Garbage Disposal Smells Bad | Causes And Solutions

What would be your reaction to finding that your garbage disposal smells bad? If it happens to me, eliminating the smell would be my priority. Making garbage disposal free from the smell is not dependent on calling a technician. If you want to know how? Read the article.

Garbage disposal smells bad due to food sticking to the grooves or plates and becoming rotten. Moreover, sometimes your machine is at fault when not grinding food efficiently due to clogging or aging internal components.

In this article, I will mention the leading causes of why garbage disposal smell. In addition, you must know how to make the disposal stink-free with household products.

Why Does My Garbage Disposal Smell So Bad?

Garbage disposal has perks unless you pay attention to its adequate cleaning. It is not a machine to carry the load of doing your dishes and does not gain something in return. Also, you may want to know the causes of why garbage disposal stinks bad.

Why Does My Garbage Disposal Smell So Bad

Leftover Food

Leftover food has something in return that you cannot imagine, foul odor. So, confirming all the food you throw inside the garbage disposal chamber is ground or not is essential. Because the cleaner the garbage disposal, the lower the chances of emitting a bad smell.

No Water Usage

As far as the running water before loading the disposal is necessary, so does after completing the food grinding. By any chance, it will smell bad if you remain the leftover chunks in the garbage disposal by not running enough water after the completion.

Decayed/Rotted Food

You often notice rotten smells lingering in your kitchen; the disposal smells bad under the sink. There are chances that food is not processed completely and begin to decay without being washed away. Moreover, when greasy substances and oily food enter the disposal, they cause rotten smells beyond bear.

Faulty Disposal Unit

Consider the condition of the garbage disposal before treating the prevailing causes. You may have passed a significant time with the aged disposal, and now it begins smelling. You have two options, either replace it with a new one or call a technician to make it smell-free.

How to Remove Bad Smell From Garbage Disposal?

If you follow my findings on cleaning the garbage disposal, the success in removing the bad smell is yours. Many cleaners are out there, but they damage the disposal part or increase the corrosion rate.

Tidbits: you can do the following garbage disposal cleaning practice before and after it’s running.

How to Remove Bad Smell From Garbage Disposal

Rinse Garbage Disposal

As I mentioned earlier, corded garbage disposal only works with water. You must know the value of cold water in cutting the food elements. The easy solution to prevent your garbage disposal from smelling is to rinse enough cold water before running the disposal. Moreover, you must run the cold water for 5-10 seconds after the disposal stops doing its work.

Use Soapy Water

Soapy water is efficient for doing dishes and cleaning the unit’s internal components. You must try to free the disposal blades and grinding plates by running a mixture of hot water and dish soap. You can also use Sani sticks with soap to eliminate bad Odore from garbage disposal. Sani sticks are designed especially for garbage disposals with non-toxic and biodegradable products. 


Preparing how food goes down is elementary when the concern is to keep the unit safe and sound. You may apply the gentle stroke of nylon brush on the rubber flap wrapping around the disposal drain to make it free from debris and smell-free.

Baking Soda and Vinegar

Do you relish the advantages of having a garbage disposal when doing the dishes? If so, you should be familiar with the process of keeping it clean. I recently experimented with cleaning my Garbage Disposal with Vinegar and Baking Soda. Also, the ever-green technique makes your garbage disposal cleaner weekly.

  1. Turn off the garbage disposal by flipping its switch.
  2. Remove any clogs using pliers
  3. Pour the mixture into a disposal unit
  4. Let it rest for 5-10 minutes and dislodge the stuck particles
  5. Flush warm water and turn on the garbage disposal

Rock Salt and Ice Cubes

How to get rid of the garbage disposal smell with ice? Regardless of helping sharpen the disposal blades, ice cubes gently clean the machine and prevent odors. You must take out 2 cups of ice cubes from the freezer and fill the garbage disposal with them.

The next step is to pour rock salt and run the cold water. You may obtain the fresh smelled garbage disposal after running it for 10-15 minutes.

How to Make Garbage Disposal Smell Better with Lemon?

Why have to worry when deodorizing agents are available on the kitchen shelf. Lemon scraps and citrus peels do wonders in making your disposal smell better. The process is the same as with baking soda and vinegar. However, you must put lemon and citrus rinds when running the cold water in the garbage disposal after the completion of food processing.

Another combination that goes best with lemon peels is ice cubes. Put the cleaning products in the running garbage disposal and wait for 30 seconds to obtain a fresher disposal unit.

How to Make Garbage Disposal Smell Better with Lemon

Why Does My Garbage Disposal Smell Even After Cleaning?

Garbage disposal is prone to clog. When you do not successfully remove the stuck particles or clear the drain pathways, the garbage disposal does not stop smelling even after cleaning.

Why does it Smell like Sewer Gas when I Start my Dishwasher?

The dishwasher smells bad due to food remnants left inside and causing water to remain stagnant. Also, grease and oily food are the culprits in forming the sewer gas-like smell when you start the dishwasher.

Summing Up

Do you have any idea about garbage disposal that smells bad? If not, you may not be the active cleaner of your machine resting underneath the kitchen cabinet. Garbage disposal washes away the food by converting it into finer particles and reduces the risk of bad smell. This article covers the solutions of how you can make your machine clean and smell pleasant.