Why Garbage Disposal Smells Really Bad

November 20, 2019 | Blog, Home & pets, Uncategorized

Are you constantly fighting with the stinky smells that emanate from inside of your sink’s disposal? Sinks and disposals are items in your home that can be put through what many people call “the ringer”, due to their dirty task of collecting food and other debris and working to break down these substances within the disposal’s blades in the sink. There are a number of different foods, debris, and substances that many will force down into their sink’s disposal in an effort to rid it from their home, however, with this pursuit comes the unattractive odors that the disposal will eventually emit into the environment of your home. The sink disposal can accumulate and develop a wide range of noxious odors inside of its compartment and this can all be caused by different items placed into your disposal, as well as improper maintenance in deodorizing and cleaning this kitchen appliance. In this article we are going to discuss why garbage disposals in a home can smell really bad and the best methods to use to get rid of garbage disposal smell, leaving the disposals cleaned and deodorized completely.  

My Garbage Disposal Smells Like Sewage

My Garbage Disposal Smells Like SewageThe smells that are brewing and accumulated within the inside of your sink’s disposal system are something that is easily impacted by the different foods, liquids, and debris that are packed and deposited into the disposal. And thus, that is why most homeowners often experience a foul-smelling food odor from inside this kitchen appliance in their kitchens. However, what if another culprit other than food is responsible for the smell emanating from inside the kitchen sink disposal? The smell of sewage can easily travel up into the disposal of a sink due to the plumbing within the home. Typically, the plumbing in a home is designed to contain those harmful gases, flush away sewage, and provide you with clean and transportable water. If, however, you begin to smell the unmistakable odor of sewage in your sinks disposal this could indicate a major flaw in the sewage system in the plumbing. This could be hazardous to human health especially because sewer gas is toxic if breathed into the body for long periods of time, therefore if you begin to deal with a sink smells like sewer smell from your disposal you will need to act quick to resolve the problem at hand.

Why Does My Garbage Disposal Smell?

The commencement of your garbage disposal emitting a foul aroma into the environment is something that most individuals will want to handle quickly and conclude the cause(s) of this problem in an effort to reduce the risks of it occurring again inside of the sink’s disposal. As we discussed earlier, some of the most common causes behind garbage disposal smell includes food particles and debris that are placed into the sink and removed from the disposal, but there are also other causes behind garbage disposal smell including the following reasons;
  • Food Particles: A garbage disposal are self-cleaning appliances that are designed to stick and grind these particles that come into contact with these debris. However, sometimes old chunks of food will get stuck into the drain of the disposal and will leave a putrid aroma in this area which can develop into a major garbage disposal odor problem.
  • Grime & Debris: Dirt and grime can build up inside of the disposal, usually on the sides of this area. When this occurs, it can cause a strong smell to be produced throughout the kitchen that will need to be absolved quickly. It is important to avoid putting things down the disposal like grease and grime to avoid this odor problem.
  • Short Disposal Run Times: When it comes to running the sink disposal, often times people do not run the disposal for long enough. It is important to run it for a longer amount of time to ensure that all the food and debris are being taken care of and drained in the disposal to minimize odor issues.
  • Leaking Pipes in Garbage Disposal: A leaking disposal pipe can be a major issue for your sink’s garbage disposal – this will lead to the production of odors and can worsen immediately if actions are not taken to fix this problem.

Garbage Disposal Maintenance

Garbage Disposal MaintenanceWhen it comes to properly up-keeping and maintaining your garbage disposal there is often not much effort that gets put in most households. Generally, garbage disposal maintenance can be fairly simple and easy to apply to the disposal with little hassle. The following methods can be used to maintain garbage disposals, and these methods include the following;
  • Use Cold Water: A steady flow of cold water running from your sink during and after every use can help to maintain the functioning of the disposal. It is recommended to let the water run for 15 seconds after grinding food to make sure it washes down.
  • Clean with Ice: Placing ice into your sink’s disposal will help to keep the disposal running and keep it clean by removing stuck on food on the blades.
  • Use De-Greaser: Use a disposal cleaner or de-greaser to help fight off fat buildup that may have developed on the blades of the disposal over time. When this happens, it can produce an odor from the sink that will be described as putrid.

Can You Put Drain Cleaner in a Garbage Disposal?

What is the first thing you run to when your sink drains clogs in your kitchen or bathroom? Most people will use a drain cleaner like Drano or other caustic drain cleaners to help unclog the sink that is trapped with food that may be leaving a lasting odor in the sink. However, it has been found that using a drain cleaner is not the best selection when it comes to removing stuck on food that will leave your sink disposal smelling really bad. These caustic drain cleaners have been said to cause severe burns and it can ultimately lead to damaged pipes in the sink and garbage disposal. And therefore, it is best to avoid the use of these cleaners for garbage disposal odor removing in your sinks.

How to Get Rid of Garbage Disposal Smell

Garbage disposal stench can come from a variety of specific incidents, foods placed in the disposal, and even improper maintenance performed on the disposal. When this occurs, most people will begin the process of ridding the disposal odors through the use of different methods, especially those popular ones that are the most commonly used and practiced deodorizing solutions. Below we are going to discuss the top solutions for getting rid of garbage disposal smell and which ones work the best and the worst.  

Cleaning Garbage Disposal with Lemon

Cleaning Garbage Disposal with LemonThe matching of lemons and garbage disposals goes together quite nicely since the power of citrus’s aroma can leave any area in your home, including the garbage disposal with a fresher smell quickly. Not only will citrus fruits like lemon help to emit a fresh smell in the disposal but it has also been found to help remove particles that can get clogged and mucked up on the disposal. This natural and completely harmless garbage disposal deodorizer is a great option due to these characteristics, along with its cheap price tag that can be used because of its versatile nature. It is recommended to slice up a lemon or two into a few pieces and squirt a few drops of the lemon juice into the disposal opening. Let the lemon juice sit in the disposal for a little bit before placing the peels into the disposal to be run to help further with freshening this appliance.

Bleach in Garbage Disposal

Bleach in Garbage DisposalBleach is a great cleaning agent for effectively killing germs and other bacteria quickly from the surfaces of a home including garbage disposals and sinks. And thus, that is why bleach is a commonly used solution to garbage disposal smells, however, if you use bleach be sure to use conservative amounts as too much can harden any grease in your disposal unit. When the grease hardens it will become more difficult to remove this build up and it will eventually lead to an overabundant smell of foul food in the disposal. It is recommended to use a tablespoon of diluted bleach in a gallon of water and slowly pour it into your garbage disposal. Give the bleach time to sit in the disposal for about a minute or two and then turn on the hot water and leave it running for several minutes to flush the bleach and the backed-up food and grime.

Baking Soda and Vinegar to Clean Garbage Disposal

Baking Soda and Vinegar to Clean Garbage DisposalBaking soda and vinegar are two go-to natural products for odor elimination throughout the house, and deodorizing garbage disposals is no different! These two deodorizers can work together as a simple mixture to eradicate a broad spectrum of garbage disposal odors stuck in this appliance. Baking soda is a great odor absorber due to the chemical nature of this product which makes it a great option for expelling odors from a variety of sources. Additionally, vinegar is a well-recognized cleaning and sanitizing agent that is effective in removing inorganic soils, mineral deposits, and the odors that accompany them. Vinegar and baking soda can be easily applied into any garbage disposal to act as an odor absorbing solution that will work rapidly in the environment. It is recommended to sprinkle half a cup of baking soda into the drain, then gently pour a cup of white vinegar on top. The mixture together will result in fizzling and bubbling that you will need to allow to sit for 5 to 10 minutes. After it sits you can rinse it down with very hot water, with the garbage disposal running.

OdorKlenz Sink & Disposal Cleaner & Deodorizer

Sinks and garbage disposals are notorious for harboring foul odors, because nothing quite compares to the smell of that sickly amalgam of old foods, stale water, and random liquids mixed together down the drain. As we discussed above, there are many different deodorizing and cleaning products that can be used to rid these foul odors from your sink’s disposal, however, what if you could use a specifically designed deodorizer that works singularly for the removal of sink and disposal odors? The OdorKlenz Sink and Disposal Cleaner & Deodorizer is that solution that can be safely used to thoroughly rid your sink of that nasty odor in the garbage disposal. OdorKlenz Sink & Disposal Cleaner & DeodorizerThe OdorKlenz Sink & Disposal Cleaner & Deodorizer is a simple, safe, and naturally powerful deodorizer that contains no fragrances or masking agents to remove odors from the source. The patented OdorKlenz earth mineral technology works by capturing, containing, and neutralizing a broad spectrum of noxious and toxic chemicals and odors from a variety of sources including sink disposals. This product is recommended to be used weekly or monthly as a sink preventive deodorizer. The simple application of OdorKlenz includes 1/3 cup of the OdorKlenz Sink & Disposal Cleaner & Deodorizer that is poured down the drain and allowed to sit for a few minutes after depositing. After a couple minutes have passed, run some water down the drain and turn on your disposal for a few seconds before adding additional product into the disposal to give you the fresh deodorized odor in your sink.

Sink & Disposal Cleaner & Deodorizer


Made of Safe, Natural earth minerals that provide a complete odor elimination

Fast acting, without the use of masking agents or fragrances

Made from castile soap, vegetable glycerin, and metal oxides

Helps clean while it deodorizes