How to Clean a Smelly Garbage Disposal

Have you ever opened up your kitchen sink and been hit with a wave of foul odors? Chances are, it’s your garbage disposal that’s causing the stench. Fear not, because there are easy ways to clean a smelly garbage disposal and keep it running smoothly.

How to Clean and Deodorize a Smelly Garbage Disposal

If you’re dealing with a smelly garbage disposal, first, let’s address any clogs that might be causing the issue. If your garbage disposal is clogged, it can lead to odors and other problems.

Unclogging a Garbage Disposal

  1. First, turn off the power to the disposal by flipping the switch on the wall or unplugging it. This will help prevent any accidents while you’re working on it.
  2. Next, locate the reset button on the bottom of the disposal. This button is usually red and will be located near the base of the disposal.
  3. Press the reset button and hold it down for a few seconds. This will help to reset the disposal and clear any clogs.
  4. Shine a flashlight down the garbage disposal and see if you can locate any clogs. Next insert the tongs into the disposal and try to gently loosen any stuck food particles. Be careful not to put your hand down the disposal, as the blades can be sharp.
  5. Run the disposal with cold water for 1 minute.

Once you’ve unclogged your garbage disposal, it’s time to move on to cleaning and deodorizing it. Here are a few different methods you can try:

Cleaning Disposal with Lemon

One of the easiest and most natural ways to freshen a smelly garbage disposal is by using lemon wedges. Simply throw a few wedges down the disposal and run it with cold water for a few seconds. The citric acid in the lemons will help to break down any lingering food particles and the citrus scent will leave your disposal smelling fresh. This is a quick and easy method you can do periodically to stay on top of any smells.

Cleaning Disposal with Lemon

Cleaning Garbage Disposal With Ice and Salt

If you’re looking for a more abrasive cleaning method to really get your disposal clean, try using ice and salt. Fill the disposal with a few cups of ice, followed by a handful of rock salt. Run the disposal with cold water for a few seconds to help grind up the ice and salt, which will help to loosen any stuck-on food particles.

Soak Disposal With Dish Soap and Hot Water

If your garbage disposal is really dirty and smelly, you may need to use a more powerful cleaning method. Plug the disposal drain and fill it with a few cups of hot water and a squirt of dish soap. Let it sit for an hour or so before unplugging the drain and running the disposal. The dish soap will help to break down any stuck-on food particles and leave your disposal smelling fresh and clean.

Cleaning Disposal with Baking Soda and Vinegar

This classic cleaning duo is not only effective at removing odors, but it’s also a great way to clean the inside of your garbage disposal. First, pour a cup of baking soda down the disposal. Then, follow it up with a cup of white vinegar. The mixture will start to fizz, which will help to loosen any stuck-on grime. Let it sit for a few minutes before running the disposal with cold water.

Cleaning Disposal with Baking Soda and Vinegar

Remember, it’s important to always run cold water when using your garbage disposal to help flush away any food particles and prevent clogs. And be sure to use caution when cleaning your disposal, as the blades can be sharp. If one method doesn’t do the trick, we’d recommend a trying combo of these until the smell is gone.

So there you have it, four different methods for cleaning and deodorizing your smelly garbage disposal. With a little bit of elbow grease (and maybe a lemon wedge or two), you can get rid of that nasty smell and keep your disposal running smoothly. And remember if you ever need appliance repair, Ortega’s Appliance Service has your back!

For more tips check out our DIY guides on cleaning a glass top stove and what to do when your refrigerator isn’t cooling.

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