Garbage disposals have become a common amenity found in many homes for easy kitchen clean-up and more sustainable living. However, while this hidden sink gadget has made life more convenient, it can lead to some inconvenient odors.
A garbage disposal is meant for grinding up food scraps, when not fully broken-up this waste can leave a bad smell lingering in the pipes that eventually makes its way into the air. Applewood Plumbing, Heating, and Electric has some simple fixes to rid of and prevent sink odors that will also have you breathing happy again.
If your sink is smelling like rotten eggs or spoiled food something may have been unintentionally put into the drain, such as grease, oil, or fat. You can try using bio-enzyme drain cleaner, vinegar and baking soda, running ice cubes through the disposal, or putting lemon or orange slices to freshen the odor
If the foul smell is not from the garbage disposal, it could be caused from a sewer gas leak in the drain trap or vent. If this is the case, check the sink trap or the drain vent. There could be a blockage, a leak, or there is not a drain vent at all. If the odor persists, Applewood recommends having a professional assess the problem more thoroughly.
To keep your sink from smelling, try these operational tips:
- Keep your sink and garbage disposal clean by pouring a small amount of dish soap in the disposal while its running. Be sure to have cold water running during this process.
- Run your garbage disposal often to avoid accumulation of leftover food within the drain
- Grind your food with a strong flow of cold water to avoid grease build up
- To avoid clogging Applewood recommends putting larger waste items into the trash.
Follow these simple food grinding guidelines:
- Don’t pour oil, grease, or fat into your drain as it slowly accumulates over time, causing costly repairs
- Don’t grind up fibrous foods including celery, artichokes, asparagus, lettuce, corn husks, carrots, or potato peels as they can wrap around the blades and create an odor, while potentially damaging the disposal
- Avoid putting egg shells down the drain as the left over membranes can become wrapped around the shredder ring and start to age over time, leaving a bad smell in the air
- Don’t put pasta, rice, potatoes or beans into the disposal as they can swell with water and create a paste that clogs and traps particles from other types of food
While household garbage disposals are the typical culprit for foul smells, the bathroom sink can also produce pesky odors. These odors are caused by leftover biofilms that coat the inside of the sink pipes, which then harbors a feeding ground for bacteria build up.
Although running hot water down the pipes does dislodge some of the slimy film, it also forces the smell up and out of the pipe. Applewood recommends trying household products, such as baking soda or vinegar that can be used to kill the bacteria, resulting in a clean smelling bathroom sink.
While these odors are not dangerous, smelling them is not pleasant. If the problem cannot be diagnosed with these simple check lists and solutions, contact Applewood Plumbing Heating & Electric, 303-328-3060.