Are you noticing a foul smell coming from your kitchen? Stand over your sink and take a whiff. It could be coming from your garbage disposal. Even if you’ve been careful with what you put down the sink, all garbage disposals get build-up from time to time, which basically consists of rotting, decomposing food. It’s likely this could be causing your smell problem.
Thankfully, there are a few quick fixes you can try that may get rid of that build-up and get your sink smelling clean again. Just be sure hands, fingers and all other human extremities are out of the way before trying any of these cleaning tips.
#1 Hot, hot water
We’ve known it for a long time – hot water cleans. Heat up some water and pour it slowly down the drain while you run the disposal (watch out for spatters). You might want to follow this up with #2.
#2 Ice Cubes
When crushed, ice cubes are very abrasive and can do a good job cleaning out all those nooks and crannies in your disposal. Put a handful of ice cubes down the sink, run some cold water and turn the disposal on. Adding a few chopped up lemon or lime peels can help freshen it up as well.
#3 Baking Soda and Vinegar
When combined, baking soda and vinegar create a chemical reaction that produces quite a lot of fizz. This fizz can do a good job cleaning off the junk from your disposal. Pour a half cup of baking soda followed by a cup of vinegar down your drain and wait for a few minutes. You’ll be able to hear it foam and fizzle. Run hot water and then turn on the disposal.
What shouldn’t you do?
Avoid pouring drain cleaners down your sink – they can actually damage your disposal. Don’t put things like sponges or scouring pads down the disposal, as they could become wrapped around the disposal blades. And use common sense when putting any food down your drain –starchy or stringy foods, fruit pits, coffee grounds and egg shells are known for causing problems.
There are times when a stinky sink is signifying a larger problem and do-it-yourself remedies are just not going to work. If you’ve tried all of the above and your sink still smells, it’s possible that your sink’s U-bend is leaking.
All sinks have a U-bend or S-bend that’s filled with water to block sewer gasses and prevent them from escaping up the drain and stinking up your house. If your U-bend is leaking water, those gasses might be sneaking through. If this is the case, it’s time to call your neighborhood plumber to fix the problem.
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