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Fresh Solutions: Hazlet Disposal Experts

Garbage Disposal

A garbage disposal is a handy appliance that helps make kitchen clean-up quick and efficient. The impellers break down food morsels and scraps and easily wash them down the drain and out of sight. But when your garbage disposal starts to smell bad, it’s time to find emergency plumbing services as quick solution before things get out of hand. Make sure you have a qualified Hazlet plumber to work on your equipment. Let’s review some reasons why your garbage disposal may be smelling bad and what to do about it.

How Does a Garbage Disposal Work?

A garbage disposal is a tool installed between the kitchen sink and the sink trap. It has impeller plates that press food through a grinding chamber to break waste down into smaller particles. The particles are then flushed through the chamber wall by water.

If you think of your garbage disposal a little like a blender, you’ll see why some food pieces don’t get properly disposed of. The grinder minces the food waste, but only waste it can reach. Any food out of reach of the grinder remains too large to wash through the chamber wall.

Some foods to avoid putting into your garbage disposal include:

  • Coffee grounds
  • Raw potato peels
  • Eggshells

These foods are difficult to break down and stick to the inside of the disposal, even when rinsed with water.

The Cause of Smelly Garbage Disposals

Garbage disposal odor is almost always caused by residual food waste. Waste that can’t be washed through the chamber wall remains lodged in your disposal. Like all food, it eventually breaks down and causes a foul smell.

The fix: Ensure all food hits the impeller plates by running your disposal for 30 to 45 seconds every time you use it.

Sometimes, large food particles aren’t to blame. Oil and grease congeal inside the disposal, causing blockages and bad smells. Of course, it’s not recommended to put any grease or fat down your disposal. However, some foods are oilier than others and cause a buildup.

The fix: Running hot water when you use your disposal minimizes the chance of greasy blockages.

It might be tempting to pour bleach down your disposal to fix these smells. Don’t do it! Bleach is a corrosive chemical cleaning agent. It breaks down dirt and grime quickly, but it also negatively affects plumbing.

The Reason Your Garbage Disposal Smells

Food Particle Buildup

Garbage disposals are self-cleaning and drain most of the food particles. However, because of the disposal’s complex design, food particles can build up under the impellers. Usually, the particles drain after a few days, but sometimes there are stubborn ones that won’t budge. Food particle buildup could be due to blunt blades or depositing food not meant for disposal. Over time, the chunks decay and produce a foul smell.

Leaky and Blocked Pipes

Sewer gases form in pipes that drain the garbage. Leaky pipes or blocked drain vents will push odors back up the disposal into the kitchen. The problem starts as drip leaks before becoming more significant leaks that are expensive to fix.

Grime and Mold Buildup

Warm moist conditions are conducive for mold and bacteria to thrive. The bacteria feed on the decomposing waste which produces the foul smell. The mold buildup clogs the drains and vents, contributing to a stinking kitchen. Check the underside of the rubber flange for mold or bacteria.

Other Concerning Smells to Watch Out For

Garbage disposals develop bad odors for several reasons. The most common is rotting food, but it could also be:

Mold Growth

Mold is caused by moisture, organic material, and humidity. A garbage disposal becomes the perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew because of this. Food particles in your sink are used as fuel to grow mold spores.

Mold smells differently than rotten food, but it’s still unpleasant. Mold is sometimes visible in a kitchen sink, but if it’s deep enough in the garbage disposal, it will go unnoticed. It’s important to tackle mold right away as it can lead to health issues and property damage.

Sewage Leak

Sewage has a distinct (and not so nice) odor. If there’s a sewage-like smell emanating from the disposal, a leak is the most likely culprit.

A sewage leak is a major home issue. It might even impact other areas of your home. In fact, you’re likely to smell it from other drains connecting to your kitchen plumbing, like the laundry sink. Call a plumber right away if you suspect sewage is the cause of bad smells in your disposal.

How to Get Rid of the Bad Odor

Now that you know the potential culprits of the stinky garbage disposal, you should eliminate them. If the smell fills your kitchen, you can remedy a smelly disposal by running the disposal with warm water. You can also call for a Hazlet plumber for professional cleaning from the team of qualified Hazlet plumbers at Master Group Real Comfort.

Some methods you can use to prevent and remedy a smelly disposal include:

Use Natural Remedies

Your kitchen may have the solution to the odoriferous problem. Running hot water before and after using the garbage disposal washes the remaining particles and bacteria in the blades. However, you want to try more aggressive methods for old disposals.

Mix equal parts baking soda with white vinegar and pour it down the garbage disposal. Let it sit in for 10 minutes and wash with cold water. Alternatively, out can use a mixture of two ice cubes and one cube of rock salt. The mixture efficiently cleans the impellers. You may also want to pour in rinds of citrus fruits such as lemons and limes for a fresh smell and then run the disposal.

Buy Cleaning Pods

Garbage disposal cleaning pods cost less than $5 for 5-10 pods. Drop two pods in your disposal, run the water, and then turn on the garbage disposal. Garbage disposal cleaning pods unclog your disposal, get rid of the odors, and prevent food backup.

Avoid Non-Disposal Friendly Foods

As a general rule of thumb, avoid draining starchy foods, meats, tough foods, oily foods, eggshells, stringy vegetables, coffee grounds, and corn husks. A disposal is not a catch-all appliance. Depositing the restricted foods in the disposal will cause them to stick on the blades resulting in that week-old veggie and rotten egg smell. Instead of the garbage disposal, deposit the remains in the garden. Eggs balance the soil’s acidity, which means you’ll grow better gardens– win-win.

Use Soapy Water Solution

We have said detergent, not bleach. We discourage using bleach since the mineral deposits can stick to the impellers. Also, bleach amalgamates with grease, clogging your system. Instead of making the problem worse with bleach, use detergent and give your disposal a good ‘ol soak.

Use grease-cutting detergent for best results. Run hot water in the disposal with the soapy solution. While at it, scrub the splash guard and every surface your brush can reach. Do not attempt to use your fingers despite disconnecting your garbage disposal.

Fix the Drainage

Leaky pipes cause odor leakage and food back up. Also, blockages in the vents and drains contribute to the foul smell—clear debris around vents exposing your disposal to the outdoors. When handling leaky pipes, it is best to let the professionals handle them. Usually, leaky drainage goes hand in hand with frayed wires or damaged electrical components, usually requiring electrical inspections from a licensed Hazlet electrician, but are not a cinch to fix.

Take Action to Keep Your Garbage Disposal Clean

A smelly garbage disposal prevents you from enjoying the aromas of your home-cooked meals. You can take steps to get rid of the foul odor. We strongly advocate for safety. Do not attempt to clean the garbage disposal blades or handle electrical components without professional help.

Master Group Real Comfort experts include teams of Hazlet plumbers and Hazlet electricians who are ready to help install, clean, and ensure your garbage disposal is in proper working condition. If you live in Hazlet, and nearby areas today handle the funky smells emanating from your garbage disposal.

Contact Master Group Real Comfort to Diagnose Your Smelly Garbage Disposal

If you live in Hazlet and are experiencing bad smells coming up from the kitchen sink, we can help. At Master Group Real Comfort our plumbers are highly skilled in garbage disposal, and the delicate plumbing in kitchen sinks. Garbage disposals are useful for dealing with unwanted food waste but can be a hassle when not properly maintained.

To learn more about our garbage disposal and other plumbing services, contact us.

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