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Why Does My Garbage Disposal Stink?

Random vegetable peels in a kitchen sink

Not everything in the kitche nsmells like fine food or top-quality baked goods. Those smells are very enjoyable and make one’s mouth water just to think about it. That is what kitchens are for. To let you know someone cares enough to make great-tasting and smelling food.

However, not all the smells that come from the kitchen are pleasant. There are those times when the garbage disposal sends out its odors to let you know it is still around. When that happens, you will need to act quickly, or the smell may wipe away all pleasant memories of those fine foods or baked goods you enjoy.

To find out how to take care of those garbage disposal odors before they ruin everything, just continue to read our article. It has the information you want to know about.

The Garbage Disposal Smells Bad

There are plenty of sources in that little appliance that can act up on you and let out a very foul scent. Here is a short list of sources you need to check:

1. The Splash Guard

Top view of a garbage disposal splash guard in a stainless steel sink

It may be small, and it looks tight against your sink, but tiny food particles have a way of finding weak spots in the seal. When it does, it just stays there knowing it is protecting from water and then rots away.

That smell your nose picks up is the rotting food particles. Those particles can be from your fish dinner, the prime rib you had last week, and so on.

2. The Disposal Mount

This is a spot where food can get into. That usually happens when the seal is not very tight or has become loose over time and use. Old food particles can find an escape from going down the drain by using that opportunity.

What is unfortunate is that to clean up that source you have to remove the disposal and do a thorough cleaning. Then put the disposal back in place. When you do that last step, make sure the seal is very tight.

3. The Dreaded Leak

Under the sink view of a leaking garbage disposal

It happens and when it does, it will leak from the sides, top and bottom of the disposal making a mess anywhere it can. One key spot to check is where the trap meets the disposal. It can get loose due to the vibrations it endures and let the water take the food particles outside of the drain area.

The best solution you have at your disposal is to seal the sides and top leaks with a good sealant product. Or if the leak is at the bottom, you may have to replace the trap or the disposal.

4. Blockages or Lack of Vents

The bad air has to go somewhere and when there is a blockage in the drain or there is a lack of vents, guess where it goes. Right up the pipe through your disposal and out into your kitchen.

When that happens, everyone gets a chance to sniff that foul odor. This is no quick fix. if you do not have the tools needed, you should call in a plumber to run a snake through the pipe or open up new vents.

It is a lot of work so be prepared to receive a hefty bill.

How to Take Care of the Smells

Plumber holding a pipe wrench wearing coveralls standing in front of a blurred background

Sealing the leaks, tightening the seals, and replacing parts only do part of the job. Before you do those tasks, you need to clean first. It is a messy job but it needs to be done so grit your teeth and get at it.

Seals, sealant, and new parts do not remove the odors and you may find it worthwhile to remove the disposal and clean everything at once as well as check for leaks. The vent issue is a plumber’s job and so would the blockages if you do not own a snake and can do it yourself.

Getting rid of the odors is vital if you want your kitchen to smell great again.

Some Final Words

In the sink view of water running down the drain of a garbage disposal

No one likes working around garbage disposal. It is a messy and smelly task. Yet, if you do not want to smell those foul odors then you need to roll up your sleeves and start cleaning.

You may find that the disposal has worn out in areas and replacing it would be the best solution. But before you start installing the new appliance, clean the disposal area first. Give the new disposal a fighting chance to stay odor-free.

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