Foul odors from your garbage disposal can be extremely unpleasant. They’re often caused by rotting food and growing bacteria in the unit or the drainpipe it’s connected to. In a short amount of time, your kitchen can go from smelling fresh to being permeated by odors reminiscent of rotting eggs, sewage, or even bad breath. However, there are simple ways to eliminate these odors before you call Jay’s Heating, Air & Plumbing for garbage disposal services in Mount Airy.
Use Ice Cubes
The more food particles and grim sticking to the garbage disposal’s blades, the less efficient the unit will be. Fill a cup with ice cubes and pour them into the disposal. Run cold water before turning the disposal on. It will make a grinding sound until the ice breaks up. Keep the unit on until you no longer hear the sound.
This method dislodges small pieces of food that are stuck inside the unit. It is a simple and effective way to clean the blades and can even help sharpen them. For an even more thorough cleaning, add salt to the ice and run the disposal.
Slice Up Lemons
Cut a full lemon into eight slices and remove the seeds. Then turn on the cold water, run the disposal, and place the lemon slices in one at a time (you may not need all of them). This is an effective way to eliminate foul odors from a garbage disposal and leave it smelling fresh instead.
Lemons aren’t the only citrus fruits you can use. The acidity and natural oils of oranges, grapefruits, and limes are just as effective. Citrus oils wash away residue in the disposal and kill odor-causing bacteria.
Baking Soda and White Vinegar
Here’s another natural way to clean your garbage disposal. First, pour half a cup of baking soda into the disposal drain. To let it absorb the odor, wait 30 minutes to an hour. Then pour a cup of vinegar down the drain. Wait five to 10 minutes and turn on the cold water and disposal, allowing it to run for 15 seconds. The reaction kills odor-causing germs and can remove mineral deposits.
Clean the Rubber Drain Cover
It’s a good idea to keep a drain guard over the garbage disposal. This simple accessory can prevent bones or silverware from getting inside and bits of grinding food from splattering. However, the drain cover can easily get covered in food and bacteria.
To clean the drain cover, remove it and soak it in dish detergent and water. Some types of covers can be run in the dishwasher. If the rubber flap/drain cover isn’t removable, gently pull each side up one at a time and scrub it using a toothbrush with dish soap.
Rinse the Disposal with Mouthwash
Mouthwash was originally invented to clean surgical tools. An effective antiseptic, it’s not only great for cleaning mouths and killing germs that cause bad breath. You can also clean your garbage disposal with it. Just pour a cup of the liquid in and run the unit to freshen it up quickly.
Use a Bottle Brush
A bottle brush is long enough to place in the garbage disposal. Whatever you do, avoid sticking your fingers into the unit (a very dangerous choice that can cause a serious injury). Take the bottle brush, add some dishwashing liquid to it, and scrub the inside of the unit.
Can I Prevent My Garbage Disposal from Stinking Up My Kitchen?
You can use any of these methods to prevent your garbage disposal from smelling. Or, once a week, pour in a half cup of borax (a powerful mineral) to clean the disposal and avoid odors. Scouring powder or even plain baking soda and cold water can also remove or prevent bad smells.
How Often Should a Garbage Disposal Be Deodorized?
A garbage disposal should be cleaned and deodorized at least once a month. If you use it frequently, more regular cleanings can avoid dealing with odors, gunk buildup, and clogs.
Can I Clean a Disposal with a Dishwasher Pod?
You may have read about throwing dishwasher pods or tablets into the drain and running hot water and the disposal. This is generally not a good idea. We don’t advise using dishwasher or laundry detergent pods in a garbage disposal, as they can potentially damage the unit and your plumbing.
Contact Us for Garbage Disposal Services
Jay’s Heating, Air & Plumbing provides all types of garbage disposal services in Mount Airy. Foul odors from your garbage disposal are one sign it is malfunctioning. Slow draining, clogging, strange noises, or leaking also mean it should be serviced. Our licensed technicians are trained to clean and repair the system properly and have the tools and equipment to get it working again safely and cost-effectively. To request a professional inspection, repair, or routine maintenance, contact us online or call (336) 814-9652.