Dumping food scraps down the drain is a great convenience, but it doesn’t always leave behind the best smell.
Luckily, there are several easy and effective ways to reduce garbage disposal odors, from cleaning with baking soda to using citrus fruits!
In this post, we discuss how you can make your garbage disposal smell better to enjoy a fresh, clean-smelling kitchen!
How to Make Your Garbage Disposal Smell Better: Let’s clean it up
If you’ve ever cooked a fish dish or even just used some onions in the kitchen, you may have smelled unpleasant odors coming from your garbage disposal. Thankfully, we can show you a few tricks that’ll help get rid of those bad odors.
1. Remove Anything That’s Stuck Inside
Sometimes, the problem causing your garbage disposal to smell is a large piece of food that got stuck there during the shredding process.
Use tongs or pliers to remove any large bits of food that got stuck on the sides of the garbage disposal.
If you have to use your hands, double-check that your garbage disposal is disconnected from electricity to avoid any accidents.
After you finish doing this, plug your garbage disposal with the stopper and fill the sink with hot water and a bit of dish soap.
You can use a small brush to clean the drain and inside the garbage disposal. This allows you to clean hard-to-reach spots inside the garbage disposal. Don’t overdo it as you can scratch the stainless steel if you are using a rough brush.
While the garbage disposal is running, use your tongs to pull the stopper and let the hot water flush out everything that’s stuck in there. We have outlined how to remove glass from a garbage disposal here.
You can repeat this process daily until you feel the garbage disposal smells better.
2. Clean the Blades With Ice and Salt
If you ever had a problem with your ice cubes tasting weird, there’s a reason behind that! Ice cubes naturally attract odors to their surface, and we can use that to our advantage.
Get a few ice cubes from your fridge and put them in your sink. Sprinkle 3 or 4 tablespoons of rock salt on the ice, and then let your garbage disposal shred them.
As the ice and salt get crushed up, they’ll scrape any gunk on the blades or the sides, while the ice cubes absorb most of the bad smells.
This method isn’t for daily use! Once a week is more than enough as the cubes might dull your garbage disposal’s blades.
3. Use Citrus Fruit
Another simple trick is you can use any citrus fruit that you have in your kitchen to help freshen up the smell.
To remove odors from a garbage disposal, throw a couple of lemons, grapes, oranges, or any citrus fruit around into the garbage disposal and run some cold water on the running disposal.
The acid from the fruit will help remove most of the oils in there and all that’s left will be the nice aroma from the fruit.
4. Use Vinegar and Baking Soda
An old housewives method is to use vinegar mixed with baking soda to help remove bad smells and grease.
Baking soda and vinegar are two natural ingredients that can help clean your garbage disposal. Mix one part baking soda with two parts vinegar and pour the solution down your drain.
Let the solution stand for 10 minutes and then add hot water to rinse away any residue. The vinegar smell will dissipate once it dries out.
If you don’t want a vinegar smell in your kitchen, try using lemon juice instead. This will help you disinfect the garbage disposal, leaving it smelling fresh.
5. Use Specialty Products
If you’re not a fan of home remedies, your next best option is to buy a specialized cleaning product for your garbage disposal.
You can find different cleaning products online or at your local stores. They have different ingredients designed to clean your garbage disposal and tackle any bad smells.
No matter which method you choose to tackle your garbage disposal, it will be looking and smelling good in no time!
How to Avoid Bad Smells in Your Garbage Disposal
Now you know how to make your garbage disposal smell better. Still, it’s best to completely avoid smelly garbage disposals in the first place.
You can do this if you follow these few simple tips in the kitchen!
1. Don’t Be Afraid to Use More Cold Water
If you’re grinding anything in your garbage disposal, run some cold water with it. This will help carry the waste down the pipes properly without it lodging on the sides.
Also, if you’re rinsing a few oil-stained pans, it’s best to use cold water as it helps the grease to remain solid, which allows it to travel easily through the pipes.
2. Let the Garbage Disposal Run For Longer
A common mistake in most American households is to stop the garbage disposal as soon as the grinding noises stop.
Always leave your waste disposal on with running water for at least extra 10–15 seconds after the noises subside. This way, you ensure all the waste has been pulverized and carried away with the water.
3. Avoid Certain Food Items
Avoid pouring any fats or oils into your sink. While other liquids are fine, oils and grease can solidify around the motor, causing it to slow down and can result in your drain clogging.
Due to their ability to expand with water, pasta and rice can clog your drain and cause serious bad smells. It’s best to throw them away in your garbage can.
Coffee grounds tend to clump together in the water. Over time, the grounds can build up inside your sink drains and form clogs that prevent water from draining properly. It’s better to put the grounds in the trash can.
If this didn’t help, you can open up the kitchen drain to get it cleaned. It is possible that pieces of dirt got stuck there and you will have to take them out yourself.
We hope that one or more of the above-discussed tips have helped you manage your smelly garbage disposal situation.
With the right tools and a bit of elbow grease, cleaning smelly garbage disposal should be relatively easy.
Remember to stay safe and clean your garbage disposal regularly to avoid future problems!
We have outlined some other common garbage disposal problems and solutions here.