Skip To Content

    9 Ways To Finally Get Rid Of Weird Garbage Disposal Smells

    Do you smell it? That smell. A kind of smelly smell. The smelly smell that smells... smelly.

    We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    1. Grab a specifically designed garbage disposal brush that'll get the gunk out of all those hidden corners that you can't reach with a regular cleaning brush.

    Promising review: “Wow! I love finding items that I never knew that I needed but end up loving them anyway. I have always been concerned about keeping my disposer as clean as possible to avoid odors. I just recently read something that described how nasty the rubber covering over the sink hole gets. When I saw this brush I was excited to be able to scrub out all of the gunk that might cause my disposal to be dirty and smelly. I guess that I had been doing a pretty good job since it came out mostly clean the first time I used it. I am still very happy to have it because it is much easier than what I had previously been doing. The shape makes it very easy to insert, rotate around a few times and pull out. Based on other reviews, I did pull it out carefully. I did not want any gunk to pop out and hit me.” —V. Wood

    Get it from Amazon for $21.50.

    2. Pop a packet of foaming cleaner down your disposal. The foam will help to lift all the buildup, and should clean more deeply than just using a liquid.

    Promising review: “Wow. I didn't expect a lot from this product. It was easy to use and worked great. My kitchen drain was stinking and I'd tried home remedies to clean it to no avail. Basically the stuff would just run down the drain and not stay where the problem was. I had some hope for this because of the foam. I thought maybe it would stay up in the drain for enough time to clean. It did! It foamed up into the sink and stayed in the drain for several minutes. A big stink rose in the room and bits of black funk came up with the foam. Wow. It cleared a lot of yuck out of the drain. It smells much better. I might need to do this another time considering the years of build up but I'm going to get more of these and use them for regular maintenance.” —EmmieG

    Get a pack of four from Amazon for $6.75.

    3. Replace the rubber collar at the top of your garbage disposal with an anti-microbial one, especially if you just can't get the old one clean and smell-free no matter what you do to it.

    Also, I learned that this is technically called a baffle, which I find oddly delightful.

    Promising review: “My sink baffles were a few years old and looking pretty grungy and starting to smell. No matter how hard we tried we couldn't get them completely clean. Lucky for me, all that is required is to pop out the old ones and insert the new ones. Now my sinks are beautiful, hygienic and don't stink anymore. EASY solution to a sticky problem.” —Can Be Trusted

    Get it from Amazon for $7.49+ (available in two styles).

    4. Try a pack of deodorizing balls for when you know the darn thing is clean, but there's still some lingering odor. These babies will get rid of that smell and keep it gone.


    Promising review: “We've all been there if we have a garbage disposal. A series of foods put down there might include something like trimmed chicken or a milk product, and there you go. You are standing over your sink and notice 'what is that'? I had finally had enough of putting tablespoons of dishwashing liquid down my garbage disposal so I went to look for a product specifically designed to address this nuisance. This actually works. You just slowly run water down your garbage disposal while it is turned on. Then you pop in one of the little pearls down and let it break up... just rinse for a second more and turn off your garbage disposal. A pleasant lemon smell fills your kitchen then, when that fades away, no more odor coming from your garbage disposal!” —Paul G. DePace

    Get a pack of 20 from Amazon for $8.99.

    5. Or, DIY your own garbage disposal refresher pods using household ingredients and kitchen leftovers.


    There are two basic styles of these pods that you can customize based on what you have in your kitchen. You can either take vinegar ($2 on Amazon) and leftover citrus peels and freeze them, or mix baking soda ($1 on Amazon) and salt ($1 on Amazon) with enough lemon juice that it holds together. Either way, you use the pods by simply running them through your garbage disposal with the water running. Both will deodorize and freshen, and the frozen ones have the added bonus of helping clear out your disposer's grinder!

    Get Goodful's full rundown on how to make these cleaning pods.

    6. If you want to expend even less effort, putting a few pieces of fruit down the disposal can effectively clean and deodorize.

    Olindana / Getty Images, Pepifoto / Getty Images

    You've almost certainly heard about putting a lemon down the garbage disposal, and that will help your kitchen and disposal smell amazing. You can also use a whole peach — including the pit! A garbage disposal is strong enough to grind it up, and the harder material can help dislodge stubborn odor-causing pieces in the grinding chamber.

    7. Stop big, smelly scraps from even entering your garbage disposal with a Disposal Genie. This genius invention will still let water flow easily, but stops bigger food pieces, silverware, and other unwanted things from going down the disposal. Prevention is nine-tenths of the cure, you guys.

    Promising review: “If you have a disposal this is a must have. Keeps your sink smelling clean and fresh. Helps prevent silverware from falling into the disposal. And makes for a much neater appearance.” —Andy Kay

    Get it from Amazon for $9.98.

    8. As a last resort, consider replacing your garbage disposal. It's splurgey, but less than you might expect, and installation is actually pretty easy — little more than just twisting the old one out and twisting the new one in!

    Promising review: “It's a monster. It takes and grinds everything that we've thrown at it so far, and after a year, we've had no issues with smell or performance. Never clogged, or slow-drained. It's fairly quiet, considering how large and powerful it is.” —J. Short

    Get it from Amazon for $139.99.

    9. Make sure you're using your disposal properly, whether you replace it or not. Several common mistakes can lead to an increase in odor, bacteria, and more unwanted grossness.

    - Turn on the disposal before you start putting in food, to reduce the risk of a jam.

    - Always make sure the water is running when you're using the garbage disposal, to make sure the food can easily move through and out of the disposal.

    - Make sure the water you're running is cold! Using hot water can temporarily liquefy the fats in your foods, and when they cool back down and solidify they can cause clogs and odor.

    - Never put melted fat, like bacon grease, down a garbage disposal (or any kind of drain!), because of the same problems with solidifying. Go old school and pour drippings into an empty coffee can — when they've cooled, you can toss them or re-use them (brussels sprouts cooked in bacon grease, anyone?)

    - This seems pretty obvious, but don't put non-food items in a garbage disposal. It will break.

    Check out Insinkerator's blog for more tips!

    You to your garbage disposal now:

    Cartoon Network

    Reviews have been edited for length and/or clarity.

    Make your life even tidier. Check out some of the best home organization products on Amazon, the best all-natural cleaning products for your home, the best bathroom cleaning products, organization products perfect for neat freaks, and, of course, our ultimate guide to cleaning every single room in your house.

    Looking for the perfect gift for any occasion? Check out all of BuzzFeed’s gift guides!

    Allison Krausman / BuzzFeed

    Need A Shopping Buddy?

    Get great products - from pros in the fine art of buying stuff online - delivered to your inbox!
    Newsletter signup form