Dealing With a Smelly Garbage Disposal
Most garbage disposals start to stink a little at some point in time and need some repair attention, not because they are flawed as machines but because we tend to be conservative in their use. It's no one's fault, but people who are taught in youth to save water whenever possible tend to drop in the garbage, turn on the disposal, and run the water briefly. The disposal whirls a few times, just until the broccoli leaves have disappeared, and we flip off the switch and consider it a completed job.
The trouble with making short work of the garbage disposal is that the remains of the ground-up food don't all wash down the drain until plenty of water has been added to the mix. When we adopt a water-saving attitude to the use of garbage disposals, we're setting ourselves up for bad smells in the kitchen.
The bad smells come from the slime that is cast upon the sides of the disposal without being washed away. The blades, which work wonderfully well in grinding up unwanted scraps, also send the ground up bits up in a whirlpool of sludge that build up inside the disposal, eventually hardening into something stinky and semi-permanent. If your garbage disposal has an odor that never seems to really leave, the culprit is probably the concrete of hardened organic waste built up on the sides of the disposal. Unlike concrete, this matter decomposes, emitting a gas that smells terrible and never seems to go away.
There are two things you need to know about keeping the garbage disposal clean. One is preventative maintenance and the other could be termed acute care. When you're confronted with an already stinky disposal, using more water won't do the trick: you have to find a way to get the hardened organic slime off the sides of the disposal and down the drain. This is a great time to call a certified local plumber who can assess and repair your garbage disposal system.