Fix a Smelly Garbage Disposal in 3 Easy Steps

“What’s that smell?” If you have to hold your nose every time you go into the kitchen, there’s a good chance that the funky odor is coming from the sink. The garbage disposal is a convenient appliance but is subjected to a wide array of food scraps, and the dark, wet environment is perfect for the growth of bacteria.

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The good news is there is a quick way to get rid of typical garbage disposal smells. Read on to learn how. 

Why does a garbage disposal smell?

The garbage disposal is designed to shred up food waste until the particles are small enough to safely go down the drain and to the sewer system. However, some bits of food are inevitably going to get stuck to the walls of the canister. Eventually, organic matter will decay and attract bacteria, which is the cause for most unpleasant smells coming up from the kitchen sink.

How to remove odors from a garbage disposal

  1. Check for large blockages – Turn off the power to the garbage disposal and insert a tool into the drain to check for any large chunks that are sitting at the bottom of the canister. If you find anything, safely retrieve it with pliers. Never stick your hand down the garbage disposal near the blades.
  1. Run disposal with ice cubes – First, turn on the cold water faucet of the kitchen sink. Next, place a few handfuls of ice cubes down the drain and run the garbage disposal. Continue to feed ice into the disposal for a few moments (again, without putting your hands in the drain). As the blades break up the ice, it will freeze and loosen any organic matter that has been collected in the canister of the disposal. When done, turn off the garbage disposal and then the cold water.
  1. Deodorize with citrus fruit – For the final step, turn the cold water back on and add small chunks of lemon, orange, or limes to the running garbage disposal. The acid of the citrus fruit will hopefully kill off any lingering bacteria on the blades or canister walls. When the fruit has been fully processed, turn off the disposal and running water.

How to prevent future smells

Now that you’ve eliminated the odors coming from the garbage disposal, there are tips you can follow to keep them from returning. As we mentioned, there’s always the chance that food can collect in the canister. But do your best to avoid rinsing fats, oils, and grease (FOG) down the drain, as these sticky substances can harden and trap other food in the disposal. You can also use the ice and citrus routine once a month to prevent smells before they start.

Garbage disposal service in Schererville

If you follow these steps and don’t have any luck getting rid of the stench coming from your garbage disposal, it’s time to call the experts at Reichelt Plumbing. We will get to the bottom of the issue so you can enjoy your kitchen without holding your breath. To schedule an appointment, call (219) 322-4906 today.

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