Is there a phantom smell in your kitchen? More likely than not, it’s coming from your garbage disposal. Usually they’re self cleaning, but sometimes food particles can get caught or a stinky sludge can build up.

Food Scraps in Sink

Luckily they are extremely easy to clean with any of the following four ways to eliminate that stench.

Method One: Flushing and Salt

1. Start by cleaning the lid and flaps of your disposal with a brush, soap and water.

2. Place the stopper in the sink.

3. Fill sink with a few inches of warm, soapy water.

4. Turn on the disposal and let the sink drain. This way of flushing the disposal with water is better than just running the tap.

5. Grind a handful ice cubes with kosher salt. The ice cubes knock off any stuck food while the salt scrubs the sides.

6. Repeat steps 1–3.

7. Grind some lemons peels for additional freshness.

Kosher Salt

Method Two: Vinegar Ice Cubes

1. Freeze ice cubes with vinegar and lemon peel.

2. Grind with cold water in the disposal.

3. Keep ice cubes ready in freezer to use periodically.

Ice Cubes

Method Three: Baking Soda

1. Regularly pour baking soda down the disposal.

2. Flush with warm water.

Baking Soda

Method Four: Baking Soda and Vinegar

1. For deep cleaning, pour baking soda down the disposal.

2. Add equal parts vinegar into disposal.

3. Let mixture sit for 5–15 minutes.

4. Rinse with hot water.

Vinegar and Baking Soda


Need help with deep cleaning projects around your home? Use our instant estimate tool to get a price in seconds and find certified professionals in your area. Get a price. Get a pro. Get it done.

Related Articles:

About the Author: is a full-service home remodeling and construction general contractor serving the greater Seattle, Denver, Phoenix, San Francisco, and San Jose area. Home improvement is hard, and we make it easier for you every step of the way. That starts by understanding your goals, whether it’s making a space more livable, expanding your home, repairing damage, adding room for relatives, or something completely different. We’ll work with you to ensure you’re happy with the project from start to finish.