What are Ways to Freshen my Garbage Disposal?

Your garbage disposal can be a breeding ground for strange smells in your kitchen. Before this becomes a problem, it's important to take steps to avoid this. Here are some useful and easy ways to keep your garbage disposal from getting too potent.

1. Put Citrus Fruits Down the Garbage Disposal

This is a natural and easy way to deodorize your garbage disposal. Consider this option first if you have lemons or limes about to go bad that you don't want to use anymore.

This process is as easy as taking some citrus fruits (lemons, limes, and oranges), cutting them into small pieces, and running them through your garbage disposal.

This works particularly well because the citrus fruits have a strong smell. Also, the acidic properties of the fruits will help sterilize the blades and break up any stubborn food deposits. It also doesn't hurt that the smell of citrus is known to relax people.

2. Baking Soda and Vinegar

This is another popular option in no small part because it only requires two ingredients that you probably already have at home: baking soda and vinegar.

First, pour about 1/2 cup of baking soda down the garbage disposal drain. You know that you have put enough in once you notice it coming out of the drain. After you have put in the baking soda, pour 1/2 c (or equal to the amount of baking soda) down the drain as well. Let this sit for about an hour! Afterward, rinse with cold water.

This method works due to the high acidic properties of vinegar. The vinegar is also an odor neutralizer. Mixing it with the baking soda helps to create a paste that helps the acidic and odor neutralizing properties of the vinegar stick to the garbage disposal. Remember that this method uses a large amount of vinegar, and the acidic properties of vinegar can damage the drain and substantially lower the lifespan of your garbage disposal if you use this method too often.

3. Ice and Salt

  • This method may seem very simple, but it's easy to do and won't damage your garbage disposal.
  • Fill the garbage disposal with as much ice as you can and add some salt. Rock salt works the best, but any salt that you have will do.
  • The ice and salt help eliminate any smells, the-the ice can also contribute to sharpening the blades in your garbage disposal.

4. Chemical Cleansing

While many people prefer to go the natural route, there are some products on the market that can be used to successfully clean your garbage disposal and remove any foul odors that it may emit.

Some of these products include but are not limited to:


These products make a point to be as safe as possible for your garbage disposal while being robust enough to handle the problem. If you've used products at home that didn't work, this is an alternative method.

However, if these products don't work, there is one more thing to do...

5. Perform a Deep Cleaning

Sometimes, a rinse with citrus fruits or vinegar or ice isn't going to be enough. That's when you need to give your garbage disposal a deep cleaning. This is not the easiest way to get rid of smells from your garbage disposal, so research well or get someone who is familiar with garbage disposals to complete the cleaning.

First, run water through your garbage disposal. Next, remove the pipe from under the garbage disposal container under your sink with a wrench. Attach cap and place bucket underneath garbage disposal canister. Run water until the garbage disposal is full and then add a 1/2 cup of bleach. Allow this to sit for one hour, then drain, and reconnect pipes.

This method allows you to thoroughly clean the garbage disposal. Running the bleach through the entire garbage disposal and cleaning out the pipes is more efficient than just running things through the garbage disposal.

Preventing Bad Smells

You may have been able to get rid of the bad smell, but it's good to prevent this from happening in the first place.

First and foremost, just run water down the running garbage disposal a couple of seconds longer than you normally would every time that you use it.

Never leave food in the garbage disposal for any amount of time before running the disposal.

Lastly, pay close attention to what you are putting in your garbage disposal. DO not put fibrous vegetables like celery or potatoes down the disposal. Also, never pour grease down your drain.

A garbage disposal is a great asset to the kitchen, and it doesn't have to smell if you care for it properly. Follow these instructions, and you should never have to worry about the smell of your garbage disposal again.

If you're still having a problem with your garbage disposal in your Greensboro, NC home, call The Plumbing Service Company today at (336) 502-8540.