Kitchen garbage disposals have been available commercially in the U.S. since the 1940s. These units are electrically charged devices installed under the kitchen sink to grind all the kitchen waste into tiny pieces and dispose of it through the drain pipes.
Garbage Disposal in the U.S. Kitchens
Considering the convenience provided by garbage disposals, it’s not at all surprising that these units are installed in more than 50% of the homes in the U.S.
People who have grown used to having a garbage disposal in their kitchens cannot imagine their lives without these units now. Garbage disposals not only make your lives comfortable in the kitchens, but they also don’t let you worry about throwing your kitchen waste down the garbage chute every day.
The Necessary Maintenance of the Garbage Disposal
However, like every mechanical unit, kitchen garbage disposals also require proper and frequent maintenance so that they keep working correctly without troubling you. Another reason why the supervision of your garbage disposal is so essential is to keep it from stinking. If you don’t attend to your garbage disposal’s cleanliness, very soon, you can expect it to start stinking. If the odor persists, it’s going to make it very difficult for you to stand in the kitchen near the sink and work.
Many people must have experienced these foul smells emitting from their garbage disposal. Have you ever cared to know what makes your garbage disposal stink? This unpleasant smell emits from your garbage disposal because there are unprocessed food particles in the garbage disposal. These particles begin to pile up and begin to rot, causing the smell. This rotten environment gives the bacteria a perfect place to grow and contribute more to the already horrid smell.
This stench in your garbage disposal is nothing new and nothing to worry about as well. There are effective ways to resolve them. The best thing about these remedies is that they are home-based. They don’t cost you much, and you can get rid of foul odor in garbage disposal quickly in practically no time and prevent the smell from diffusing in your kitchen.
But before we discuss those home remedies, it’s essential to understand the root cause of the garbage disposal odor in detail so that you know what you’re with the deal. Let’s delve a little deeper into the reasons behind the foul smells from the overused and poorly maintained garbage disposals.
Why Does the Garbage Disposal Smell?
If you want to know how to get rid of foul odor in the garbage disposal, you will first understand its cause. There is more than one reason that promotes the emission of this uncompromising smell from your garbage disposal.
All the garbage disposals are designed for grinding the kitchen waste and disposing of it. There are blades in the unit that grind the waste into tiny pieces to be quickly drained through the pipes without causing any blockages. But if you’ve been using your garbage disposal for sufficient time, then you must have disposed of a lot of waste down the drain. That is what’s probably causing the smell. It’s all because of the food particles and remains that get stuck in the garbage disposal grinder blades and begin rotating. Their improper disposal becomes the number one reason why your garbage disposal begins to stink after a month or two, exceptionally if it’s not correctly maintained and cleaned.
It’s not just the blades of the garbage disposal which traps the food particles. Unprocessed food residue can also get stuck under the lid, near the rims, and in the garbage disposal’s shallow ducts. Now that we know what makes the garbage disposal smell so bad, it’s time to proceed and learn how to eliminate foul odor in the garbage disposal.
Of course, there so many products available in the market that you can use for this purpose, but why go for expensive ways when you have the choice to go with these cost-effective and easy home remedies. These solutions are some of the best and proven methods that will leave your kitchen garbage disposal to stink-free, making it smell fresh and clean.
So let’s get to these methods one by one and discuss them in detail.
1- Dish Soap & Hot Water
The first thought that must’ve rushed to your mind after reading water and soap would be, can a combination of these two things help get rid of foul odor in the garbage disposal? But when you think about getting rid of foul odor in the garbage disposal, this happens to be the most straightforward remedy. Like we discussed above, one of the primary reasons behind the garbage disposal smell is a possible clog somewhere in the unit. Well, guess what, hot water happens to be perfect for this kind of clog. Mixing dish soap with hot water will dislodge all the stuck particles and open up the drains’ blockages.
There are two ways in which you can use this remedy. The first way is to block your sink drain with a plug, fill it with hot water and add several squirts of dish soap and let it mix. Then pull the drain open and let the water flow through it. The second way is also an easy one. You can fill a jug with hot boiling water, add some dish soap in it and pour it down the sink slowly.
In case you’re wondering, here’s how this remedy works. When the clog passes, the hot boiling water softens all the greasy and oily particles that have hardened in the drain and wash them away. And the dishwashing soap provides some extra aid in cleaning and leaves a pleasant smell behind.
And you know what works the best? Instead of using this remedy when your garbage disposal has already started to stink, you must practice this remedy at least twice a week to avoid the odor in the first place. This remedy also happens to be a perfect preventative measure.
2- Rock Salt & Ice Cubes
It is the most common remedy to get rid of foul odor in the garbage disposal. It’s highly likely that you’ll come across this method the most when you browse the internet for some of the best remedies to free your garbage disposal from the unbearable stench it’s emitting.
Considering that ice doesn’t have any pleasant smell to leave behind in the cleaning process, it’s still excellent to clear the odor coming from your garbage disposal. You can use this remedy by tossing around two cups of ice cubes in the garbage disposal and turning the on unit. Make sure you throw one cup of rock salt with ice as well. Then let the garbage disposal grind the ice cubes for at least 10 to 15 seconds. The garbage disposal blades will break the ice into tiny shards that will remove any stuck waste particles in the disposal unit. And the rock salt that you’ve used will act as a disinfectant, cleaning all the bacteria growing in the garbage disposal and down the drain.
If you’ve run out of rock salt for some reason, you can use this remedy by substituting salt with white vinegar. The proportion of the two contents will remain the same as two cups of ice and one white vinegar cup. Don’t forget to turn on the garbage disposal when you’re tossing the ice cubes and vinegar in it. This alternative method is every bit as effective as the first one because vinegar also happens to be a natural disinfectant like rock salt.
Before we move on, you must know that you can benefit from an added advantage by using this remedy to eliminate foul odor in the garbage disposal. That additional advantage is that the ice cubes will make the grinding blades of your garbage disposal sharp again. It will make your garbage disposal more significant than it was and will grind the waste more effectively.
3- Baking Soda & Vinegar
It is another one of the book’s oldest home remedies on how to get rid of foul odor in the garbage disposal. It also happens to be the method that is recommended by plumbers as well.
All you need to do to implement this remedy is to arrange for a half cup of baking soda and a half cup of vinegar. Then dispense the baking soda down the garbage disposal first, and then pour in the vinegar. Leave it for about 10 to 15 seconds, then turn the garbage disposal on and run the hot water down for about 30 more seconds.
The acid in vinegar happens to be a natural deodorizer and also helps to kill the bacteria. The acid will melt and remove the gunk in the garbage disposal and flush it down the drain.
But this remedy comes with a word of caution. Although it’s practical, it might not be suitable for regular use. Even though it’s less corrosive than other chemicals, the acid in vinegar can damage the rubber parts of the garbage disposal if used frequently.
Do lemon rinds happen to be another popular answer to getting rid of foul odor in the garbage disposal? It’s primarily because of its scent that it leaves behind.
The properties of lemon, together with its fresh smell, are one of the best ways to fight and defeat the stink coming from your garbage disposal unit. It’s always good to know that with just a few pieces of lemon, this awful scent that has permeated your kitchen can be replaced with a more refreshing and citrusy aroma of lemon. To benefit from this remedy, slice two lemons into half-inch slices and toss them down your garbage disposal.
Turn on the hot water and switch the garbage disposal on as well. Make sure you let the garbage disposal run until the lemon rinds have been ground into smaller pieces. It will take about 10 to 15 seconds. Once the lemon rinds have been squeezed in the garbage disposal, its acid will cut all the greasy remains. When the process is done, you’ll get a sense of cleanliness with the fresh lemon scent.
If you don’t like the lemon scent, you can use some other citrus fruit, like oranges and grapefruits.
5- Clean the Removable Parts
The blades of the garbage disposal shred the food waste that passes down the drain. Some food gets stuck under the lid near the garbage disposal unit area is attached to the drain pipe. Before we move on to learn how to get rid of foul odor in garbage disposal by cleaning the removable parts of the disposal unit, you must never forget to turn the team off first.
The best way of cleaning the removable parts of the garbage disposal is to dismantle them first and clean them thoroughly with some dish soap, using a toothbrush. Also, it helps if you put these parts under hot water to wash away all the stuck food remains.
As for the drain pipes’ insides, you can use a long bottle cleaner to clean them. Cover the cleaner with dish soap and insert it down the drain to remove any food residue that has hardened over time. Make sure you leave the hot water running for as long as you’re cleaning the insides of the garbage disposal.
If the Problem Continues
Sometimes it’s tough to remove the stench altogether from the garbage disposal. You may feel that the stench persists after you’ve used all the available remedies.
There’s no need to be worried about how to get rid of foul odor in the garbage disposal. It merely means that your garbage disposal needs a cleaning that has more substantial effects than these remedies. In such a situation, you should purchase some unique products from the nearest home improvement store.
The wide variety of products for such cleaning purposes will provide the deep and robust cleaning that your garbage disposal needs, making your disposal unit and kitchen smell friendly again!