Why Does Garbage Disposal Smell Bad?

Do you ever notice a bad smell coming from your kitchen sink when you turn on the garbage disposal? It can be an unpleasant surprise, but why does it happen and how can you stop it?

In this article, we will explore why garbage disposals smell bad and provide tips for keeping them odor-free.

We’ll also explain why regular maintenance is important to prevent odors in the future. So if you want to know why your garbage disposal smells bad and what to do about it, read on!

Causes of the Garbage Disposal Smell Bad

There are several causes why your garbage disposal can smell bad.

Cause #1. Food

The most common cause of garbage disposals having a bad smell is food. Firstly, old food can get trapped inside the disposal or in the pipes leading from it. If this happens, the food will start to rot and give off a nasty odor. Food particles that are not fully broken down can get stuck in the grinding chamber or pipes and spoil over time, emitting an unpleasant odor.

Cause #2. Bacteria

Another potential cause is that bacteria may be growing inside the drain due to dead skin cells and other organic matter. When this happens, you’ll notice a foul smell coming from the garbage disposal.

Cause #3. Grease and Oil

Grease and oil can also accumulate in the garbage disposal over time, resulting in an unpleasant smell. These substances are usually deposited through food scraps that are poured down the drain after cooking. When the grease and oil cool down, they can congeal together and create an odor.

Cause #4. Clogs

Finally, clogs in your pipes can also cause a bad smell coming from your garbage disposal. Waste and debris can accumulate and form a blockage, which will trap odors and prevent them from dissipating.

How to Get Rid of the Smell?

Now that you know why your garbage disposal smells bad, let’s look at how to get rid of the smell.

1. Clean the Disposal Regularly: The first step is to clean the garbage disposal regularly. Use a long-handled brush to reach down into the grinding chamber and remove any food particles or grease buildup.

2. Dispose of Spoiled Food: Make sure you are disposing of spoiled food properly, rather than pouring it down the drain. This will prevent bad odors in the future by preventing food particles from getting stuck in the grinding chamber.

3. Avoid Putting Grease Down the Drain: Remember not to pour grease and oil down the drain when cleaning up after cooking. This will prevent it from congealing and creating an odor.

4. Use Natural Deodorizers: Try using natural deodorizers such as lemon, vinegar, or baking soda to get rid of bad odors coming from your garbage disposal.

5. Use a Drain Cleaner: You can also use a commercial drain cleaner to remove any buildup in your pipes that may be causing odors.

By following these steps, you should be able to keep your garbage disposal smelling fresh and clean. Regular maintenance and cleaning will go a long way towards preventing odors in the future.

With these tips and some regular maintenance, you can get rid of the garbage disposal smell.

Tips for Keeping Your Garbage Disposal Odor-Free

Now that you understand why garbage disposals smell bad, let’s look at how to keep them odor-free. Here are some tips for keeping your garbage disposal odor-free.

Tip 1: Run Cold Water

Running cold water when you turn on your disposal will help break down food particles and wash them away, reducing the risk of bad smells.

Tip 2: Use Natural Deodorizers

You can also use natural deodorizers such as citrus peels, baking soda and vinegar, or coffee grounds to eliminate the bad odors in your garbage disposal.

Tip 3: Perform Regular Maintenance

Finally, it’s important to perform regular maintenance on your garbage disposal to prevent odors from occurring in the first place. This could include using a drain cleaner once a month, cleaning the grinding chamber with a brush, or using a disposal freshener.


It is important to take care of your garbage disposal in order to prevent bad odors and other issues that may arise. If you notice a foul smell coming from your garbage disposal, it’s time to clean it out and make sure everything is running smoothly.

Regular maintenance will help keep the odor away, as well as any clogs or malfunctions that can occur with improper use.

Taking these steps now could save you money on repairs down the line, so why wait? Make sure your garbage disposal stays fresh and free of nasty smells by taking proper care of it today!