Does your Garbage Disposal Stink?

Cleaning the kitchen is one thing but how many of us forget about the disposal? I’ll admit, I sometimes forget until I get some phantom smell in the kitchen that isn’t coming from the garbage can.

The garbage disposal is a powerhouse when it comes to grinding up particles of food and when you think about it, some of the things that go in may cause some funky odors to come out.

Disposal Odors and How to Rid of Them

Below are some things you can do to remove and prevent odors in your garbage disposal.

  1. Run cold water when using the garbage disposal. After rinsing pots, pans and dishes, grease and oils can run off into the disposal area. Using cold water will help solidify any grease and oil so it can be chopped up before reaching the trap where it could otherwise sit and accumulate.
  2. Freeze white vinegar in ice cube trays. I use the silicone trays because popping them out is so easy and it really doesn’t matter if you use large or small square trays. Vinegar is a natural deodorizer that can help eliminate odor causing bacteria. This will also help keep the blades of the garbage disposal sharp.
  3. I always have a box of Borax sitting on my shelf. There are so many things you can use Borax for around the house. For a stinky drain, pour 3 or 4 tablespoons in the drain. Let sit 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on the smell, turn on the hot water and disposal to flush away. Borax is an effective odor eliminator and sanitizer.
  4. When you’ve finished washing dishes, pour in 1 cup baking soda and let this sit for 3 hours or overnight. Rinse completely.
  5. Many people don’t run the disposal long enough and turn it off when it sounds like everything has finished grinding. Instead, let it run a little bit longer (5 to 10 seconds) to ensure all particles of food have been flushed through the drain. Be sure to leave the water running as well.

After using one of the methods above I will periodically toss in the garbage disposal (when I have them on hand) citrus peels and some of the fruit as well. This will naturally clean the inside of the garbage disposal and leave a long lasting scent.

In order to keep your disposal clean and help prevent odors:

  • Run your disposal on a regular basis and remember to run it a few seconds longer after you think food has finished grinding.
  • Keep your disposal clean by pouring in a squirt or two of dish soap. Run the cold water and turn the disposal on for a minute or two.
  • Don’t pour grease or fatty stuffs down the disposal.

It’s important to remember that only biodegradable food stuffs be put in the disposal. A garbage disposal is not your trash can.