I started to notice a weird smell coming from my kitchen around my sink. I wasn’t quite sure what it was, but it smells moldy/mildew. It was not the best smell in the world.
After further investigation, I found that it was my garbage disposal (also called waste disposal), causing the smell. It’s very common over time for the garbage disposal to smell like dirt, rotten eggs, sewer, fishy, onion, or even like mold like I was experiencing. The putrid stench you get is due mostly to what you have put down the drain.
How Do We Get Rid Of The Smell?
The good news is that there is a ton of ways to eliminate the odor that fills your sink. We have gathered different ways to cure you of the smell, from natural home remedies to more professional cleaners.
Following these steps can also help with a fruit fly infestation usually develops because of stinky wet garbage disposal.
Try This First
Let’s try the easy one first. Grab some lemons or oranges and slice them up into small pieces. Place them in an ice cube tray and fill them with hot water, hot water will freeze faster and allow them to freeze.
Once frozen, turn on the cold water on your sink. Drop all the cubes into the sink’s garbage disposal and stand back to turn on the disposal. For some added measure, feel free to pour a little bit of salt into the mix too.
Never do Hot Water when running the disposal. Hot water can melt fats and make a gooey mess that causes the smell. Always use COLD water.
The ice breaks free any stuck chunks. The lemons or any citrus fruits will also remove some of the pieces, too, but more importantly, it leaves a great scent behind.
The salt acts like sandpaper to get the finer materials that are stuck.
What Causes A Smelly Disposal?
Many people will stop the disposal before all the food is gone. Surprising enough, some people don’t even run water when using the disposal. Make sure you have cold water running when you’re using the disposal and make sure you listen to the sound of all the food going away before turning it off.
Merely running the disposal for long enough time for the food to get disposed of will usually fix and stop the issue with any odors.
Some of the natural ways besides the lemon and ice trick is to use baking soda and vinegar. I find that baking soda alone can be all you need to get rid of the smell.
Run some cold water down the disposal and pour some baking soda in and fire up the motor when you’re clear. This creates a paste that really can get into the smallest of places.
I still recommend doing the ice cube trick to dislodge the more significant pieces since baking soda won’t get the bigger pieces.
Carefully Clean The Rubber Gasket
With the Garbage Disposal OFF, I like to get my gloves on, and with a rag, with vinegar on it, I clean the underside of the black rubber piece at the entrance of the disposal.
Food can splash back up to this and cause some of the odor. People never check this thing, but its the closest thing to you and can be causing the most smell. Cleaning the gasket can be a quick way to freshen up the disposal.
What To Do About A Really Smelly Garbage Disposal?
So what do we do when all the other techniques did not work? We bring in the big guns.
Grab an old Toilet Scrub Brush and some white distilled vinegar. With the disposal off and cold water running, spray the brush down with vinegar and pour some into the disposal. Push the toilet brush into the hole and go to town cleaning. The bristles of the brush will break free the grime that has built up over time.
Remove the brush and allow the water to keep flowing but now with the disposal on. Step away and allow it to run for a few seconds.
If the odor is still coming from the sink or if you want to make sure you got it, then you can get some Professional/Stronger than home remedies Garbage Disposal Cleaner.
If you want to deodorize your garbage disposal, then going straight to the garbage disposal cleaners they sell at your local department store is effective. Just make sure to read the directions.
Don’t Do This
Some people recommend using bleach for cleaning the disposal. I don’t recommend it because it can be dangerous if mixed with the wrong chemicals. Plus, it’s not anywhere as effective as the ice cube trick.