How Can I Make My Garbage Disposal Smell Fresh?
How Can I Make My Garbage Disposal Smell Fresh?
Is there an odor you just can’t seem to remove from your garbage disposal? This is very common — after all, the disposal is usually filled with unwanted food and other trash. But that doesn’t mean that you have to put up with it. There are a variety of easy solutions for garbage disposal deodorizing, ranging from natural remedies to a little DIY plumbing.
1. Use Natural Remedies
When the cleaning solutions and detergents just aren’t working, sometimes you need to go natural. There are many easy and natural ways that you can deodorize your garbage disposal:
- Rock salt. Pouring some rock salt down the drain and then turning the disposal on will clean off a lot of the debris that has probably gotten stuck within the disposal mechanism. A gentle agitation is often enough to work things loose!
- Ice. You can place ice in your disposal and turn it on as a very easy way to clean it out. There’s only one caveat: mix it with some degreasing soap. This is because oil and grease will actually solidify more when it comes in contact with ice, which is the opposite of what you want.
- Essential oil. If you’re at your wits end, try just a touch of mint or other essential oil. Don’t use too much of it, as oil in general isn’t great for your pipes — just a few drops, while you’re cleaning, should be enough to let the scent permeate.
Of course, one natural way is even stronger than the rest…
2. The Power of Citrus
Citrus products are excellent at removing odors for two reasons: they are acidic and they have a very strong smell. You can only pour oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and other juices down the drain and run the disposal. Even better, slice up an orange or lemon and run the disposal — the peel itself will clean off the interior of the disposal, primarily acting as a natural scrub.
Any time you’re making something like lemonade or using oranges for your breakfast, you can repeat this process, thereby making it less likely that your garbage disposal will begin to smell at all.
3. Avoidable Objects
Keeping your garbage disposal clean can also be a matter of not using certain things. In general, one of the things that make a garbage disposal start to smell is oil. Oils, fats, and grease should never be poured down the disposal, as they will stay inside of the disposal and eventually become rancid.
Ultimately, the best thing to do for your garbage disposal is to limit the amount of foods that you put in it at all, especially foods that are harder to break apart. Things that are very scent-heavy, such as fish, should almost definitely be relegated to the outside trash. Instead, use garbage disposals for things that have less intrusive scents.
4. Clean Out the Plumbing
Do you have a dishwasher in your kitchen? Dishwashers are connected to the same plumbing circuit as your garbage disposal. One of the leading reasons garbage disposals begin to have an odor is because food particles get trapped in the area between the disposal and the dishwasher. To address this, you need to clean out the plumbing trap.
Turn off the water underneath your sink and take apart the area of the pipe that connects directly from your dishwasher to the garbage disposal. You can then clear out anything that has gotten stuck in the pipe. Tip: always put a bucket underneath, as water will pour out!
5. Garbage Disposal Products
Finally, there are actually specialty products such as scent beads that are specifically designed to be put down your garbage disposal. You can find them in the cleaning aisle of your local grocery store. These disposal products are usually plastic beads that break apart, spreading a fragrant degreaser throughout the workings of the disposal system.
This will clean the interior of your disposal, but the only catch is that it isn’t likely to dislodge any food particles. Don’t use any products in your garbage disposal that isn’t intended for it, such as Draino — it could harm it or make the situation worse.
Always remember that you should never, ever put your hand down a disposal. Though it’s easy to be tempted when you’re cleaning it, it’s simply not worth the risk. If your disposal shuts off at any time during your cleaning processes (such as when using ice or lemon peels), you should make sure that you push down the reset button at the very bottom of the disposal — it can get tripped unintentionally while grinding. Finally, if your disposal just can’t seem to shake the odor, you may need to unhook it and wash it out. A plumber can help.
Call a Perry Plumbing Heating & Air professional, who is a proud PHCC’s National Contractor of the Year! Call (619) 472-2112 to get a professional in your San Diego, CA home today.