If you’re using your garbage disposal as a catch-all, you may want to reconsider. There are a lot of things you shouldn’t put down the garbage disposal, from eggshells and coffee grounds to oils and grease. 

The reality is that sometimes, whether you’re putting the right things or the wrong things down your sink, a foul garbage disposal odor can develop that takes over your whole kitchen!

Before you start lighting candles and spraying air freshening spray, see if you can tackle the smell directly. Not sure how? We’ve got your back!

Read on for tips and tricks from our expert home cleaners on how to get rid of that nasty garbage disposal odor. 

Step 1: Start With Some Ice

Believe it or not, the first thing you can try is something you’ll find right in your own freezer: ice! Throwing an ice cube or two down the garbage disposal is something you can do if you need a quick fix to sharpen your blades. It’s also a good way to try to tackle strange smells.

The reason why we suggest starting with ice is that it can help to clean up those blades without any chemicals. Plus, it can help dislodge any food scraps that are stuck in the garbage disposal without running the risk of adding another strange smell to the mix.

Run your garbage disposal and drop one to three ice cubes into it one at a time. Give it at least an hour and see if the smell clears up.

Step 2: Go Natural With Citrus

If the ice doesn’t do the trick (or you want to add some natural freshness to the air), we recommend using citrus fruits to your advantage. You can use a lemon, a lime, or an orange for this trick.

Why is citrus the way to go? Citrus fruits are acidic and can help eat away at all sorts of caked-on or greasy messes. Citrus also helps to neutralize unpleasant odors while filling the air with something much sweeter and more refreshing.

To try the citrus trick, discard the peel of the fruit in the trash–it’s too tough to go down the disposal. Then, cut the fruit into small pieces, turn on your garbage disposal, and throw the pieces in one at a time. Just like you did with the ice, give it about an hour and check again to see if the smell is still lingering. 

Step 3: Bleach OR Vinegar and Baking Soda

Please take note that for this step, we’re advising you to use bleach or vinegar and baking soda. Do not use one right after the other and never mix bleach and vinegar. Doing so creates a toxic gas that can cause serious health problems. 

Because vinegar and baking soda aren’t harsh on the skin or respiratory system, we do suggest using this method instead of bleach. However, we’ll discuss both methods in case you don’t have vinegar and baking soda on hand.

The Bleach Method

If you’re going to use bleach to get rid of that garbage disposal odor, look for something on the milder side. Turn on the tap and make sure that you’re running cold water–you can leave the garbage disposal, itself, off. Then, pour about a tablespoon of bleach into the running water so that it washes down the drain.

The bleach should knock out whatever is causing your sink to stink. Bleach is also an odor neutralizer, although it does come with a pungent smell of its own. If possible, open surrounding windows for at least 30 minutes after using bleach.

The Vinegar and Baking Soda Method

When vinegar and baking soda get together, they start to fizz and knock out the toughest, most stuck-on goops and greases out there. To try out this method, you’re going to want about one cup of baking soda and one cup of vinegar. (Remember, we’re talking white vinegar, not red wine vinegar!)

First, turn on your garbage disposal and dump your baking soda down the drain. Then, turn the disposal off and slowly and evenly pour the vinegar down the drain. You will most likely be able to hear the fizzing or bubbling sound as the baking soda and vinegar react to one another.

Like bleach, vinegar does have a pretty pungent odor. However, it clears out faster than bleach and it doesn’t pose any threats to your respiratory system.

No Dice? Try Speciality Products

If none of these methods are working, you may need to break out the serious stuff. Head to the grocery store or home improvement store to pick up a bottle of cleaning product designed specifically for cleaning garbage disposals. Then, head home and follow the instructions on the bottle or package to hopefully take care of your garbage disposal odor for good!

(Some cleaning products contain chemicals, which means that you’ll want to take precautions. You may want to wear gloves and other protective gear. You may also need to turn on a fan or open a window to increase ventilation in your kitchen.)

No Time to Tackle That Garbage Disposal Odor? Let Us Take It From Here

Some smells love nothing more to linger no matter what you do. If that garbage disposal odor is one of them and you’re tired of giving it all of your free time, it’s time to sit down, relax, and get back to what you want to do. We’ll take it from here!

To find out more about our services or request a free quote for your next cleaning, contact us today. We pride ourselves in helping keep houses across Georgia clean so that you don’t have to!