How To Clean A Smelly Garbage Disposal

Baking soda and hot water cleans smelly garbage disposal OWN

You probably clean your kitchen sink at least every day— but how long as it been since you cleaned your garbage disposal? If you notice an unpleasant stench rising from the drain in your kitchen, it’s probably long past due for a good cleaning. No matter how carefully you’re treating the appliance – repairing it professionally; sharpening it with ice cubes; never, ever putting grease, rice, pasta, potato peels or coffee grounds down it – eventually some food particles are going to get stuck down there, on the blades and in all the little nooks and crannies. Not only does this left-behind debris add a stink to your home, it can actually be flung back up into your sink when you turn on the disposal— the exact opposite of why we all have disposals in the first place! Plus, those particles undo all your good kitchen disinfecting work.

So what’s a conscientious cook and cleaner to do? Break out the baking soda and follow this simple, easy and QUICK method.

How To Clean A Garbage Disposal

  1. Fill the sink with water.


    Put your stopper securely in the drain and fill your sink with about three inches of water.
  2. Add baking soda.


    To the water, add a good handful of baking soda. Don’t worry about specific amounts; just shake a good amount out into your hand and throw it in there!
  3. Turn on the disposal and pull out the plug.


    This step is the most important! Turn on the disposal, then immediately pull out the plug. (Don’t, however, get so eager that you pull out the plug before turning on the disposal.) As the baking soda water flows through the sink and is pulled down the drain by the running garbage disposal, it will pull out any dirt, debris, and smelly food particles left behind by previous uses. The result? A shiny sink!

The great thing here, of course, is that your disposal will not only smell better, it’ll run better, too. If you want to take things one step further, sources from Bob Vila to WikiHow also recommend a vinegar-baking soda combination. Sticking some citrus peels in the disposal will also help disinfect it and add some great scents to your kitchen.

Be sure to watch the video from OWN for a quick demonstration of this quick technique, then tell us your own tricks for keeping your garbage disposals smell-free.