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The Reliable

Why Does My Garbage Disposal Smell So Bad? And Can It Be Fixed?

Prepare your kitchen for the holidays by eliminating the garbage disposal smell emanating from your kitchen sink.

A garbage disposal is a kitchen appliance used to grind or break up kitchen waste such as food scraps small enough so you can wash them down the drain. Although the machine is very efficient when it comes to disposing of unwanted food wastes, it can sometimes develop an offensive smell that will linger throughout your kitchen. The garbage disposal smell is caused by rotting or decaying food lying around the appliance’s cutting blades or the drainpipes connected to it. Learn what can be done to rid your kitchen of this horrible garbage disposal smell.

Rinsing or Flushing with Clean Water

Simply rinsing the garbage disposal with hot water while it is running is sometimes enough to eliminate the odoriferous problem. The hot water washes the decaying food particles and scraps out of the appliance and its drainpipes and into the sewer. This should be practiced after each time you use your garbage disposal.

Rinsing or Flushing with Soapy Water

Filling the sink with hot, soapy water and allowing it to drain while running the garbage disposal provides a more thorough cleaning. A quality grease-cutting dish detergent helps to cut through the grease and food attached to the disposal blades and pipes.


Often, the rubber flap around the disposal drain as well as its rubber stopper needs a brisk cleaning. A stiff, nylon brush and some all-purpose kitchen cleaner make quick work of this task. It doesn’t hurt to clean around the sink drain openings as well.

Deodorizing the Appliance

Baking soda is one of mankind’s finest inventions. The all-purpose powder is used in more applications than just about anything. Pouring about 1/2 cup of the miraculous powder into your garbage disposal along with 1/2 cup of vinegar will eliminate most odors emanating from it. The solution should be allowed to sit in the disposal for approximately one hour before applying a thorough rinse with clean water.

Professional Cleaning

When these simple, home remedies fail to rid your kitchen of a nasty garbage disposal smell, it might be time to call in a professional plumber. Over longer periods, food particles can harden and encrust the cutting blades of your disposal. No manner of rinsing or flushing with hot water and soap will loosen them. It takes a stronger cleaning solution and hours of soaking to remove them from the blades. After disconnecting the garbage disposal drain, a plumber will cap the outlet tube on the disposal to prevent it from draining. A cleaning solution is poured in and allowed to sit for approximately one hour or more. The drain is reconnected and the disposal is flushed with clean, hot water.

Dunwoody residents of the greater Atlanta metro area seeking additional expert advice regarding garbage disposal smells and service should contact Reliable Heating and Air. Reliable Heating and Air will handle the funky smells coming from your garbage disposal. They know your home should smell of balsam and cloves over the holidays, not week-old veggies.

Image Source: Flickr