How to Prevent a Smelly Garbage Disposal

The kitchen is the heart of every home. It is where we all gather to cook, eat, and spend time with our loved ones. When you have friends over, you’re likely to all end up in the kitchen at some point.

Therefore, a smelly kitchen is the last thing you want. It can ruin your everyday routine and leave a bad impression on guests. One of the most common sources of bad odor in a kitchen is an unclean, clogged garbage disposal. So, let’s discuss how you can prevent a smelly garbage disposal in your kitchen. Read on to learn how paying attention to your garbage disposal could even help you avoid water damage in your kitchen.

How to Prevent a Smelly Garbage Disposal

Prevention is the easiest and best way to avoid a smelly garbage disposal, and here’s how you can do it.

Monthly Cleaning

kitchen with water damage

A regular scrub down and cleaning every month is crucial. Use things like dish soap, vinegar, baking soda, and citrus peels to ensure no odors remain. Use cold water, as warm water loosens any grease inside, resulting in clogs, grease build-up on the blades, and a smelly garbage disposal. Also, be sure to clean the top and underside of the garbage disposal splash guard, which is typically a black piece of rubber material attached to the inside of the sink drain.

Items to Avoid

Avoid putting things like oil, grease, fat, coffee grinds, bread, pasta, and potato peels down your garbage disposal.

Items to Encourage

dirty kitchen

Encourage everyone in your home to put certain hard items like small fruit pits, chicken bones, and eggshells down the garbage disposal. While these items sound bad, they clean the blades inside quite well.

Similarly, when you work with lemons or limes, put the peels down the disposal, as they promote natural and fresh citrus smells in the garbage disposal.

To avoid water damage, it’s a good idea to regularly check for worn-out gaskets between the flange and the rubber seal, a loose flange, and loose drain lines. Each one of these areas has the potential to leak.

Take Your Time

When using the garbage disposal, make sure to run it at least five seconds longer than you normally do.

Only Cold Water While Working

kitchen for repair to avoid water damage

Only run cold water when the garbage disposal is working because hot or warm water can loosen any grease inside.


A clean and maintained garbage disposal should never smell. However, if it smells despite cleaning and taking preventive measures, there may be an underlying issue that requires professional assistance. Follow the tips we shared in this post to prevent a smelly garbage disposal, and you should be fine.

If you want to learn more about garbage disposals and home maintenance or need professional restoration help for water damage repair and restoration, please visit our website or call us at 717-855-2367.


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