Why Does Your Garbage Disposal Smell and What Should You Do?

Having a smelly garbage disposal can be a real nuisance in your kitchen. Not only does it make the entire room unpleasant, but it can also be a sign of underlying issues that need to be addressed. In this blog post, we will explore the reasons why your garbage disposal smells and provide you with practical tips to tackle the problem effectively.

Food Residue Buildup:

One of the most common causes of a smelly garbage disposal is the accumulation of food residue. When food particles get trapped in the disposal unit or along the walls of the drain pipes, they begin to decompose, producing foul odors. To address this issue, run cold water and operate the garbage disposal for a few minutes, ensuring all remnants are flushed away. Alternatively, you can freeze vinegar in an ice cube tray and grind the cubes in the disposal to clean and deodorize the unit.

Insufficient Cleaning:

Regular cleaning is crucial to maintaining a fresh-smelling garbage disposal. Neglecting this essential task allows bacteria and mold to thrive, resulting in unpleasant smells. To clean your disposal, turn off the power and use a long-handled brush or an old toothbrush to scrub the blades, impellers, and the inside of the disposal. Additionally, pouring a mixture of baking soda and vinegar down the drain followed by hot water can help eliminate lingering odors.

Clogged Drain:

A clogged drain can cause stagnant water to accumulate in the disposal, leading to a pungent smell. To clear a clog, start by turning off the disposal and using a plunger to dislodge any debris. If the clog persists, try using a plumber's snake to break it up. Once the clog is cleared, flush the drain with hot water and a mild detergent to eliminate any residual odor.

Faulty Installation or Mechanical Issues:

In some cases, a smelly garbage disposal may be due to faulty installation or mechanical problems. Improper installation can lead to leaks, allowing food particles to accumulate and produce odors. Additionally, worn-out components or a malfunctioning motor may hinder the disposal's ability to process waste effectively, resulting in trapped food and foul smells. If you suspect mechanical issues, it is advisable to contact a professional plumber for assistance.

Foul Odor From the Dishwasher:

Sometimes, the smell might not originate from the garbage disposal itself but from the connected dishwasher. If the dishwasher drain hose is not correctly attached to the garbage disposal, it can create a backup of dirty water and food particles, causing a repugnant odor. Check the connection between the dishwasher and the disposal, ensuring it is secure and properly aligned. If necessary, clean the dishwasher's drain filter and run a cleaning cycle to eliminate any odor-causing buildup.

A smelly garbage disposal can be a frustrating problem, but with the right knowledge and techniques, you can tackle it effectively. By following the tips provided in this blog post, you'll be able to keep your kitchen smelling fresh and maintain a properly functioning garbage disposal.

At DoneRite Plumbing, we understand the importance of a clean and odor-free kitchen. If you're experiencing persistent odor issues or suspect a more significant problem with your garbage disposal, don't hesitate to contact us. Our experienced team of plumbers in Salem, OR, is ready to assist you and ensure your garbage disposal functions flawlessly.