Garbage disposal smells like sewage! Best odor removal techniques

The garbage disposal is where you shred food waste into smaller pieces. Due to its work, some food debris and grease will stick on the sides.

As you continue using the appliance every day, it can lead to some foul smells, especially if you do not clean it. Sometimes the stench is so awful that you can compare it to that of the sewer. So, why does a garbage disposal smell like sewage?

The primary reason your garbage disposal smells like sewage is the food, grease, and oils in the appliance have not been disposed of well. Basically, the stench comes from rotting food. When the garbage disposal grinds waste into a slurry, it spreads on the inside of the cylinder chamber that contains grinding and spinning teeth. If you fail to remove the sludge after use, it will rot even more until it starts smelling like sewage.

How to get rid of sewer smell in a garbage disposal

If your garbage disposal smells really bad, you can use several techniques to remove the odor. Here are a few of them:

1. Clean the garbage disposal using water and dish soap

Cleaning with water and dish soap is one of the simplest yet effective techniques of removing rotten smell from your garbage disposal. Here are the steps to follow:

  • Boil some hot water and pour it into a container.
  • Place a steel or rubber stopper into the drain.
  • Fill the sink with hot water.
  • Add dishwashing soap.
  • Mix the liquids well.
  • Lift the stopper and run the garbage disposal.

The combination of hot water and dishwashing soap will wash away the slurry in the garbage disposal. It will work the same way as cleaning the dishes. The appliance will suck in the mixture and the soap and water will clean all the waste stuck on the grinding and spinning teeth.

2. Clean it using vinegar and baking soda

A mixture of vinegar and baking soda for smelly garbage disposal offers a non-toxic option of eliminating the odors in the appliance. It also breaks down the leftover food particles stuck in the grinding and spinning teeth. For the best results, use white vinegar. You can view its price here.

Here are the directions for use:

  • Pour one cup of baking soda into the garbage disposal unit.
  • Follow it up with one cup of vinegar.
  • Allow the two substances to sit in the appliance for ten minutes.

Before the ten minutes elapse, boil some two liters of hot water. Run the boiling water and garbage disposal to drain the remnants.

Vinegar works well as a garbage disposal deodorizer and kills bacteria. Therefore, the process will remove all residual particles and eliminate any musty odors.

3. Use a bio-enzyme cleaner

Bio-enzyme drain cleaners use enzymes to eat away the food in garbage disposal without harming the pipes. The beneficial bacteria will also digest greases, oils, fats, and other organic waste. Use either BioFresh Drain Cleaner or Green Gobbler Bio-Flow for the best results.

Here are the directions for use:

  • Purchase a bio-enzyme of your choice from an online store.
  • Shake the bottle well before using.
  • Pour some hot water into the garbage disposal unit.
  • Once the water reaches the lowest level, apply the bio-enzyme drain cleaner.
  • Allow the cleaner to remain in the appliance undisturbed for about 20 minutes.
  • Flush down with warm water.

Ensure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when applying the cleaner. Ideally, consider mixing eight ounces of the bio-enzyme with 24 oz. of warm water. You should then apply down the appliance until you remove the odor. After every use, flush with water.

How to prevent future smells in a garbage disposal

The best way of preventing future smells in the garbage disposal unit is to clean the appliance frequently. Start by rehydrating all the dried food slurry left of the side walls. Consider installing a stopper in the large hole at the bottom of the sink.

Once done, fill up the sink with warm water. You should then leave the faucet running and pull out the stopper. As the water goes down the unit, switch the garbage disposal. Repeat the procedure every day to prevent rotten food from sticking on the walls and causing a sewage smell.


Your garbage disposal smells like sewage because of the rotten food that has stuck inside its walls. You can get rid of the smell using a garbage disposal cleaner like a bio-enzyme. Alternatively, run the appliance with hot water and dishwashing soap. Other methods to consider include using vinegar and baking soda. It is also best practice to clean the unit frequently to avoid future smells.

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