Garbage disposals are a staple in many American homes, with an estimated 75% of households owning one. While they may seem like a relatively new invention, garbage disposals have actually been used since the 1930s.
Garbage disposals are used to dispose of food waste that would otherwise go into the trash can or landfill. In contrast with earlier methods of disposal—such as simply throwing your leftovers down the drain and hoping for the best—garbage disposals grind up food waste into tiny pieces so that it can be flushed down the drain and easily transported away from your home.
But you’ve probably noticed that your garbage disposal smells. You might not have known what the source of the smell was, but for those who have experienced it, the stench can be overwhelming.
If you have a garbage disposal, you know how convenient it is to have one in your kitchen. It makes cleaning up after meals easier and less messy, but sometimes it can get smelly. If you have a garbage disposal that smells bad, don’t worry! There are ways to help your garbage disposal smell better and ensure it stays clean and fresh for years.
In this article, garbage disposal installation and repair experts in Stafford, VA, will talk about why garbage disposals smell and how to get rid of smelly garbage disposal. We’ll also cover some prevention tips so that you can keep your garbage disposal from smelling in the future.
Why your garbage disposal is smelly?
Garbage disposals are designed to keep your kitchen smelling fresh and clean. But if your garbage disposal is smelly, it’s not just a matter of bad smells—it’s a sign that something is wrong.s
So before we go ahead with how to fix smelly garbage disposal, it’s important to know why your garbage disposal smells like a dead fish. Here are some reasons for your smelly garbage disposal:
The garbage disposal grinds up food waste into tiny pieces that the naked eye can’t see. But if you don’t run it regularly, or if you’re not cleaning it out properly, food residue doesn’t get completely ground up and can sit in the drain pipe. It’s also possible that some of what you put in the disposal has gone bad and is releasing an unpleasant odor as it sits in there.
Grease and fat build-up
If your garbage disposal isn’t getting enough power from its motor, it will struggle to break down larger pieces of food like bones or chicken bones, which can clog up the drain system without being ground up properly by the blades. The same goes for fat buildup: if you’re not running your disposal frequently enough to clear out all of this build-up before using it again (which means using hot water), then when you turn on your garbage disposal again, there will still be leftover grease from previous uses.
Lack of cleaning
The garbage disposal is the perfect place to store your food scraps, but it’s not a good idea to let it get too full. If you don’t clean it regularly, you’ll start to see some unpleasant things happening there.
One of the main reasons your garbage disposal starts smelling bad is that it has accumulated a lot of debris. This can happen when you put in too much food at once or if you use old utensils that have been sitting on the counter for a while.
Mold or mildew growth
Your garbage disposal may be smelly because of mold or mildew growth; if that’s the case, you need to fix it. Mold or mildew can grow in your garbage disposal if it’s not regularly cleaned out or if you don’t use it often enough.
When your garbage disposal isn’t used regularly, it can create stagnant water in the drain pipe and grow mold or mildew inside the drain pipe. The water will remain in this stagnant state until you turn on your garbage disposal, which sucks up the water and sends it down through your drain pipes. This means that any excess food particles and grease will be removed from your sink, but the water will remain behind until you run your garbage disposal again—and that’s when you’ll notice a foul odor coming from underneath your sink!
Inadequate water flow
If you don’t have enough water to flush food particles down the drain, they can build up in the pipes and cause odors. This can happen when you don’t run enough water while you’re running the garbage disposal or if the garbage disposal itself isn’t working properly.
Old food stuck in blades or impellers
When your garbage disposal doesn’t run smoothly, it may grind up old food particles instead of grinding them into tiny pieces that dissolve in water. This can cause an unpleasant odor as well as clogs and backups in your drain lines.
Clogged or blocked pipes
A garbage disposal will not function properly if your pipes are clogged. The plumbing system should be inspected regularly by a professional plumber in Stafford, VA, to ensure the drains are clear and working properly.
Decaying organic matter
Food waste, including grease and fat, can cause a buildup of matter in your garbage disposal, leading to a foul odor and even making it difficult for the appliance to function properly because of its weight.
Worn-out or damaged parts
Worn-out or damaged parts are often the culprit when it comes to odor problems in a garbage disposal. If your garbage disposal has been in use for more than 10 years, it may be time for an upgrade. You could also have a blockage if you haven’t been using the disposal properly.
Sewer gas leaks
Sewer gas leaks can cause a bad smell coming from your garbage disposal as well. If there is a leak in your plumbing system, the gas will escape through this hole and get into your home. This will cause foul odors to emanate from all of your drains—including those in your kitchen sink and bathroom sink (if you have one).
Improper installation is another common reason why garbage disposals stink up kitchens everywhere. A plumber who doesn’t know what they’re doing can install garbage disposal improperly so that it leaks sewage into the drain pipes leading away from it—causing an unpleasant smell in addition to clogs that stop water from draining out.
Tools And Material You’ll Need to Fix smelly garbage disposal
To fix a smelly garbage disposal, you might need the following tools and materials:
- Liquid wrench or other lubricant
- Dish soap (optional)
- Rubber gloves (optional)
- A bucket of water
- A flashlight
- A wrench or pliers
- A screwdriver
- Baking Soda
- Ice cubes
- Lemon Juice
- Plumber’s snake
Getting Rid of Bad Odor from Garbage Disposal
We’ve all been there: you’re cooking a meal, and suddenly, you realize the garbage disposal is overflowing with food scraps. You turn on the faucet, but nothing comes out. It’s clogged—and it smells like death.
If you find yourself in this position, don’t panic! There are a few things you can do to get rid of bad odor from your garbage disposal.
If you have a smelly garbage disposal, here are some things you can do to fix the problem:
Flush with hot water.
Flushing your disposal with hot water is a great way to clean it and eliminate any leftover food scraps that may have been lingering there for too long. Dump some water down, run the disposal, then repeat until you’re satisfied with the results.
Use baking soda and vinegar.
This one’s a classic! This combo will break down any lingering odors in your sink drain and move them through your pipes where they can’t be smelled! Just mix one teaspoon of baking soda into a cup of white vinegar and pour it down the drain. Let it sit overnight before flushing it out with warm water in the morning.
Ice cubes and salt.
Another way to get rid of a foul garbage disposal smell is to use ice cubes and salt. Freeze ice cubes in a plastic bag and then drop them into your disposal. Pour about 1/4 cup of salt over the ice cubes and let them sit for about 10 minutes before turning on the disposal. This method works by creating a chemical reaction with water that breaks down grease and causes it to solidify, allowing you to easily remove it from your disposal system with a long pair of tongs or pliers (make sure they’re not metal!). Moreover, this method will help clear out any food particles that may be causing your garbage disposal to stink.
Lemon or citrus peels.
This is an old-fashioned trick for getting rid of odors, but it works! Grind lemon or citrus peels in the disposal and then run cold water through it. The acidity in the peels will help break down any grease that is causing the odor, and the cold water will help rinse away any remaining particles.
Clean with a brush and soapy water.
All you need is a brush and some dish soap to clean the inside of your garbage disposal. You can also use vinegar or lemon juice if you don’t have any dish soap handy, though this method may not be as effective at removing stubborn grease and grime. After you’ve cleaned out all the gunk, run cold water through the drain for about 30 seconds to flush out any remaining residue before running hot water for an additional 30 seconds to rinse everything away completely.
Use enzymatic cleaners.
If you’ve tried cleaning your garbage disposal but still notice that it smells, try using enzymatic cleaners instead of soap-based cleaners. Enzymatic cleaners are chemicals that break down odor-causing compounds inside the drain, making them ideal for eliminating bad smells from your garbage disposal. You can find these cleaners at most grocery stores or hardware stores (just look for products labeled “odor remover”). Just pour this liquid into your drain and let it sit for 15 minutes before running water through it again; repeat the process.
Flush with a mixture of water and bleach.
Add one tablespoon of bleach to two cups of water, pour it into the sink, and turn on the garbage disposal. Let it run for a few minutes before turning it off. You can also use lemon juice, which will be less harsh than bleach on your pipes but will still neutralize odors in your pipes.
Clean the rubber splash guard.
The rubber splash guard is usually attached by screws or clips on either side of your disposal unit, so take it off and clean it thoroughly with soap and water. You can also run an ice cube through the disposal to clean it out!
Check for clogs.
The next thing to do as part of a smelly garbage disposal remedy is to check for clogs. If there is something stuck inside your garbage disposal, it could be causing an odor problem. You should also check for any water leaks or leaks from other appliances in your kitchen or bathroom. You may have a leaky faucet or loose pipes that need to be fixed before they cause further damage to your home or cause mold or mildew growth in your walls and ceilings!
Another way to learn how to clean a smelly garbage disposal is by regularly maintaining it. Make sure that you are running enough water while using your sink or dishwasher so that all excess food particles will go down into the drains instead of clogging up inside them. Also, be sure that you clean out any debris that builds up around the drain opening at least once every six months or so to prevent mold growths from forming inside them as well! If you don’t want to go through this process alone, hiring a professional garbage disposal repair and maintenance plumber in Stafford, VA, is best.
What Not To Put In Garbage Disposal?
While a garbage disposal can handle many food scraps, there are certain items you should never put in a garbage disposal. Avoid disposing of the following items to prevent damage to your disposal unit and plumbing system:
- Non-food items, including plastic, metal, glass, paper, cigarette butts, rubber, and other similar materials, should never go in the garbage disposal.
- Avoid disposing of hard items like bones or fruit pits.
- Fibrous foods such as celery, corn husks, onion skins, or artichokes can cause clogs.
- Grease, oil, and fat should never be poured down the disposal.
- Starchy foods like rice, pasta, and potatoes can create a sticky paste and clog the unit.
- Stringy vegetables like asparagus, corn husks, or rhubarb can wrap around the blades.
- Chemicals and cleaners should never be poured into the disposal.
- Avoid pouring boiling water directly into the disposal.
- Always refer to your garbage disposal manual for specific guidelines.
Need Help? Call Professional Garbage Disposal Repair Expert in Stafford, VA!
Garbage disposals are essential to many kitchens, but they can be tricky to maintain. If your garbage disposal is smelly and needs work, or if you want to make sure that it’s working properly, hire Professional Garbage Disposal Repair Expert in Stafford, VA!
Haynes Plumbing Services has been serving the Virginia area for more than 25 years and have a reputation for being the best in the business. No matter what kind of problem you’re having—whether it’s something simple like a clogged drain or something more serious like a sewage backup—we have the skills and experience to get the job done right.
We offer services including:
- Garbage Disposal Installation Services in Stafford
- Garbage Disposal Repair Services in Stafford
- Garbage Disposal Maintenance Services in Stafford
- Sump Pump Repair
- Septic Tank Cleaning and Maintenance
- Drain Cleaning
- Sewer Line Repair
- Water Heater Installation & Repair
- Leak Detection & Repair
- And many more…
We work with all kinds of clients in Stafford, VA, including homeowners, business owners, and property managers. We’ll come right to your home or office (or anywhere else on demand), so you don’t have to worry about scheduling an appointment or dealing with transportation issues. Moreover, our rates are affordable, and our service is fast—you won’t waste any time waiting for us to arrive or for us to fix your problem!
Our team of highly trained and licensed plumbers will come out to your home or office, diagnose your garbage disposal problem, and fix it quickly and efficiently.
So if your garbage disposal is smelly and you need help fixing it immediately, call Haynes Plumbing Services today at (540) 659-3295!