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4 Reasons Your Garbage Disposal Smells

February 21, 2022 | Blog

Your garbage disposal lives at the bottom of your sink. It stands to reason that soapy dishwater running through it every day keeps it clean. If that’s the case, then why does your garbage disposal smell funky? Not all food scraps are safe to send down the disposal.

It is also important to practice routine disposal maintenance and cleaning. There are actions you can take to keep your garbage disposal efficient and smelling fresh.

Follow this guide from Blanco AC, Electrical & Plumbing to learn more about why your disposal smells bad and what you can do about it.

Why the Garbage Disposal Smells

Some items should be thrown away in the trash or composted instead of sent down the disposal. Here are four reasons your garbage disposal might smell.

  • Grease: Even though grease is a liquid when hot, it congeals as it cools. Grease can easily build up in your disposal and cause it to smell.
  • Starchy foods: Cooked rice, pasta and potatoes can stick under the impeller blades. This old built-up food can contribute to the stink in your sink.
  • Peels and skins: Vegetable peels and fruit skins can build up around the drain. This debris can promote mold and bacterial growth.
  • Coffee grounds: Coffee grounds can splash up under the gasket and build up around the drain. Coffee grounds can cause clogs that lead to unpleasant odors.

Isn’t the Garbage Disposal Self-Cleaning?

While the disposal does a great job of banishing food scraps, it does not clean itself. Water never fills the disposal completely, which allows debris to build up inside.

How To Clean a Smelly Garbage Disposal

Hot Water and Soap

Plug the drain over your disposal and fill the basin with hot tap water and a few drops of dishwashing soap. Turn on the disposal and unplug the drain. This method allows the hot, soapy water to flush through the entire disposal.

Ice and Salt

If the above cleaning method did not work, it’s time to get abrasive. Fill the disposal with a couple cups of ice cubes. Top this with a generous sprinkle of coarse salt. This combination will work to scour the disposal. Turn on the cold tap and run the disposal until the ice is gone.

Scrub It

The best way to get rid of bad smells in your disposal is to scrub them away. Companies make bristle brushes specifically to scrub garbage disposals. Make sure to turn off the power to the garbage disposal before cleaning. Scrub the line where the flange meets the sink, as well as under the gasket.

When You Need Garbage Disposal Repair

Tried all the above methods and your sink still stinks? The problem may be in your drains, not your garbage disposal. A deep clog can sit in your drain and send stinky smells up and out of your disposal.

If you have a clogged drain or you need garbage disposal repair, trust the professionals. At Blanco AC, Electrical & Plumbing, we get the job done right.

Contact us today!

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