How Do I Get Rid of Garbage Disposal Smells?

A mixture of vinegar and baking soda put into the garbage disposal can help eliminate odors.
Adding a half-cup of mouthwash to the garbage disposal reduces odors.
Orange peels can be used to clean a garbage disposal.
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  • Written By: Natalie M. Smith
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 05 November 2014
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You can eliminate garbage disposal smells in an economical and eco-friendly way with fruit juice or rinds and nontoxic household items. Dish liquids are effective garbage disposal cleaning agents as well. Safely maintaining your garbage disposal and not using it to dispose of foods that are more likely to cause bad smells also can prevent or limits foul odors.

The pungent and fresh smell of citrus overcomes many garbage disposal smells. To clean a garbage disposal using this method, collect soft lemon and orange peels and place them in the disposal. Then run your disposal for several seconds using only cold water. Lemon juice is another option. Pour a couple of cupfuls into the unit, let it sit for a few minutes, then run the unit with water.

Vinegar and baking soda are age-old cleaning agents that also work on smelly garbage disposals. Pour equal parts of white distilled vinegar and baking soda into your disposal, and let the bubbling solution sit for a few minutes before rinsing with hot water. Both baking soda and vinegar are known to eliminate odors on their own, so you can also try using them separately to ward off garbage disposal smells. Additionally, these substances are cheap and safe to use around individuals with asthma or others who are especially sensitive to toxic cleaners.


Dish liquid offers another way to handle bad garbage disposal smells. Pour a capful of detergent into your disposal, and run the appliance for several seconds with hot water. Just like on dishes, the ingredients and suds will help wash away any grease or other substances that might be causing the smell, and scented liquids leave the disposal smelling fragrant.

Regular maintenance also is important to prevent and eliminate garbage disposal smells. Trapped and rotting foods, or other hidden issues, might be the odor's source. Although there are helpful garbage disposal maintenance how-to articles and videos available online, there are different types of garbage disposals, and each requires different maintenance techniques. To protect yourself from harm and prevent damaging your unit, refer to the maintenance directions and safety guidelines of the disposal's manufacturer. Contact a professional plumber for additional assistance.

Using your garbage disposal wisely lessens how often you have to maintain and deodorize your unit. Many foods that are known to reek generally are not meant for the garbage disposal. These include grease, onion peels, potato peels and seafood shells. Refrain from using the garbage disposal to rid your home of these items.


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Post 1

Thanks for the tips. I usually clean the garbage disposal bin with a mild bleaching solution. At times I use DIY garbage disposal bins or the bins given by our junk removal company. They used to give plastic bins and they are easy to clean.

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