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Help! My Garbage Disposal Not Working And Smells

Woman holding her nose standing in the kitchen

Everyone is aware of how important garbage disposal is. It is an extremely helpful appliance when it comes to cleaning the kitchen. But sometimes, your garbage disposal stops working and starts producing a foul-smelling odor that you can smell as soon as you enter the kitchen. This smell can even put you in an embarrassing situation in a social gathering.

But Why Does Garbage Disposals Smell?

Foul smell from the garbage disposal may come out because of various reasons like:

  • Putting strong odor food items like onions, ginger, garlic, etc. into the garbage disposal.
  • Not cleaning the garbage disposal for a long time.

If you are also experiencing the same issue with your garbage disposal, whatever might be the reason, then there is no need to be worried. In this article, we will walk you through how to easily fix your garbage disposal and get rid of the smell with the help of a few ingredients that are generally available in every household.

Steps To Fix Your Garbage Disposal

plumbers tools on a grey background

Step 1 – Firstly we will check if something is stuck inside the garbage disposal which is stopping the garbage disposal from running and is producing a foul odor.

Step 2 – Unplug the garbage disposal and turn it off. Now, reach inside the sinkhole to check if something is stuck there or not. If something is stuck there, then pull it out either with your hands or pliers. Try running the disposal, if it does not work then move to the next step.

Step 3 – When something gets stuck, the reset button gets triggered and pops out. To check that get underneath the garbage disposal and there you will find a red reset button. Push the reset button back and your garbage disposal should start working, if it does not then move to the next step.

Step 4 – Now take an allen wrench and get underneath the garbage disposal. At the bottom, in the center of the garbage disposal, you will find an opening where the allen wrench will fit. Insert the wrench and start moving it back and forth. If something is stuck, you will need to apply some force to move it. Keep on doing that until you can complete the full circle easily.

Plug back in your garbage disposal, run hot water, and turn on the garbage disposal. Probably by now, it will start working. If it does not, then call a plumber to get it checked.

Video of How To Get Rid Of Garbage Disposal Smell

This video will guide you on how to get rid of garbage disposal smell in 2 easy ways.

Steps to Get Rid OF Garbage Disposal Smell

After fixing the garbage disposal, we will now get rid of the awful smell. Follow the four simple steps to eliminate the bad smell.

Step 1 – For the first step, we are going to turn on the hot water and flush things through. Now if your rubber stopper is removable, take it out and clean it with microfiber cloth and bleach. Bleach helps to break down the grease and make the stopper sparkly clean.

Step 2 – For the next step, we are going to use baking soda and vinegar.

  • Dump in about half a box of baking soda into the garbage disposal.
  • Pour in one cup of white vinegar and run water through it.
  • Turn on the disposal.

The combination of baking soda and vinegar will create a chemical reaction which in turn will create a volcanic effect inside the garbage disposal. This combination will clean and deodorize the garbage disposal thoroughly.

Step 3 – For the next step, take a fresh lemon or one that’s going bad and cut it in half. Run the lemon through the garbage disposal, then pour some vinegar. Run the garbage disposal for a few minutes and you will have a wonderful lemon scent left behind.

Lemons in a wooden bowl on a wooden table

TIP: Some people think that you can clean the garbage disposal with baking soda and water, but it is not as effective as the combination of baking soda and vinegar. Also, using vinegar by itself is of no use because it will just drain out and does nothing.

Step 4 – If you do not have baking soda and vinegar with you or if you are looking for a much simpler solution, then you can purchase a garbage disposal foaming cleanser which is easily available at any local store.

Close up of a sink drain

Just put a garbage disposal foaming cleanser inside your disposal and let it do its job. Generally, this cleanser comes in a biodegradable package which you have to put right into the garbage disposal as per the instructions written on the packaging.

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