How to Clean a Smelly Garbage Disposal

Do you have a stench in your sink? Blech! It happens to everyone, and the good news is there are some simple steps to eliminating the stink and preventing it in the future. Here’s how to make your garbage disposal smell as fresh as a daisy once again.

Scrub What You Can See

The first step in de-stinking your garbage disposal is to clean the visible sections. We recommend squirting dish soap onto a scrub brush or dish wand, and putting some muscle into it! Small food particles can get stuck in the grooves of the rim, and tough scrubbing can loosen up a lot of crud.

Let Your Garbage Disposal Soak

Once you’ve taken care of the outside, it’s time to focus on what’s happening inside the garbage disposal. Put in the plug, and half-fill the sink basin with water. We recommend adding some dish soap, vinegar, or your favourite natural cleaner. 

When you unplug the sink, turn the garbage disposal on, so the soapy water works its way through all the little areas that may not always get cleaned.

Use Ice and Salt

The first two steps can do a lot to deodorize your garbage disposal. But, if you still need a little more oomph, the combination of ice and salt works wonders. Pour a cup of ice cubes and a half-cup of rock or kosher salt into the garbage disposal. Turn it on, and let the blades crush the ice and salt, cleaning any residue left on the metal. 

It’s not the quietest step of the process, but it does the trick!

Prevent Future Garbage Disposal Smells

Remember making volcanoes in elementary school science class? The combination of baking soda and vinegar can be a wonderful deodorizer for your sink, too! Sprinkle a cup of baking soda into the garbage disposal, followed by a half-cup of vinegar. It will fizz and get into the nooks and crannies of the machine. Let it sit for an hour, and then turn on the garbage disposal and run cool water through it for at least a minute.

The next time you eat an orange or use a lemon in the kitchen, toss the peels into the disposal, and let them grind up. The natural citrus scent releases and naturally deodorizes, while the acid breaks down anything left behind in the disposal. 

For preventative maintenance, we recommend an enzymatic drain cleaner like BioSmart. Non-corrosive and environmentally friendly, BioSmart reduces odours by breaking down lingering bacteria in your pipes. It also keeps your drains flowing smoothly and prevents clogs. BioSmart can be used once per month for optimal performance.

Ask the Experts 

If you’ve gone through all these steps and are still dealing with stubborn smells, then it’s time to call one of our top-notch plumbers. We’ll do an assessment, identify what the issue is, and then explain the process and cost of repair. If something in your garbage disposal needs to be replaced, we’ll give you a variety of options before proceeding. Let’s take your sink from stinky to sparkling clean! Contact us today.