How to Remove Odor from the Garbage Disposal: A Complete Walkthrough 

 September 9, 2020

By  Xion Lab

Did you Wonder How To Remove Odor from the Garbage Disposal For Good?

Garbage disposals are sometimes directly responsible for simplifying the activity taking place in the kitchen space. It is surely one of the best ways to eliminate all the food waste of the kitchen by rerouting it in one location, ready for recycling. Since food waste starts decomposing very quickly, disposing it within your kitchen bin would make the whole place stink, which is not a great option.

Garbage disposals also play a major role in protecting the environment as they can help reduce carbon emissions. Since you are disposing of your food waste, the decreased pressure on garbage collection also decreases methane emissions from the garbage truck. It helps to save time, reduce costs, and decrease the overall trash.

Despite all these benefits of the appliance, it does have one big problem. The overuse of the machine can result in an odor coming from the garbage disposal. Sometimes during use, food waste can become stuck in the internal parts of the garbage disposal system. Food bacteria can begin to collect and start to mold, emitting an odor from the garbage disposal system.

This smell can be quite a nuisance to deal with, but the good news is that this problem is an easy one to solve. The guide below presents several answers on how to remove odors from the garbage disposal.

The Most Efficient and Safest Way to Remove Odor from the Garbage Disposal

How to Remove Odor from the Garbage Disposal


Drainage Systems Can Use a Soaking

Using water while the garbage disposal is on is sometimes the best way to flush out the system, but the garbage disposal could still be stinking for other reasons. To remove odor from the garbage disposal completely, it can be a good idea to soak the drainage system of the machine. This can clean up the internal system quite effectively and removes the cause for the smell.

The procedure starts by plugging the drain of the sink and filling the sink halfway with water. Then proceed to add a little bit of dish soap, as well as vinegar. The vinegar can help to remove odor from the garbage disposal as well as burn out any clogs that may be in the system.

Now just unplug the sink and let the mixture travel through the drainage system. Leave the solution in the system for a while to do its job properly before turning on the garbage disposal. Have the water running while the garbage disposal is on to wash out all the soapy water and vinegar effectively.

Unclogging the Garbage Disposal

One of the methods you need to try before any other is unclogging the pipes of the machine to remove odor from the garbage disposal. Usually, the smell is a result of food waste getting stuck in the drain pipes of the machine. This can have a huge effect on the system as the food bacteria continues to collect, restricting the flow of the waste. The clog that begins to form in the garbage disposal can smell bad.

To remove the clog from the machine, the first step is to make sure that the garbage disposal is completely shut off. Locate the switch for the machine under the sink in the cabinet or on a nearby wall. If you can’t find the switch to shut off the garbage disposal, it is recommended to turn off the main power for the machine.

Despite ensuring that the machine is off, it is still not a good idea to put your hand in the garbage disposal at any point in time. It is best to take the highest precaution since the switch could be faulty.

The next step is to look inside the garbage disposal’s drain pipe with a flashlight to locate the collection of food waste that is clogging up the system. Grab a pair of pliers or tongs to pick out the obstruction from the works and unblock the drain pipes. You can also use a wooden spoon, but it might not be as effective.

Clogs can often form when you dispose of the waste too fast, so it is recommended to feed the garbage disposal slowly. While using the garbage disposal, have the water running, so the drainage system is completely flushed out. Although these are just small steps, it can help to remove odor from the garbage disposal.

Starchy Foods or Fibrous Vegetables Need to be Avoided

Starchy food products can become quite thick and sticky, resulting in clogs in the system. Some examples of ingredients to never put in the garbage disposal are potatoes, pasta, and bread. Other items to avoid are fibrous vegetables, which tend to expand when mixed with water, which can block the garbage disposal from functioning properly.

To remove odor from the garbage disposal, you need to ensure that the system never has blockages or clogs as they can lead to smells. Avoiding such ingredients is just one precaution you can take to make sure that no food waste accumulates within the system at all.

External Parts Need Cleaning Up Too

Most methods are just focused on cleaning the internal drainage system of the garbage disposal system. However, at the brim of the drain in the sink, many food particles or even mold can begin to form. So grab a scrubbing brush and use dish soap to completely scrub the brim of the drainage system clean.

Hard Materials Keep Garbage Disposal Sharp

If the blades of your garbage disposals are sharp, there will be a serious decrease in odor from your garbage disposal as food waste will not accumulate that much. Some hard materials can help keep your garbage disposal blades sharp such as eggshells. They are the perfect material to use since they help clean the blades as well.

Other hard materials you can use are small fruit pits such as cherry pits, small bones, or ice cubes. Ice cubes are one of the best hard materials as the cold water can also help solidify the oil or grease collected in the drainage pipes. This solidified grease can be eaten up easily by the garbage disposal cleaning up the internal system of the appliance. Since this is such an easy method, it can also be used often.

If you aim to remove odor from the garbage disposal, another easy hard material you can use, which will also help with the smell, is vinegar ice cubes. Just pour vinegar into an ice tray and freeze it. Chuck the ice cubes into the garbage disposal. It will help to keep the smell away, to remove the accumulation of food waste, and to keep the blades sharp.

Baking Soda and Vinegar a Surefire Solution

To remove odor from the garbage disposal, the best way is to use baking soda and vinegar together to act as a counter to the smell. Baking soda is basic, which can help counter any acidic bacteria collecting in the drainage pipes.

Pour the baking soda down the drainage pipes until it is filled to the brim. Fill a cup with vinegar and begin to pour it down the sink as well. Ensure you are slowly pouring the liquid since you want all the baking soda to react properly with the vinegar. The reaction between the two substances is necessary since it burns out any food waste stuck to the pipes and cleans up the blades of the garbage disposal as well.

This process will remove odor from the garbage disposal completely since it ensures that the whole system is clean. While it is a very effective method to clean the garbage disposal system, this method should not be used too often. The vinegar is a highly acidic element, and it can damage the rubber within the appliance; however, it is a great method to use to remove odor from your garbage disposal if used sparingly.

Citrus Foods Help a Lot

To completely remove odor from the garbage disposal, the best option is to use citrus fruits. Citrus fruits like limes, lemons, or oranges are a great option and should be used once in your garbage disposal.

They help remove the odor from your garbage disposal by acting as a deodorizing agent and leaving behind a clean and fresh scent. Throwing some peels of the fruits into the system is an excellent solution to odors. The peels also help by cleaning the drainage pipes on the inside. You can also simply throw the whole fruit down the drain once in a while as the oils within the citrus help clean up the system and leave a great scent behind.

Deep Cleaning

Annually it is important to completely clean out the whole garbage disposal to ensure that you leave no reason for it to smell. Taking out some time for a deeper cleaning will completely remove odor from the garbage disposal on a long-term basis. To deep clean your garbage disposal, you will need to buy a rubber cap with a steel clamp before starting the whole process.

If the odor has been there for a while now, it can mean that the continued collection of the food waste has turned into food sludge against the walls of the drainage system. This food sludge can often harden and make it difficult for the garbage disposal to function to its optimum levels. To liquefy the food sludge and make it easier to clean up, you need to pour hot water down the drain pipes to soften the sludge.

Turn off the garbage disposal using the switch on a nearby wall or under the sink inside the cabinet. There is a drain pipe under the sink after the trap, which you will need to disconnect. You can remove this pipe using a common wrench and a simple twist.

The rubber cap with steel clamps needs to be used here to stop the water from spilling and leaking. Attach the rubber cap to the bottom of the pipe, which is connected to the sink. Just to avoid any potential spills or mess, place a bucket under the pipe in case of a mess.

You will now need to fill the pipe attached to the sink with a cleaning solution. Run warm water into the sink and fill the sink till its brim. Since you don’t need to fill the sink, make sure you cut off at the brim so as not to wastewater.

A recommended cleaning agent to use here is oxygen bleach. Hardened food sludge can be difficult to completely cut through, so a strong substance like oxygen bleach needs to be used to clean up the whole system.

Now you just need to leave the drainage system soaked in the cleaning solution for about an hour before removing the rubber cap. Make sure the bucket is placed under the pipe to catch the draining water. Another safety tip is to wear gloves, so your hands are protected from the bleach while you uncap the pipe.

Reconnect the pipe to the system again and plug the sink. Make a soap solution in the sink before letting it run through the garbage disposal. Switch on the garbage disposal and let freshwater run through the system for a minute to completely wash up the whole garbage disposal system

The whole procedure is a bit time consuming, but it will eliminate any reason for you to have to Google ‘how to remove odor from garbage disposal’.


In the end, prevention is the best cure to remove odors from the garbage disposal. Avoid throwing non-biodegradable objects, coffee grounds, or grease and other oily substances into the garbage disposal. Always have the water running to avoid clogs while using the garbage disposal and feed the system slowly. These tips will surely prevent your garbage disposal system from smelling.








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