How to Get Rid of Garbage Disposal Smell

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At the heart of every kitchen, the garbage disposal acts as the unsung hero, maintaining cleanliness and order. However, there are times when it releases an unpleasant smell that even seasoned chefs find bothersome. 

But fret not! This guide is here to talk about how to get rid of garbage disposal smell and restore a fresh atmosphere to your kitchen sanctuary by revealing effective strategies. 

But, before we dive into making your kitchen smell good again, let’s understand where these unpleasant odors are coming from.

Understanding the Origins of Unpleasant Odors in Your Garbage Disposal

The not-so-pleasant smell lingering around your garbage disposal isn’t just a random occurrence. It’s usually caused by two main troublemakers teaming up to create a not-so-pleasant experience in your kitchen. 

First off, think about the bits of food you wash down the sink after a meal. If these scraps get stuck in the corners of your disposal, they start breaking down, releasing unpleasant odors—sour, rotten, and sometimes fishy. 

It’s like having a tiny compost pile right there in your sink, and the smells can be quite unpleasant. Now, add the culinary elements of grease and oil into the mix. 

They often make their way down the drain while cooking, accumulating in your disposal and forming a sticky trap for food scraps. 

This greasy environment becomes a breeding ground for bacteria, cranking up the intensity of the not-so-inviting scent spreading through your kitchen. 

So, when you catch a whiff of something not-so-great from your garbage disposal, it’s likely a collaboration between decomposing food scraps and a buildup of grease and oil.

Understanding these roots is the first step in getting rid of those unpleasant smells and bringing back a fresh vibe to your kitchen.

Now that you’ve got the lowdown on why your garbage disposal might be causing a stink, let’s dive into the next part where we’ll explore ways to kick those unpleasant odors to the curb.

Ways to Eliminate Unpleasant Odors from My Garbage Disposal

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1. Citrus Elegance

Give your garbage disposal a refreshing makeover with the vibrant essence of citrus fruits. Slice up some lemon or orange peels into small bits and toss them into the disposal. 

As the disposal works its magic, these citrus pieces release their natural oils, becoming a powerhouse against those unpleasant odors. 

To make the most of this method, turn on the disposal and run cold water simultaneously, letting the citrusy goodness spread everywhere in the system. 

Not only does this tackle the bad smells, but it also leaves a lingering citrus fragrance that transforms your disposal into a breath of fresh air in your kitchen.

It’s a simple and elegant way to add a burst of natural freshness to your daily routine.

2. Ice and Salt Symphony

Treat your garbage disposal to a revitalizing experience with the Ice and Salt Refresh. Grab a handful of ice cubes and combine them with rock salt.

When you add this mixture to your disposal and switch it on, it’s like a refreshing symphony in action.

The gritty texture of the ice and salt combination serves as a potent scrubber, addressing any stubborn residue clinging to the disposal blades and interior surfaces. 

As everything swirls around, it’s not just about giving your appliance a pristine appearance; it’s also about eliminating those lingering odors.

Consider this combo as a personal trainer for your disposal, ensuring even the trickiest spots receive a thorough cleaning. The outcome? 

A garbage disposal that not only gleams but also exudes a fresh scent like a summer breeze. It’s the type of cleansing harmony that leaves your disposal in top-notch condition.

3. Freshen Up Your Garbage Disposal with Vinegar

Give your garbage disposal a dose of natural freshness using the cleansing power of vinegar. Beyond being a kitchen staple, vinegar becomes your trusty solution for disinfecting and revitalizing your disposal. 

Begin by pouring a cup of white vinegar down the drain, setting the stage for a cleanliness spectacle. Let the vinegar work its magic for a relaxed 30 minutes, acting against bacteria and defeating stubborn odors.

Follow up by pouring another cup of vinegar directly into the disposal, providing it with a targeted treatment.

Allow it to linger for a few more minutes, letting the vinegar’s acidity neutralize odors and break down any lingering debris on the disposal blades and surfaces.

While the vinegar continues its cleaning performance, open the cold water tap and let it flow, rinsing away the remnants of vinegar along with any remaining odors and debris. 

This isn’t just about superficial cleaning; it’s a comprehensive process of disinfection and deodorization.

Embrace the simplicity and effectiveness of this vinegar ritual, leaving your kitchen not only clean but naturally revitalized.

4. Refresh Your Disposal with the Power of Baking Soda

Baking soda, beyond its role in the kitchen, proves to be a straightforward yet highly effective solution for breathing new life into your disposal. 

Start by generously sprinkling half a cup of baking soda down the drain, setting off a delightful cascade of freshness. 

The natural deodorizing properties of baking soda work wonders, absorbing and neutralizing any unpleasant odors that may have lingered at your disposal.

Let this gentle powder sit undisturbed for a leisurely 30 minutes, providing ample time for it to work its magic. During this period, baking soda actively combats lingering odors, leaving behind a clean and inviting ambience. 

Once the 30-minute relaxation is complete, it’s time to reawaken your disposal. Turn it on, and let the whirring blades distribute the baking soda throughout the system. 

This dynamic process not only revitalizes the disposal but also ensures that the deodorizing effects of baking soda are evenly dispersed.

For a finishing touch, run cold water to flush away any remaining baking soda and guarantee a thorough cleanse. 

5. DIY Refreshing Cubes

Revitalize your garbage disposal with a homemade solution that not only banishes odors but also gives your disposal blades a refreshing boost. Create these DIY Refreshing Cubes by freezing a mixture of water and vinegar in an ice tray.

To begin, mix equal parts water and vinegar, pouring the concoction into the ice tray. Let it freeze, transforming into handy cubes that pack a punch against unpleasant odours. 

When your cubes are ready, pop a couple into the disposal, and let the grinding action commence.

As these cubes whir around, they not only neutralize odours but also work as a natural sharpener for your disposal blades. 

It’s like a double-action treatment for your appliance – refreshing it and ensuring it stays in top-notch condition. 

Enjoy how easy it is to use this do-it-yourself trick. Just use your regular ice tray to make your garbage disposal work better and smell fresher.

6. Herbal Harmony

Make your garbage disposal smell amazing with the Herbal Harmony trick. Upgrade your kitchen vibes by putting a bunch of fresh herbs like mint, basil, or rosemary directly into the disposal. 

The oils and scents from these herbs act as a natural and delightful air freshener, turning your disposal into a place of freshness.

Turn on the disposal to let the blades mix with the herb bits, filling your kitchen with the calming scent of the herbs. For a thorough clean, run cold water at the same time. 

This not only washes away any remaining herb pieces but also spreads the herbal freshness throughout the disposal system.

The Herbal Harmony method not only gets rid of bad smells but also adds a touch of nature’s goodness to your kitchen. 

7. Activated Charcoal Elegance

Take your garbage disposal to the next level of sophistication with Activated Charcoal Elegance. Simply toss a couple of activated charcoal capsules into the disposal for a stylish twist on controlling odors. 

Charcoal is well-known for its ability to absorb and neutralize odors, offering a classy fix for any unwelcome kitchen smells.

While the disposal does its job, the activated charcoal goes to work, soaking up and getting rid of those lingering odors. It’s not just about freshness; it’s about bringing a touch of sophistication to your kitchen routine.

Activated charcoal isn’t just a trendy choice; its natural odour-fighting powers make it a standout for keeping your disposal not only clean but also radiating a sense of refined cleanliness.

Garbage Disposal Cleaning Products 

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If you’re in the market for a commercial garbage disposal cleaner, check out these products for amazing results.

For more details, visit their websites, read reviews, and select a product that suits the needs of your disposal.

1. Green Gobbler Garbage Disposal Drain Cleaner

Experience the prowess of this enzyme-powered cleaner that effortlessly disintegrates grease, food particles, and odours lurking in your garbage disposal.

The result? A fresh and clean-smelling disposal that not only revitalizes your kitchen but is also a septic system and plumbing-friendly.

2. Enviro-Safe Garbage Disposal Cleaner

Opt for this non-toxic and biodegradable cleaner, a blend of enzymes and citrus extracts that effectively eradicate odours and buildup within your garbage disposal.

Safeguard your septic system and plumbing with this eco-friendly solution.

3. Bio-Clean Garbage Disposal Cleaner

Harness the potency of this formidable cleaner, utilizing a combination of bacteria and enzymes to break down grease, food particles, and odours in your garbage disposal.

Trust in its safe application for both septic systems and plumbing.

4. The InSinkErator Garbage Disposal

Equip your kitchen with this heavy-duty garbage disposal, crafted to handle the toughest food scraps and thwart potential clogs.

Featuring a robust stainless steel grinding chamber and a powerful motor, it’s a reliable choice for maintaining a smoothly functioning disposal.

5. Rid-X Garbage Disposal and Drain Cleaner

Choose this enzyme-powered cleaner to proactively prevent clogs and eliminate odours in both your garbage disposal and drains.

Trust its safety for septic systems and plumbing, ensuring a trouble-free and fresh-smelling disposal experience.

When and How Often Should You Deodorize Your Garbage Disposal?

The frequency of deodorizing your garbage disposal depends on how frequently you use it and the types of food you dispose of.

If you’re a regular user, tackling the task once a week or even more often might be necessary to keep things smelling fresh. 

On the flip side, if your garbage disposal gets occasional use, deodorizing it once a month or less frequently could suffice.

The key here is regular maintenance; the more consistently you address odors, the fresher your garbage disposal will stay. 

Aim for a weekly deodorizing routine, but be flexible – if you catch a whiff of any unpleasant odours making a comeback, it’s a signal to deodorize more frequently.

Preventive Measures for a Fresh-Smelling Garbage Disposal in the Long Run

Preventing odours is often more effective than dealing with them after they’ve settled in. To ensure a consistently fresh-smelling garbage disposal, consider these proactive measures:

1. Mind Your Fats: Avoid the temptation to pour grease, oil, or fat down the drain. These substances can create clogs in your garbage disposal, leading to not only potential damage but also the emergence of unpleasant odors over time.

2. Post-Use Rinse: Make it a habit to run your garbage disposal after each use. This quick post-meal ritual helps flush away any lingering food particles that might otherwise accumulate and contribute to unwanted smells.

3. Regular Scrubbing: Incorporate regular cleaning into your routine. This proactive step ensures that you’re not only removing the immediate culprits but also preventing the build-up of food particles and grease over time.

An old toothbrush can be a handy tool for scrubbing hard-to-reach areas.

4. Monthly Maintenance: Give your garbage disposal some extra love by using a specialized cleaner at least once a month.

This proactive approach helps to break down any residual build-up, keeping your disposal clean and free from lingering odors.

By adopting these preventive measures, you’re not just addressing odours as they arise but actively working to keep your garbage disposal in top condition.

Pro Tips for Thoroughly Cleaning Your Garbage Disposal

When it comes to deep-cleaning your garbage disposal, follow these pro tips to ensure a thorough and effective job:

1. Prioritize Safety: Before diving into any cleaning or maintenance, prioritize safety. Always remember to turn off the disposal and disconnect the power source.

This precaution ensures a risk-free cleaning process.

2. Toothbrush Technique: Armed with an old toothbrush, target the rubber splash guard and the edges of the disposal.

This method might seem simple, but it’s surprisingly effective in removing hidden gunk that could be contributing to those unwanted odours.

Give these areas a good scrub to reveal a fresher disposal.

3. Disassemble for Deep Clean: For an even more comprehensive cleaning session, consider disassembling the disposal.

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to take apart each component, allowing you to clean them separately.

This method ensures that no nook or cranny is overlooked, leaving your disposal in a pristine state.

These pro tips go beyond surface cleaning, reaching into hidden corners to banish odours effectively.

A thorough cleaning not only keeps your garbage disposal smelling great but also ensures it stays in tip-top shape for the long run. 

Expert Cleaning Services for Your Garbage Disposal

For a top-notch professional cleaning of your garbage disposal, connecting with a local plumbing company is a savvy choice.

They’re adept at customizing service estimates to meet your specific needs. 

These professionals come prepared to tackle the job with efficiency, ensuring a comprehensive and effective cleaning that leaves your kitchen blissfully free from any lingering odours. 

While I’ve highlighted a few garbage disposal services here, diving into their websites will give you the most detailed information.

1. Roto-Rooter stands out as a well-established plumbing company, providing a range of services, including garbage disposal cleaning.

Their approach involves diverse techniques, such as hydro-jetting, utilizing a powerful stream of water to eliminate any buildup.

2. Trusted and reliable, Benjamin Franklin Plumbing is a go-to for garbage disposal cleaning services. Their methods encompass enzymatic cleaning, employing enzymes to effectively break down grease and food particles.

3.ServiceMaster Clean, a professional cleaning company, provides various services, including garbage disposal cleaning.

Their arsenal of methods includes ultrasonic cleaning, which employs high-frequency sound waves to eliminate buildup.

4. Chem-Dry Professional Carpet Cleaners: Beyond carpet cleaning, Chem-Dry Professional Carpet Cleaners offers garbage disposal cleaning services.

They use a specialized cleaning solution to break down grease and food particles in the disposal. 

5. Home Depot Pro Services, a professional home services company, covers a range of offerings, including garbage disposal cleaning.

Their methods, including hydro-jetting with a high-pressure stream of water, effectively blast away any buildup.


Getting rid of that yucky smell from your garbage disposal is like creating a masterpiece, and with these fancy tricks, you can turn your kitchen into a lovely-smelling place. 

Whether you go for simple homemade solutions or get some high-tech products, making your kitchen smell fresh and inviting is totally doable.

Enjoy the mix of nice smells and make your kitchen feel cozy again with these smart strategies.


Can you put garlic down the garbage disposal?

It’s best to avoid putting large quantities of garlic down the garbage disposal.

While small amounts may be okay, fibrous and stringy textures can potentially clog the disposal.

To prevent any issues, it’s recommended to chop garlic into small pieces and run cold water while using the disposal.

What is the best cleaner for garbage disposal smell?

White vinegar is an excellent natural cleaner for garbage disposal smells.

Pouring a cup of white vinegar into the disposal, letting it sit for at least 30 minutes, and then flushing it out with hot water can help neutralize odours.

Alternatively, using baking soda, salt, and essential oils or commercial disposal cleaning products can also be effective.

Will baking soda and vinegar damage a garbage disposal?

Baking soda and vinegar are generally safe for garbage disposal when used in moderation.

The fizzing reaction created by combining these two ingredients can help clean and deodorize the disposal.

However, it’s crucial not to use excessive amounts, and it’s recommended to follow up with a thorough rinse of hot water to prevent any potential issues.

Why put salt in your garbage disposal?

Salt is used in the garbage disposal as an abrasive agent to help scrub away residue and grime.

It can assist in cleaning the disposal blades and surfaces, contributing to fresher smelling and more efficient disposal.

Running cold water along with salt helps flush out any loosened particles, making it a simple yet effective method for disposal maintenance.

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