Are you noticing a foul smell coming from your kitchen? Stand over your sink and take a whiff. It could be coming from your garbage disposal. Even if you’ve been careful with what you put down the sink, all garbage disposals get build-up from time to time, which basically consists of rotting, decomposing food. It’s likely this could be causing your smell problem.
Thankfully, there are a few quick fixes you can try that may get rid of that build-up and get your sink smelling clean again. Just be sure hands, fingers and all other human extremities are out of the way before trying any of these cleaning tips.
#1 Warm to Hot Water
Let hot water run down the drain while you run the garbage disposal. If you’ve owned a garbage disposal for a long time or just installed your first one, it’s common to wonder if you should use hot or cold water when grinding food waste. For all disposers, we recommend using a warm to hot steady stream of water when the disposal is running.
While we recommend that you avoid putting any fats, oils, or grease (FOG) into your disposal, there is inevitably some fat in common food waste such as salad dressings and macaroni and cheese. By using warm water, any fat will break down as it passes through the disposal and your drain pipes.
#2 Ice Cubes
When crushed, ice cubes are very abrasive and can do a good job cleaning out all those nooks and crannies in your garbage disposal. Ice is good for two things. First, it helps to clean that nasty smell. And second, it sharpens your garbage disposal’s blades. Try this one first, as you probably have plenty of ice to use. Fill your disposal with cubes and then let it rip until all the ice — and hopefully the smell, too — is gone.
#3 Baking Soda and Vinegar
Here’s another concoction you can try using household items. When combined, baking soda and vinegar create a chemical reaction that produces quite a lot of fizz. This fizz can do a good job cleaning off the junk from your garbage disposal. Pour a half cup of baking soda followed by a cup of vinegar down your drain and wait for a few minutes. You’ll be able to hear it foam and fizzle. Run hot water and then turn on that stinky garbage disposal.
What shouldn’t you do?
Avoid pouring drain cleaners down your sink – they can actually damage your disposal. Don’t put things like sponges or scouring pads down the disposal, as they could become wrapped around the disposal blades. And use common sense when putting any food down your drain –starchy or stringy foods, fruit pits, coffee grounds and egg shells are known for causing problems.
There are times when a stinky sink is signifying a larger problem and do-it-yourself remedies are just not going to work. If you’ve tried all of the above and your sink still smells, it’s possible that your sink’s U-bend is leaking.
All sinks have a p-trap that’s filled with water to block sewer gasses and prevent them from escaping up the drain and stinking up your house. If your p-trap is leaking water, those gasses might be sneaking through. If this is the case, it’s time to call a local Granbury plumber to fix the problem.