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How Can I Deodorize My Garbage Disposal?

technician replacing the garbage disposalGarbage disposals are essential items in the kitchen. They efficiently break down food particles, allowing their natural passage through your drain system.

However, garbage disposals can begin to smell bad over time if they’re not regularly deodorized. In fact, a stinky garbage waste disposal system can make your entire house stink.

Thankfully, there are simple ways of ensuring that your system remains odorless. They range from routine cleaning to natural remedies and chemical treatments.

Need help with your garbage disposal or just have a question? Call the plumbing professionals at S & D Plumbing at 512-595-5341 to schedule plumbing repair today.

How To Clean & Deodorize Your Garbage Disposal

  1. Turn on the system.
  2. Pour a stream of hot water down it for about sixty seconds.
  3. Shut down the system and stopper the sink.
  4. Pour warm water and detergent in the stoppered sink.
  5. Scrub the sink basin.
  6. Turn on the system and remove the stopper from the sink basin.
  7. Once the water has completely drained, detach any removable parts from the system and thoroughly scrub using a small brush.
  8. Rinse the basin and removable systems well.
  9. Reattach the parts you removed.

Natural Remedies for Garbage Disposal Odors

Many chemical agents can unclog your garbage disposal, but natural remedies are cheap, eco-friendly, and readily available. Give these tips a try in your kitchen:

Ice, Salt & Vinegar

A block of ice will push off large particles from the wall of the disposal system. Salt scrubs the walls. Any salt will do; table salt, rock salt, and sea salt will all work the same. However, for the best results, use rock salt. It’s harder and will scrub the walls better.

Ice and vinegar will also work efficiently. Vinegar is acidic, meaning it will break down food particles and eliminate the microorganisms growing in the system. Ice will remove the fat particles.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Pick two ice cubes from your fridge.
  2. Drop the cubes in your disposal.
  3. Pour three teaspoons of salt or half a cup of vinegar into the system.
  4. Turn the disposal system on and run it for sixty seconds.
  5. Switch the system off and pour a stream of hot water to drain the particles.

Baking Soda

If the stench is too much, try baking soda, which should be used with vinegar. When baking soda and vinegar combine, a chemical reaction occurs. The reaction causes the loosening of stuck particles that are responsible for the stench. Some hot water can be poured into the system to push the loosened particles away.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Pour half a cup of vinegar into the system.
  2. Pour a similar amount of baking soda.
  3. Fizzling will occur. Wait for about five minutes for this reaction to die down.
  4. Pour a stream of hot water to rinse out the system.

The Power of Citrus

Citrus gives the system a fresh smell. Citrus fruits are typical cheap agents of deodorizing. They contain citric acid, which disinfects the blades and walls of the disposal system, effectively removing garbage that’s stuck.

The citrus smell will mask any bad smells that remain, leaving your system smelling sweet and fresh. You don’t have to use the whole orange; just a piece will do or even the peels.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Get some lemon or orange pieces or peels.
  2. Grind the pieces.
  3. 0Pour the resulting matter into the garbage disposal. This should be done after cleaning the system.

Store-Bought Garbage Disposal Deodorizers

If you’re not a big fan of home remedies, you could go for commercial garbage disposal cleaning products. Oxygen-based cleaners are an excellent choice. They’re safe and can easily be degraded.

You pour the oxygen-based cleaner down the system, and then you run a good amount of water. The water will cause foaming, which will remove sticky particles and get rid of the stench in the process.

Mouthwash would be a great option also. If it’s safe for the mouth, it’s safe for your kitchen. Pour mouthwash down the system, followed by hot water.

How To Avoid Garbage Disposal Odors

Some particles are likely to make your garbage disposal stink more than others. To properly maintain your garbage disposal and minimize odor problems, avoid putting these items down your garbage disposal:

  • Greasy items: Grease is sticky. Over time, it also smells. Fatty food particles will make the system sticky, causing other particles to attach themselves to the walls.
  • Large items: The garbage disposal won’t easily cut up large pieces of vegetables and fruit. These will clog the system. Once they form a clog, getting them out will be difficult. They’ll decompose and produce bad smells. 
  • Runny food items: Runny foods don’t clean out quickly. They’ll remain in the system for a longer time. Their smells are likely to linger in your kitchen. Avoid dumping raw eggs, honey, or fish in the system.
  • Very small particles: Minuscule particles will build up quickly and cause clogging over time. Avoid items that are ground, such as coffee.

Dealing with a smelly or broken garbage disposal in your Austin, TX, home? S & D Plumbing can be there the same day — call 512-595-5341.

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