How To Keep Your Garbage Disposal Smelling Fresh

Fred's Appliance
June 19, 2014


A garbage disposal is a convenient household appliance that reduces landfill waste and subsequently the production of eco-unfriendly methane gas. Rather than tossing your leftover dinner scraps in the trash where your waste disposal agency will send them off to the nearest landfill, you can place them in the garbage disposal and hit the switch. The impellers will grind them up into a liquid-like consistency before sending it through your home’s plumbing to the sewer system or septic tank.

But one of the complaints some people have about garbage disposals is the smell. Common sense should tell you that foul odors will develop when organic matter is exposed to the air. After using a garbage disposal for a while, you may begin to notice a sour or otherwise unpleasant odor originating from inside. This problem is typically caused by rotting food particles that are stuck inside. With a little bit of work, however, you can effectively combat foul garbage disposal odors.

Clean It

Disconnect the power to your garbage disposal (assuming it’s powered by electricity and not water), and clean beneath the rubber flaps using a wire scrub brush. It’s not uncommon for bits and pieces of food to stick here, preventing the unit from grinding and flushing them. Scrub underneath the flaps and off to the sides, knocking away any debris.

Note: even with the power cut off, you should never attempt to stick your hand inside – for obvious reasons.

Organic Cleaning Cubes

If you really want to give your garbage disposal a fresh, clean smell, you should place some organic cleaning cubes inside it. There are dozens of different ways to make them, but I recommend chopping up a couple lemons and limes and placing them inside ice cube trays with vinegar instead of water. Once frozen, toss a couple of them down the garbage disposal and let them work their magic. The ice will help dislodge stubborn debris while the acidic lemon and lime juice will kill odor-causing germs.

Feel free to play around with different fruits and ingredients to create your own concoction. Oranges are another excellent ingredient that leaves behind a fresh odor.

Baking Soda and Vinegar

A third technique for eliminating bad garbage disposal odors involves the use of baking soda and vinegar. Pour ½ cup of baking soda down the drain, wait 5 minutes, and then pour 1 cup of filtered white apple cider vinegar. The combination of these two ingredients will create a foaming reaction, so don’t be alarmed if your sink begins to overflow. The chemical reactions should subside after a few minutes, leaving your garbage disposal nice and clean.

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