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Smells Coming from the Garbage Disposal?

Under the sink garbage disposal unit.

When you pour that first cup of coffee, the last thing you want is to be hit with a foul smell coming from your kitchen sink. Garbage disposal odors are a reasonably common problem and can have several causes. Some odors you can tackle yourself, but others you’ll want to call the professionals at Cranney Home Services.

Causes of Smelly Garbage Disposals

Most times, your garbage disposal smells because there’s rotting food still sitting around its blades or in your drainpipes. This could be because you didn’t run enough water last time you used the machine, or it could be a sign of an aging system that isn’t grinding as well anymore.

You could also have a sewer line leak or blockage. If you have either issue, the gas in the sewer pipe can be pushed back up the line. If you hear a gurgling noise, the gas is likely rising through the water in the p-trap, causing a foul smell.

DIY Solutions for Garbage Disposal Odors

No matter the cause, there are things you can do at home to help eliminate the odor coming from your disposal:

  • Run hot water through the disposal – It sounds simple, but often we aren’t running enough water to rinse out food particles during and after grinding. Make this a regular practice to help keep your disposal clean and free of smells.
  • Flush soapy water through the disposal – Run the garbage disposal as you drain a sink full of hot, soapy water. The grease-fighting aspect of dish soap will cut through grease and food stuck in blades and pipes.
  • Baking soda and vinegar solution – Pour a ¼ cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by a full cup of white distilled vinegar. The solution will bubble up. After about an hour, run water through your garbage disposal for two to three minutes to flush everything out. The reaction will kill bacteria and germs that could be causing the smell.
  • Borax solution – Borax is another safe solution to try on smelly drains. Whatever you do, don’t use bleach or other harsh chemicals down the drain – those can cause damage to the structure and lead to more significant problems.

Time to Call Cranney Home Services

If all that fails and you’re still smelling odors, it may be time to address leaks or blockages or even replace the disposal. Garbage disposals typically should be replaced every 10 years. 

When you need expert advice, Cranney Home Services is here to help! Contact us or call 978–750–6900 for garbage disposal services or other plumbing issues. 

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