Help! My Garbage Disposal is Leaking
Ways of Deodorizing Your Garbage Disposal
You've cleaned out the fridge, taken out the trash, mopped the kitchen floor and disinfected your countertops...and it still stinks. The most likely culprit? The garbage disposal. See below ways to keep ME (your friendly, neighborhood engineer) happy when it comes to garbage disposal maintenance.
Whenever your leftover dinner gets stuck in the disposal walls or in between blades, it can end up reeking. Luckily, there are a number of ways to deodorize your foul-smelling garbage disposal and rid your kitchen of this stinky situation:
Use Natural Remedies
There are a few key household items that can be used to rid the disposal of that wretched odor.
#1: Ice & Salt
Ice and salt are the most cost-effective, and easiest items to clean your disposal. The ice sharpens disposal blades, essential for functioning, and the salt disinfects them. The best part? Just ordinary table salt works fine! Remember, however, that this does not necessarily remove the odor - but it does help in the long-term functioning of your appliance. Be sure to run cold water before and after.
#2: Baking Soda & Vinegar
The combination of baking soda and vinegar creates a volcanic chemical reaction that helps loosen up grit build-up under the sink. The acidity of the vinegar helps to kill bacteria and germs. This, of course, minimizes stink!
If you're out of vinegar, try pouring just a little bit of baking soda down the drain, then flushing it with warm water. A similar reaction occurs, loosening up crud in your pipes.
#3: Mouth Wash
Mouth wash may not be a "natural remedy," but this fresh liquid used for our mouths can also freshen up stinky disposals. Not much is needed to generate a refreshing effect - good news for your wallet and your mouth!
2. The Power of Citrus
Rather than throwing out semi-old fruits, use your leftover lemons, limes and oranges to freshen up your smelly pipes! This is particularly appealing because you can make use of fruits that are starting to spoil. Feel free to use just the peels or the entire fruit! The kitchen will smell fresh and who doesn't love the clean scent of citrus?
Another idea? Use your yummy-smelling dish soap. Run warm water then squeeze out an orange or lemon-scented dish soap down the drain. It may not get down to the nitty gritty root of the problem - but it is a quick fix for bad odors.
3. What to Avoid
So many make the mistake of putting the wrong thing down the drain and into the disposal. For example:
#1: GREASE, Fats & Oils
These nasty fellas create a thick film over blades of the disposal to keep it from functioning properly. Due to their chemical make up, they also eventually solidify and can majorly clog your drain. Last, when grease decays...it smells awful.
- Grease in particular leads to the clogging of drains in all of the following places:
- discharge trap
- branch line
- building drain
- building sewer
As tempting as it may be after having cooked your morning omelet to toss egg shells down the drain - stop! Egg shells have an incredibly stringy membrane that has potential to wrap around the disposal's shredder ring. This leads directly to clogged pipes.
#3: Foods that SWELL
Notorious "swellers" include pasta, rice, potatoes and beans. The complex carbohydrate make up of these foods causes them to blow up with water. This forms a sticky paste and clogs your pipes.
Potato peels are particularly tricky. In my time as an engineer, I have seen a frightening amount of clogs down-stream from the disposal - not just in the immediate trap. The best way to prevent this is to fill the sink all the way up with water and let all of your waste go in one massive flush. This keeps water flowing through strongly and quickly - and leaves less of a chance for food to be left behind.
#4: Fibrous Foods
Think about foods that have potential to wrap around things (like blades of a disposal!). Fibrous foods include items like celery, artichokes, asparagus, lettuce, carrots, etc. It is advised to put these down the disposal in small amounts. Running cold water before, during and after also helps push these down the drain.
#5: Coffee Grounds
Although coffee is thought of as a great deodorizer for your freezer, it is not recommended to throw down the drain. Coffee has been proven to form residue and build up in your pipes - leading to clogging and a major headache.
#6: Anything That is NOT Food
Some believe that throwing the occasional cigarette butt, sponge, plant particle or rubber band down the drain is fairly harmless. The truth is, however, that these items are not made to be broken down in a kitchen appliance! Disposing of these properly in a trash can is always the way to go, even if it may seem convenient otherwise.
Remember, a smelly kitchen is a headache. Try to perform some of these ideas routinely to deodorize your garbage disposal TODAY! For more information on ways you can deodorize your kitchen, call FD Plumbing at 020 7060 4770. We are located in London, UK. Happy cleaning!