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How To Solve Smelly Garbage Disposal Problem

In the heart of every bustling kitchen lies an unsung hero: the garbage disposal. This modern marvel efficiently devours food scraps, sparing landfills and simplifying cleanups. But let’s be honest – it’s not all roses. This convenience comes with its own set of challenges, one of which is the persistent and unpleasant odor that can emanate from the garbage disposal. If you’ve ever experienced that foul smell wafting from your sink, you’re not alone. 

Smelly garbage disposal is a common issue that many homeowners in Harrisonburg encounter. 

But don’t worry, because, in this blog, R.C. Gochenour and Son Plumbing LLC – garbage disposal experts will help you delve into the intricacies of garbage disposal odors – what causes them, how to clean a smelly garbage disposal, and when it’s time to bring in professional assistance. From using natural cleaning agents like baking soda and vinegar to implementing regular cleaning routines, we’ll provide you with a range of solutions to tackle the problem head-on.

What is a Garbage Disposal?

A garbage disposal, also known as a garbage disposal unit or waste disposal unit, is an electrically powered kitchen appliance designed to shred and dispose of food scraps and any other organic waste. It is typically installed beneath the kitchen sink and is connected to the plumbing system. The primary purpose of garbage disposal is to break down food waste into small particles, allowing it to flow easily through the plumbing and into the sewage system.

The mechanism of garbage disposal involves a motor-driven set of rotating blades or impellers that grind and shred the food waste. The resulting finely ground particles are then flushed down the drain with water.

Why My Garbage Disposal Smells?

You’ve probably experienced this before: you turn on your garbage disposal, and all of a sudden, it smells like something died in there.

Why does this happen? Have you been using the wrong cleaning products? Are you putting too much stuff at your disposal? Is there a blockage somewhere causing the smell?

Let’s answer these questions and more!

Food Residue

Over 40% of households admitted to occasionally leaving food scraps in the disposal for an extended period, contributing to odor development. The garbage disposal grinds up food scraps into tiny pieces that get washed down the drain by running water. If you don’t clean out your sink, trap regularly, or put too much food down the disposal—like bones or large amounts of vegetable matter—this will clog up the drain and cause a stinky smell.

Grease and Fat Buildup

The second reason your garbage disposal smells is because of grease and fat buildup. As you use your garbage disposal, fats from cooking can build up on the blades and around the drain hole. Bacteria will start to form in this area and produce an unpleasant odor as it decomposes into methane gas (which produces its own foul smell). 

Lack of Cleaning

If you have a garbage disposal, then you should know how important it is to clean it regularly. Not only does this prevent the build-up of bacteria, but it also prevents the corrosion of metal parts within the device. This can lead to leaks and other issues down the line. Lack of cleaning may also cause rusting inside the drain pipes, which can also lead to an unpleasant odor.

Non-Food Items

Some non-food items can also contribute to a bad smell coming from your disposal. Paper towels and other paper products can cause clogs and other problems with your system. Even more damaging are plastic items like bottle caps or plastic bags—these can shred themselves into tiny pieces and get stuck in the blades of your disposal unit, causing damage that could cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars to fix!

Hard-to-Grind Foods

Certain foods, like eggshells, fibrous vegetables (like celery), and coffee grounds, can be challenging for the disposal to grind properly. They can get stuck in the unit, promoting odor-causing bacteria growth.

Insufficient Water Flow

The main reason for the smelly Harrisonburg, VA disposal of garbage is the amount of water that flows through it. If there isn’t enough water running through the drain when you turn on your disposal, food scraps won’t be ground up properly, which means they’ll sit there without being broken down into smaller particles. The result? An unpleasant smell coming from your drain.

Improper Usage

Running the disposal without sufficient water, overloading it with large amounts of food at once, or not running it long enough can lead to inadequate disposal and odor issues.

Mold Growth

If you don’t run enough water through your drain regularly, it can get clogged with food particles and other gunk, creating an environment for mold growth. If you see black or green spots growing around where your drain meets the sink or pipe below, call a plumber right away—you may have an issue larger than just a smelly garbage disposal.

Lack of Maintenance

Garbage disposals are simple machines that require little maintenance but need some attention. If you don’t regularly use your garbage disposal, food can build up inside it and cause an unpleasant odor.

Clogs and Blockages

Most people think that if their garbage disposal has a smell, it’s because of rotting food inside. But the real culprit is often something else entirely—a clogged drain pipe or drain trap. If you have a slow-running sink or tub, the water may not be able to escape quickly enough for it to flow down into the drainpipe and end up in your pipes below. This can cause mold growth and other problems that lead to a foul odor from your kitchen sink.

Tools & Materials You’ll Need for How to Fix Smelly Garbage Disposal Tutorial 

Fixing a smelly garbage disposal can be a pain, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are the tools and materials you will need for how to clean smelly garbage disposal:

  • Rubber Gloves
  • Flashlight
  • Allen Wrench (Hex Key)
  • Long-Handled Brush
  • Old Toothbrush
  • Pipe Wrench or Pliers
  • Plunger
  • Baking Soda
  • White Vinegar
  • Citrus Peels
  • Ice Cubes
  • Rock Salt
  • Dish Soap
  • Boiling Water
  • Plumber’s Putty
  • Plumber’s Tape (Teflon Tape)
  • Clean Cloth or Towel

How To Get Rid Of Smelly Garbage Disposal?

Have you ever opened the garbage disposal in your kitchen sink and been hit with a smell that just knocked you back? It’s awful, right? Well, we’ve got some good news for you: there are things you can do to make sure your disposal stays smelling fresh and clean. Here are several ways to get rid of smelly garbage disposal remedies:

Use Baking Soda and Vinegar

Baking soda can help neutralize odors, and vinegar is good for breaking down grease and cleaning your disposal. Pour 2 cups of baking soda down your garbage disposal, then follow up with 1 cup of vinegar. Run cold water for about 30 seconds so it mixes in well, then let it sit for 15 minutes before flushing with hot water. This should help get rid of any lingering smells!

Try Citrus Peels

If you want to try something different than baking soda and vinegar, try putting citrus peels down your garbage disposal instead! Citrus fruits contain citric acid, which breaks down fats and proteins in food scraps so they don’t stick together as much—which means less odor! Just cut up some lemon or lime peels into small pieces and drop them down the disposal while running cold water; let them sit for approx. 15 minutes before flushing with hot water, and voilà! You’ll have fresh-smelling garbage disposal water again in no time flat!

Drop Ice and Rock Salt

Put ice cubes and rock salt at your disposal, turn it on for a few seconds, then turn it off again. The combination of cold water and the sharp edges of the ice will help dislodge any food particles stuck in your disposal—and the salt will kill bacterias that are hiding there too! This will also help prevent corrosion of your blades and pipes over time by getting rid of any lingering gunk that might also build up inside them.

Boiling Water and Dish Soap

Run boiling water and dish soap through your disposal. If you don’t have any rock salt around (or are allergic), this is an excellent alternative solution! Boiling water alone can help clean out the gunk, but adding a little bit of dish soap will help break down grease even more effectively than just hot water alone would do on its own—and it’ll leave behind a fresh scent as well!

Bleach Solution

Pour 1 cup of bleach into the sink, add some ice cubes and water, then turn on the disposal. The ice will help break up the debris and cool down the blades while they grind up dinner scraps. Once everything is ground up, run cold water through the disposal.

Commercial Disposal Cleaner

If the smell persists, try using a commercial cleaner specifically made for garbage disposals. Simply pour a small amount into the drain hole of your sink and turn on a hot water tap to flush out any remaining debris or lingering odors.

Cleaning the Rubber Flaps

You can also clean the rubber flaps at the bottom of your sink using baking soda and vinegar—just drop a couple of teaspoons into the drain, wait 15 minutes or so (or until they have dissolved), then run hot water through them while they’re still submerged in the chemicals. This should take care of most smells!

Regular Use and Maintenance

If you use your garbage disposal regularly, it will stay clean and smell fresh. You also don’t want to put too much food down the drain at once because this can cause a clog in the pipes or even damage your garbage disposal if there’s too much for it to handle. Make sure that you only put small amounts of food down at once, about an inch at a time, so that it doesn’t build up in the pipes or clog up the blades of your garbage disposal.

Avoid Problematic Foods

Some food items are more likely than others to cause an unpleasant odor in your garbage disposal. Meat products, dairy products, and fats tend to give off these odors when they are disposed of in this way, so try to avoid throwing these items into your garbage disposal at all costs! If you are going to dispose of these products anyway, consider grinding them up before putting them down the drain—that way, they won’t stick around long enough for you to smell them!

Professional Inspection

If you’ve never had a problem with your garbage disposal before, it’s probably just fine. But if you have noticed a change in how it smells or how often it needs to be cleaned, then you may want to consider hiring a garbage disposal professional in Harrisonburg, VA, to inspect your garbage disposal for leaks or other problems. They can also advise you on how often you should run the disposal so that it doesn’t get clogged up with food scraps that create unpleasant odors.

How To Prevent Garbage Disposal From Smelling Like A Dead Fish?

If you’re tired of paying for expensive plumbing services, it’s time to get your hands dirty and take matters into your own hands. Garbage disposals are fairly simple devices, but they can also be very difficult to maintain.

But don’t worry! There are plenty of ways you can keep your garbage disposal smelling fresh and clean without having to buy any special cleaners or chemicals. Here are 7 great tips on how to prevent garbage disposal from smelling like a dead fish:

  • Clean Your Garbage Disposal Regularly
  • Make sure to rinse your sink before putting food scraps down the garbage disposal. This will help prevent any unpleasant odors from accumulating in the drain pipes.
  • If you have hard water, use a water softener to remove calcium buildup from your pipes and prevent it from clogging up your garbage disposal.
  • If you have a septic tank, make sure it’s functioning properly so that it doesn’t overflow and back up into your home through the drains and cause foul odors.
  • Make sure all of your plumbing lines are clear of debris so that wastewater can flow freely through them without getting trapped or clogged up by items such as grease, soap scum, or other types of material that can build up within the pipes over time, leading to an unpleasant odor coming from the drains once they get backed up due to all this stuff being stuck inside there!
  • Clean out any filters or screens that might be clogged with food particles and may be contributing to the odor problem.
  • Avoid putting bones and fish parts into the disposal. These foods can cause unpleasant odors to accumulate.

When to Call Garbage Disposal Installation Experts in Harrisonburg, VA!

The smell of garbage disposals can be unbearable. If you have tried everything to get rid of the smell and nothing works, then it is time to call Garbage Disposal Installation Experts in Harrisonburg, VA!

The problem with disposals is that they are often installed poorly and need to be replaced before they are even used. It doesn’t matter how much money you spend on new disposal if it’s going to break down after a few months. You need a company that specializes in installing garbage disposals so that you know it will last for years to come.

R.C. Gochenour and Son Plumbing LLC are here to help you with Garbage Disposal Installation in Rockingham. We are a leading plumbing and heating business serving residents throughout the area for many years. Our team is always committed to providing high-quality service and customer satisfaction.

We understand that a garbage disposal is one of the biggest investments you can make in your home, which is why we strive to provide top-notch service for all types of installations: new construction. You can rest assured that we will not be satisfied until you are completely satisfied with our workmanship and results! Our Garbage Disposal Installation Experts in Harrisonburg, VA, can help with:

  • Garbage Disposal Installation
  • Garbage Disposal Repair
  • Garbage Disposal Replacement
  • Garbage Disposal Maintenance

It doesn’t matter if your garbage disposal has stopped working or if it’s just making weird noises—we’ll take care of it! Our team is available 24/7, so there’s no need to worry about missing out on any important appointments or events because something went wrong with your plumbing system at home or work; we’re always here for you!Call us today at 540 271 3393 to talk to our licensed plumbers!

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R.C. Gochenour and Son Plumbing LLC is proud to serve the plumbing needs of Harrisonburg and surrounding areas, including communities in Page County and Rockingham County.

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