My Garbage Disposal Stinks (and It's Terrible)

garbage disposal

A garbage disposal is a valuable addition to any kitchen, helping to reduce the volume of household waste and make cleaning up after meal preparation a breeze. While your disposal is designed to simplify your life and save time, like any other appliance it may require periodic maintenance or repairs to ensure reliable and efficient performance. One of the most common issues that many homeowners face is a smelly disposal, and if your garbage disposal stinks, Mr. Appliance® is here to help. Read on for some great tips from the team of experienced professionals at Mr. Appliance to help you focus on all the good smells in your kitchen while eliminating the bad.

Why Does My Garbage Disposal Stink?

Any time you are dealing with food and food waste there is the potential for odors, as organic matter breaks down and begins to decay. Typically by this stage the garbage has been taken to the curb or the compost heap, but if you detect the smell of rotting food coming from your drain, it's a sign that there is some leftover debris or residue lingering within the unit. While garbage disposals are, by design, self-cleaning, it is easy for particles of organic material to build up over time and adhere to the walls of the disposal, grinders, or even the flange. The good news is, you can easily resolve the problem with just a few common household items and a few minutes of your time.

How to Fix a Stinky Garbage Disposal

Use these steps to freshen up the interior of your garbage disposal and eliminate odors:

Start at the top.

Before you begin the deep cleaning process, take a few moments to clean the areas that are easy to reach and safe to access. Use a long-handled scrub brush or soap wand and warm, soapy water to scrub the rim of the disposal, including the seam between the flange and the basin.

Flush it out.

Gather up some baking soda, vinegar, and a kettle full of boiling water to create a mild chemical reaction that will loosen stuck-on debris deep in the interior of the unit. Heat one cup of vinegar in the microwave for 30 to 60 seconds, and set aside while you pour one-half cup of baking soda down the drain. Add the vinegar, and plug the drain for several minutes to give the two ingredients time to foam and react. Next, remove the drain plug, and carefully pour the kettle full of water down the drain to flush out the baking soda, vinegar, and loosened organic matter.

Use ice and salt.

Kosher salt or rock salt are both abrasive enough to scrub the interior of the disposal without harming it, and when used in conjunction with ice cubes they make an effective solution to remove any stubborn, leftover matter. Start by pouring two cups of ice cubes into the drain and turn on the disposal, before adding one cup of rock salt or kosher salt and turning on the cold water tap.

Add vitamin C.

Citrus peels add a nice scent to your kitchen, and any time you have some leftover lemon, orange, or lime peels, chop them up and toss them down the disposal along with cold running water to help control odors and grease.

Schedule Expert Appliance Repair Near Me!

Contact the experienced team of certified professionals at Mr. Appliance for fast, reliable appliance repair near you! Call us today at  to schedule an appointment for garbage disposal repair, or contact us online and let us know how we can help!