Odor Free Living: The Essential Guide to Keeping a Healthy Garbage Disposal

Tips & Tricks / Article
December 23, 2022

What Is a Garbage Disposal and Why Is It Important?

A garbage disposal is a household appliance that is used to grind up food scraps so they can be easily flushed away down the drain. It is an essential part of any kitchen, as it helps reduce the amount of food waste that is thrown away each week.

Not only does a garbage disposal help to keep your kitchen smelling fresh, but it also helps to prevent clogs. The grinding action of the disposal liquefies the food scraps, which means they are less likely to cause a clog in your plumbing.

If you want to keep your garbage disposal in good working order, it is important to operate it with cold water. Hot water can cause the metal parts to rust, and this will shorten the lifespan of your disposal.

Steps to Prevent Clogs

In order to prevent a clog, you'll want to run your disposal regularly with cold water. This will help break down any food waste and keep things moving along.

You should also try to cut your waste into smaller pieces before sending it down the drain. This will help avoid any large chunks that could potentially cause a clog.

What to Put in Your Garbage Disposal

You can put a lot of things down your garbage disposal—but that doesn't mean you should. We recommend using plenty of cold water while disposing any type of food. This helps the grinding process and keeps your disposal smelling fresh.

Another word of caution: avoid hard, fibrous foods. These can get caught in the blades and cause problems. Potato skins, apple cores and celery are all examples of things that are best avoided.

Finally, it's important to clean your disposal regularly. This prevents bacteria and mold from growing, which can lead to unpleasant odors. Use a disinfectant or a mixture of vinegar and baking soda to clean the inside of your disposal.

How to Clean Your Garbage Disposal

If you have a stinky garbage disposal, then your first step is to give it a good clean. Here’s how:

- Sprinkle some baking soda in the drain, followed by a healthy dose of white vinegar. The vinegar and baking soda combination will help to break down any stuck on gunk in the disposal and leave it smelling fresh. If you don’t have baking soda, you can use chopped citrus peels as an alternative.

- Let the mixture sit for 20 minutes, then flush with boiling water. This will allow the mixture to work its magic and get rid of any odors.

- Once the mixture has had time to work, use an old toothbrush or other scrubbing tool to remove any gunk from the blades or walls of your garbage disposal, then rinse with hot water again.

Finally, add a squirt of dishwashing liquid and run the garbage disposal for about 10 seconds to make sure everything is cleaned properly. This cleaning routine will help keep your garbage disposal odor-free and running perfectly!

Tips for Keeping Your Garbage Disposal Smelling Fresh

An easy but often overlooked tip is to clean the outside of your garbage disposal. Make sure to cut the power and then brush away any food particles that have collected on the outside of it. This will help keep it odor-free from the start.

You can also use baking soda, vinegar and hot water to kill bacteria and germs. Start by pouring one cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by a cup of white vinegar and a half cup of hot water. The combination will cause the baking soda to foam up and, after 15 minutes or so, all of that should be rinsed away with hot water.

And if you’re looking for an easy way to freshen up your disposal? Try adding some ice cubes and salt and grinding them together. The ice helps remove any stuck-on debris while the salt adds a nice fresh scent.

Troubleshooting Common Garbage Disposal Problems

You’ve been doing all the right things, but you’re still experiencing issues with your garbage disposal. Not to worry—it happens. Let’s take a look at some of the more common problems and how to prevent them from happening in the first place.

If your garbage disposal won’t turn on, it could be that you’ve just tripped a circuit breaker or fuse. To fix this, press the reset button on your garbage disposal unit or reset the circuit breaker or fuse box. You should also check for any jammed objects.

If your garbage disposal is running but still emitting an odor, grind up some ice cubes and citrus peels to help sanitize it and get rid of any built-up food particles. Make sure you’re using cold water when running the disposal as well—hot water can melt fat and grease into your drainage system, causing clogs and further odor issues.