Dear Home Ec 101:
How do you de-stink a garbage disposal?
~Gagging in Glendale
If you Google the problem you’ll find 101 different remedies for your stinky situation. The problem is then deciding which ones are effective and which are a waste of time or potentially dangerous to your appliance.
Tim, at Ask The Builder, suggests the smell may be coming from hardened bits of food sticking to the disposal’s walls. When you run the disposal to rid yourself of scraps, they don’t magically disappear. The food particles are mashed into a soupy mixture that gets splashed all over the inside of the machine. If enough water is not run, those bits are left behind and that is what is perfuming your kitchen. Some food matter may also be sitting in the drain pipe, if it was not flushed all the way out of the house. Yum-O!
It is important to always run the water while using the disposal to help flush the food away. After using the disposal, Tim suggests filling the sink 2/3 full with soapy water and simply pulling the drain and running the disposal to wash out any remaining bits of water. It’s a great idea, but sounds a little wasteful to me. If you’re going to fill the sink with soapy water, you might as well go ahead and wash any leftover dishes and the counters while you’re at it. The food won’t adhere permanently in that space of time and you’ll be killing two birds with one stone. Sometimes it’s hard to be frugal. ::dramatic sigh::
The added pressure from the sinkful of water should push any nasties lurking in your drain on out to the sewer, too. If after trying this method a few times you still have an odor problem you may have to go a few steps further and give your garbage disposal a good internal scrubbing. The good thing is this should only be a one time operation, provided you practice the good disposal hygeine outlined above.