinegar and lemon ice cube mix is a must-have for your garbage disposal cleaning needs. Slice a lemon into small pieces and squeeze some of its juice in a small muffin cup. Then throw in the lemon wedges themselves in the cup and then add white vinegar into it. Put the cup in the freezer and wait for the mixture to become ic, overnight. Then remove the cubes from the tray and cast them into the disposal chute, run a low stream of water and then turn on the garbage disposal.

Vinegar and baking soda

Another method that you can try is the baking soda and vinegar method, baking soda has been known to be a remarkable cleaning agent, and it has been used alongside vinegar to diminish the most tenacious of stains and related matter.

Lift the rubber flap of the garbage disposal and pour in one-half cup of baking soda into the disposal chute. Fill the entire disposal with the agent until you feel you cannot add any more to it. After that, add half a cup of vinegar down the drain and then let the mixture sit in the disposal for one hour after the hour passes, turn on the disposal,l and run cold water for a minute. Do keep in mind that you should not use this method every time you clean the garbage disposal since vinegar is very acidic, and its overuse may cause damage to your appliance.

Only baking soda

If you are feeling apprehensive about using vinegar, especially if you have previously used it to clean up the garbage disposal, then you can use baking soda on its own. Baking soda can single-handedly help you get rid of problems with the drains too. All you have to doIi, completely fill the disposal with baking soda, and then flush it with warm water. It will not only clean your disposal but also eliminate the odors exuding from it.


If the issues with your garbage disposal are in its initial stages and you have already discovered them, then you can also use a mouthwash. Mouthwashes are known for instantly eliminating bacteria from your mouth, also caused by food. There is a good chance that they might work the same way if your garbage disposal is giving off a slightly foul smell. Just fill-up garbage disposal to the top and let it sit there for a whole minute. Then turn on the disposal and let the mouthwash flush down the chute. This will leave your garbage disposal looking clean and smelling minty fresh.


Also known as sodium borate or sodium tetraborate, Borax is a naturally occurring mineral that is often a part of a lot of commercial cleaning products. It is an agent that is used in toothpaste, cosmetics, laundry boosters, and dishwashing soap. It is also sold in powder form so that you can use it conveniently wherever you wish to.

In order to clean out your garbage disposal using Borax, pour three to four tablespoons of the mineral down the chute and let it sit there for one hour. Then pour in hot water and rinse it out.

Cleaning the visible parts of the appliance

You may have concentrated completely on the internal organs of the garbage disposal, but be careful not to avoid the exterior parts of the disposal. This could be the top ring of the disposal or the inner chute of the disposal that might be visible to you. Once you have soaked the garbage disposal in the cleaning agents, before running the water, scrub out the parts that you can see and reach safely.

On a long slender scrub brush, pour generous amounts of dishwashing soap and scrub the easily accessible parts of the garbage disposal.


You can also use a mild bleach or a fragrant one (mildly fragrant) to dislodge the trapped food particle, liquefy grease, and kill rotten food odors. Just pour liberal amounts of bleach down the garbage disposal alongside cold water.

Store-Bought Cleaners

There are dozens of store-bought cleaners that you can use, which are infused with the right materials that would safely and effectively clean off your garbage disposal.

Hire Outside Help

If you have tried all the ways mentioned above and still cannot find a way to get rid of that hideous smell, then it is best that you call the experts. XionLab can help you cleaning your garbage disposal in a matter of seconds.

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