Foul odors in your home are never welcome. But when the stench occurs in the kitchen, it can be especially unpleasant. If the trash has been taken out and there are no dirty dishes lingering in the sink, the likely culprit to a bad kitchen odor is your garbage disposal. Garbage disposals are undoubtedly a source of modern convenience. With the push of a button you can grind up all kinds of food debris and drastically reduce your trips to the outside garbage can. However, just like any other appliance, your garbage disposal may need some extra attention and care – especially when it begins to emit a foul odor in the space you eat your meals.
After weeks and months of daily use, your garbage disposal may trap smelly bacteria and food particles that lodge deep within its components. Since it is unsafe and typically too hard to reach, it is not recommended that you stick your hand down your garbage disposal to search for sour food.
Garbage disposal smells can be quite embarrassing, and it is common for homeowners to seek out a quick and affordable remedy to get their kitchen smelling fresh again. The following tips are ways you can not only eliminate a bad disposal odor, but you may perform them periodically to prevent unwanted smells too:
- Cleaning the Blades
- In many cases, it is the blades or underside of the plastic flaps that accumulate leftover food debris. Therefore, there are a few ways you can clean the blades without using your hand. You’ll be happy to know that these cleaning tips involve items you may already have in your home. Try running the following combinations within your garbage disposal for a simple and highly efficient remedy:
- Ice Cubes and Rock Salt/Vinegar
- Ice Cubes and Vinegar
- Baking Soda and Vinegar
- Always rinse your disposal with cold water when you’re done, as hot water can cause residual grease to congeal.
- Freshening Up Your Garbage Disposal
- Many people know that putting orange or lemon peels down your drain is a quick and easy way to freshen the scent. While this is encouraged on a routine basis or as a follow-up step after cleaning the blades, it should not be the first course of action if you smell something terrible – as you don’t want to simply cover up or mask the bad smell.
- Know These Garbage Disposal Guidelines
- There are a few hard and fast rules when it comes to your disposal. First and foremost, don’t treat it like a trash can. There are several food items that your disposal simply can’t handle, including grease, coffee, grinds, oil, fats, rice, pasta, seeds and bones. If you rely on a septic tank, these rules become even more important. Also, don’t get too hurried when using your disposal. If you think your disposal is finished grinding, run it 5-10 more seconds before you turn off the switch to ensure food particles get completely cleared away. If you have a stubborn odor that does not go away with the household items listed above, you may consider buying special garbage disposal cleaning products at your local store.
Last but not least, if your garbage disposal continues to emit a foul odor or it is making suspicious sounds on a regular basis, call a professional. At Metro Septic and Plumbing, we are equipped to handle all types of plumbing concerns in your kitchen and throughout your house. Don’t let your garbage disposal be a source of embarrassment or frustration – let our experts help today!