Sometimes, the inventions that provide the most value are the ones that we ignore. The garbage disposal was invented back in 1927. But precisely because garbage disposals are so helpful, they have become so common that we do not appreciate the value they provide.
Of course, when our garbage disposals stop working, we appreciate how much value they were providing for us before. However, the practical benefits of a garbage disposal are sometimes overshadowed by negative garbage disposal smells.
Where do these smells come from? What can you do to get rid of them? Read on to learn the most important things to understand about what is going on with a foul garbage disposal and what you can do about it!
Why Does My Garbage Disposal Smell Bad?
It makes sense that garbage disposals would smell bad when you think about it. The question you would think we would ask is not why they smell bad. Instead, asking why they don’t always smell bad makes sense, considering they are continuously exposed to food.
There are a variety of problems that can lead to nasty smells with your garbage disposal.
Most people are used to pouring liquids down the drain. That strategy works almost all of the time. However, some hot greases are liquid only because they are fresh from the stovetop, oven, or grill.
When you pour them down the drain, they cool and solidify. Then, they can build up in your pipes or your garbage disposal. Limiting how much grease and oil you put down your kitchen sink is essential. In most cases, it is safer to throw grease away in the garbage.
Too Many Starches
There’s a common theme with things that cause garbage disposal smells. That theme is foods that can build up and stick around over time. Starchy foods can do this because of their texture.
The blade of garbage disposals cut starchy foods up into tiny pieces. Then, some of those pieces can get stuck when they dry out on your garbage disposal blades or around them.
Skins and Peels
Similar problems can result from putting vegetable or fruit peels and skins down the drain. Sometimes, garbage disposals do not efficiently cut up large quantities of skin and peels.
That means that they sometimes get tangled around things and stick around. Not only can that cause bad smells, but it can also interfere with the rotation of the garbage disposal blade.
Coffee can also get stuck and build up in your drain. You will not likely build up large amounts of coffee grounds in a drain.
However, whatever grounds do build-up will tend to smell. That is because coffee grounds are so fragrant, especially as they age, leading to a foul-smelling garbage disposal.
How to Fix a Stinky Garbage Disposal
You can often resolve a smelly garbage disposal by cleaning it. We will go into various strategies for cleaning a garbage disposal that smells.
However, it is also possible that you will need to repair or replace your garbage disposal. In such cases, you may have to call professionals to help install new equipment.
On the other hand, you might be able to manage the cleaning job by yourself. However, that is a real maybe. Depending on the cleaning job’s seriousness, you may need to hire professional help to assess and perhaps even disassemble your stinky garbage disposal.
Sometimes, you can improve the smell of your garbage disposal by using citrus products. For example, you can use products with oils from lemons, grapefruits, or other citrus fruits.
You can even use straight fruit. We discussed the importance of not putting excess fruit skins down the drain. However, if you carefully cut up an orange or a grapefruit, you can feed it down the drain.
The citrus oils will then encounter bacteria in your drain and kill some of them. They can also wash away some residues that may have built up. This is one of the easiest ways of cleaning a garbage disposal.
Before you hire professionals, it is often worth trying something as simple as cutting up a piece of fruit and putting it down the drain. However, you may also need to use more intense cleaning strategies.
You can also try buying garbage disposal scouring powders. You can then add the appropriate quantity of these powders to your drain and turn on the faucet to add some water.
Afterward, let the resulting solution sit in your garbage disposal for about 15 minutes. If you are lucky, this will resolve the smell in your garbage disposal.
However, you may need to disassemble your unit for more tough cleaning jobs. It is often better to hire professionals for such intensive work.
What Can Go Down the Garbage Disposal When It’s Not Working?
Make sure to use your garbage disposal as little as possible if it is not working or smells. You may be able to resolve a problematic garbage disposal when its problems are minor.
But if you continue using your garbage disposal, its problems will worsen. At that point, it may become impossible for you to solve the problem without calling for professional help.
Understand How to Handle Garbage Disposal Smells
Many people are not sure how to handle garbage disposal smells. Some people end up waiting and hoping the problem will improve. However, taking the right actions is essential to minimize the cost of restoring a garbage disposal that is not working well.
To learn more about keeping your garbage disposal in excellent condition, reach out and get in touch with us anytime!