A kitchen can be sparkling clean, but if a bad odor lingers, even the cleanest kitchen won’t seem quite as clean. Kitchen garbage disposals are usually forgotten about – until they develop a bad odor.
Bad odors from garbage disposals aren’t uncommon. With food being disposed of on a daily basis, it’s no wonder why garbage disposals develop bad odors from time to time. Old food gets trapped in crevices, on the splash guard, and odor-causing bacteria eventually begins to form. Bacteria are responsible for creating foul odors, and if you get rid of bacteria, you’ll get rid of the odors.
Cleaning the Disposal
Before getting rid of garbage disposal odors it’s important first clean the garbage disposal. If you don’t clean it first, you’ll end up covering up odors instead of getting rid of them. Your dirty garbage disposal will go from smelling like something rotten to something rotten and whatever you’re using to cover up the bad smell.
About once a month, simply fill the disposer side of the sink with hot water, and add about 1/8 cup of grease-cutting dishwashing liquid. After the sink is full, remove the stopper, and turn on the disposal while continuing to run hot water. The hot water combined with degreaser will effectively clean away grease and grime, and it will also help clean out the pipes in the process.
Splash Guard Cleaning
Sometimes bad odors aren’t coming from inside the disposer, but actually from the underside of the splash guard. The rubber splash guard eventually becomes covered with grime and slime. Periodically wipe the underside of the splash guard with deodorizing kitchen cleaner or a mixture of bleach and water. This alone might solve your smelly garbage disposal problem.
Don’t waste your money buying expensive garbage disposal deodorizers. Once the unit is clean, consider deodorizing it by tossing in lemon, lime, or orange peels. Your garbage disposal will smell as fresh as a citrus grove. Do this once every couple of weeks along with regular cleaning, and your disposal won’t have a chance to develop a bad odor.
If you prefer the scent of mint over citrus, give your disposer a fresh clean scent with a little mint extract. After the garbage disposal has been cleaned, pour several drops of mint extract into the unit. Allow the mint extract to remain in the disposer a few hours before turning it on and rinsing it away. Your disposer will smell fresh and clean for days.
You wouldn’t want to put this ice in a glass of cola, but ice made with vinegar does wonders for smelly garbage disposals. Fill an ice tray with a mixture of white vinegar and water. Freeze this concoction, and put it down your smell disposer while running cold water. The ice will help sharpen the blades, and the vinegar will deodorize the unit. Make a tray of vinegar ice every other week so your garbage disposal continues to smell clean and fresh. Just make sure you label this ice so someone doesn’t get an unpleasant surprise.