Preventing Garbage Disposal Odors

by Lee Wyatt
(last updated March 30, 2009)


In my personal opinion garbage disposals are one of the greatest inventions and additions to any kitchen. I love being able to get rid of everything from a ruined meal to unwanted leftover's. This piece of kitchen machinery is absolutely great; that is, it's great except for when it's not. That usually only happens when some strange, usually nasty, odor begins to waft throughout the entire kitchen from the direction of the sink. Typically, when this happens most people (myself included) begin to curse the existence of the garbage disposal. Operating on the basis that it's better to prevent a problem from starting, then wouldn't it be a good idea to know how to prevent garbage disposal odors from beginning?

Preventing garbage disposal odors is a fairly simply prospect. All you need to really begin the prevention of these horrid smells is to know what is required of you. Armed with that information, all that is left is for you to put in a little effort to maintain what you have learned. Once you do that, you will find that the occasions for garbage disposal odors happening less frequently then ever before.

  • Smaller is better. When you are using your garbage disposal, be sure that you putting smaller portions of food, or other organic matter down the drain prior to turning it on. The larger the amount material there is in the disposal, then the more likely there is going to be a clog or some other kind of mechanical breakdown. Put a little down the drain (like a plateful) then turn it on.
  • Remove foreign objects. There are times when you are washing your dishes that something will fall down the drain into the disposal that does not belong there. Items like jewelry and silverware are commonly falling down the drain, but if you don't remove whatever it is before you turn the disposal on, you are running the chance of ruining the disposal blades or motor. When that happens you run the chance of having another type of mechanical breakdown, or some of the material not getting chopped up like it was supposed to.
  • Regular cleaning. Periodically—no more than once a week, and certainly no less than once a month—put some baking soda and vinegar down the garbage disposal and allow it to sit. Begin the process by first pouring about half a cup of baking soda down the drain. Follow this with slowly pouring half a cup of vinegar down the drain. Don't worry if you see some foam coming back up the drain, that's normal. Allow the fizzing action to stop, then simply turn on both the water and the drain to remove whatever is left.

Author Bio

Lee Wyatt

Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. ...


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What is six less than 6?

2016-05-14 00:25:55

jose castaneda

thanks for the tips

2012-12-10 16:22:44

J J Keist

Didn't work for me. My garbage disposal still puts out a putrid smell when I turn it on.

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