Garbage Disposal Cleaning and Prevention

Garbage Disposal Cleaning and Prevention

Is there an unpleasant smell coming from your kitchen’s garbage disposal? American Plumbing has some DIY tips to help you breathe soundly again!


Once reserved as a privileged luxury for only the most upscale of kitchens, garbage disposal units are becoming more and more popular and are now commonly used in American homes every single day. It is now easier than ever to get rid of food waste and keep your drains unclogged, but this convenience doesn’t come without a price. Unfortunately, a garbage disposal may keep your kitchen looking clean and running smoothly, but it can also be the source of unpleasant odors that can envelop your entire kitchen. When this happens, cooking delicious meals for you and your loved ones is probably the last thing on your mind, but there are a number of things you can do make your kitchen a pleasant place to be again if you find that your garbage disposal is producing an unwelcome smell. Excessive odors from your garbage disposal could indicate a problem requiring serious repairs or even a full replacement, but before you call us there are still some measures that you can try for yourself at home if problems arise. At American Plumbing, we’re happy to share our 30-plus years of plumbing knowledge and expertise to ensure the comfortability of your home!


Among its many household uses, baking soda is a natural odor eliminator that can come in handy when dealing with a smelly garbage disposal. By pouring the baking soda down the drain as you run warm water into it, you can greatly reduce these odors. If they persist however, simply pour more baking soda, leaving it to sit in the disposal overnight before rinsing. Another effective method for tougher smells is to mix the baking soda with vinegar. For an even more intense cleaning, freeze this mixture into ice cubes and run them through the disposal. The ice cubes will not only deodorize the disposal blades, but sharpen them as well. This may also clear the impeller of food debris and remove the cause of the odors at the source, so cleaning the disposal in this or a similar manner is recommended once every two to three weeks to keep your kitchen sink smelling fresh. Another natural solution that many people use to clean their disposals is citrus. By taking a citrus fruit such a lemon and cutting it into quarters, then completely grinding them in the disposal, you can eliminate nasty odors. Get into the habit of always throwing your used citrus fruit peelings and other waste into the disposal and you’ll find that your kitchen is always smelling fresh. However, the acids in citrus can be corrosive, so avoid this method if your kitchen plumbing utilizes metal pipes.


Sometimes these natural solutions just aren’t enough and you’ll need some help and a little elbow grease to alleviate your kitchen of offensive odors for good. Most plumbing stores carry a brush designed specifically for cleaning garbage disposals, so using one in conjunction with one of the remedies above is a more effective way to cleanse your disposal. By gently scrubbing the inner walls and impeller on a regular basis, you’ll remove the odor-causing debris – just make sure that the circuit breaker that controls the disposal is turned off for safety purposes before attempting this procedure on your own. Ultimately, the best way to avoid unpleasant odors in your kitchen is to simply practice good hygiene – keep food debris from building up in your disposal and pipes by running the disposal each time that you wash or rinse dishes.


However even sometimes the most thorough DIY jobs aren’t enough. If your garbage disposal continues to smell after following these steps, just give us a call! At American Plumbing, we’ll have one of our experienced and friendly plumbing professionals over to address and complete your repair or installation quickly, efficiently, and at the best prices around!

Garbage Disposal

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