You are in Phoenix. We also have a Tucson site.

You are in Phoenix. We also have a Tucson site.

You are in Phoenix. We also have a Tucson site.

Something Smells Fishy… Could It Be Your Garbage Disposal?

Your garbage disposal gets rid of food waste. This means, in theory, it should be keeping foul smells away from your kitchen, right??

So it may come as a shock when you realize that the garbage disposal might actually be the problem. 

Stinky garbage disposals are quite common. And here are two reasons why you might be dealing with it. 

You dump certain foods down the drain

Garbage disposals can get rid of food waste. But this doesn’t mean you should throw any kind of food down the drain.

Some common foods to avoid dumping include: 

  • Starchy foods like rice, spaghetti, and bread
  • Fibrous substances like onion skins, corn husks, and celery
  • Greasy substances such as fats and oils.  

Over time, disposing of these kinds of remains will lead to a clogged drain pipe. And you’ll certainly be able to smell the damage before you see it.

You regularly skip cleaning day

Your garbage disposal makes waste disappear, but this doesn’t mean it doesn’t need to be cleaned itself. Simply giving it a good wash every now and then won’t cut it. 

Ideally, you should clean your garbage disposal once a week. If you’re busy, at least once bi-weekly is acceptable. Anything longer than that, and you’re waiting too long. 

Regular cleaning ensures that your handy little machine doesn’t become a home to bacteria, mold, and mildew. It also tackles bad smells before they have a chance to develop.

Here are two ways you can clean your garbage disposal and get rid of any existing odors:

Get ahold of some Borax

Borax is ideal for cleaning out your garbage disposal. This is because it has a relatively high pH which makes it perfect for getting rid of weird smells. It also works especially well if mildew is the cause of the stench.

Pour three to five teaspoons of borax down your disposal drain and allow it to sit for 20 minutes. Afterward, rinse out the drain with cold water for a few minutes. At this point, the unpleasant smell should be less noticeable. If it isn’t, you can repeat this process as necessary. 

Use the dish wand, soap, and tongs combo

In some cases, you may need to roll up your sleeves and put in some elbow grease to get your garbage disposal smelling fresh again. You can achieve this with a dish wand (or an old toothbrush), tongs, and dish soap.

First, make sure the machine is powered off. This is the most important step as failing to do so could lead to some gruesome accidents.

Next, you’ll need to remove the sink drain. Use the tongs to extract any solid remains you see.

Then use the dish wand and a liberal amount of soap to scrub all visible areas. Don’t forget to clean the splash guard. And never use your fingers for this part of the job.

After this, your garbage disposal should not only be spotless, but it should also smell sooo much better!

Parker & Sons provides expert plumbing services to Phoenix and the Valley, including Goodyear, GilbertChandlerBuckeyeFountain HillsMesaScottsdaleSun CitySurpriseTempe, and more.

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