A sink full of food scraps and a person rinsing them down the garbage disposal

How to Get Rid of Garbage Disposal Odors

Understanding Garbage Disposal Odors

Garbage disposals are a fantastic invention, making kitchen cleanup a breeze. But what do you do when your trusty disposal starts emitting unpleasant odors that fill your kitchen with a funky aroma? Fear not, because we're here to help you understand why these odors occur, how to prevent them, and what to do if you already have a smelly garbage disposal. Plus, we'll introduce you to Fresh Wave's natural solutions to keep your kitchen smelling fresh.

A Brief History of Garbage Disposals

Garbage disposals have come a long way since their invention in 1927 by John W. Hammes. His invention, known as the "InSinkErator," has evolved over the years to become an indispensable appliance in modern kitchens. However, despite their convenience, garbage disposals can sometimes develop unwelcome odors. Let's explore why this happens and how to address it.

Why Does My Garbage Disposal Smell?

Garbage disposals can emit unpleasant odors for several reasons. Here are some common culprits:

  • Food Residue: Food particles can get trapped in the disposal and start to decompose, creating foul odors.
  • Grease and Oils: Grease and oils can solidify in the disposal, causing clogs and odors.
  • Starchy Foods: Foods like pasta and rice can expand in water, leading to blockages and odor issues.
  • Lack of Cleaning: Without regular cleaning and maintenance, bacteria can thrive and produce unpleasant smells.

Garbage Disposal Maintenance Tips

Now that you understand why your garbage disposal may be emitting unpleasant odors, let's explore some best practices for keeping it clean and odor-free:

  • Run Water Regularly: After using your garbage disposal, run cold water for about 30 seconds. This helps flush away food particles and keeps the disposal clean.
  • Use Ice Cubes: Toss a handful of ice cubes down the disposal and turn it on. The ice helps clean the blades and keeps them sharp.
  • Freshen with Citrus: Citrus peels, like those from lemons, limes, and oranges, are natural deodorizers. Drop small citrus peel pieces into the disposal while running cold water for a fresh, citrusy scent.
  • Baking Soda and Vinegar: Sprinkle baking soda down the disposal, wait a few minutes, and then pour vinegar down the drain. This chemical reaction breaks down food particles and eliminates odors. Rinse with hot water.

How to Fix a Smelly Garbage Disposal

If you're already dealing with a smelly garbage disposal, don't worry; you can fix it:

  • Clean the Blades: Turn off the power to the disposal, and use a brush or scrubbing pad to clean the blades and the inside of the disposal.
  • Use Fresh Wave Odor Removing Spray: Fresh Wave's Odor Removing Spray is a powerful yet gentle solution for getting rid of unwanted odors in your kitchen. Simply spray it directly into the garbage disposal, and it will neutralize odors on contact. You can also use it on cutting boards, trash cans, and other areas where odors tend to linger.
  • Check for Clogs: If the disposal is still smelly, there might be a clog. Turn off the power and use a flashlight to inspect the disposal. If you see a blockage, use a disposal wrench (or an Allen wrench) to manually turn the blades and dislodge the clog.

Problematic Foods to Avoid

Preventing garbage disposal odors also involves being mindful of what you put down the drain. Avoid putting these foods into your disposal:

  • Grease and Cooking Oils: These can solidify and clog the disposal.
  • Starchy Foods: Pasta, rice, and potato peels can expand in water and lead to blockages.
  • Bones: Dispose of bones in the trash, not the disposal, as they can damage the blades.
  • Fibrous Vegetables: Celery, onion skins, and corn husks can wrap around the blades and cause jams. Add these to your compost pile instead.

Regular Maintenance

Lastly, don't forget about regular maintenance. Periodically, give your garbage disposal a deep clean by disconnecting the power and cleaning the blades and drain with a brush or scrubbing pad.

Garbage disposals are a modern convenience that can occasionally bring unpleasant odors into your kitchen. By understanding the causes of these odors, following best practices for prevention, and knowing how to fix a smelly garbage disposal, you can keep your kitchen smelling fresh and your disposal running smoothly. Whether you prefer natural remedies or Fresh Wave's specialized products, you have the tools to enjoy an odor-free kitchen.

From its humble beginnings in 1927 to its place in today's modern kitchens, the garbage disposal has come a long way. With a little care and attention, you can keep this indispensable appliance working at its best and ensure that your kitchen always smells fresh and inviting.