Have you ever noticed a foul odor coming from your garbage disposal that smells like a dead animal? If so, you are not alone. Many homeowners face this problem at some point, and it can be very unpleasant and embarrassing. But what causes this smell and how can you get rid of it?
In this blog post, we will explain the possible causes of garbage disposal smells like dead animal and the best fixes for each one.
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What Causes Garbage Disposal Smells Like Dead Animal?
The most common cause of garbage disposal smells like dead animal is a buildup of food waste and bacteria inside the disposal. When food waste sits in the disposal for too long, it can start to decompose and release a foul odor. This can happen if you don’t run the disposal regularly, if you put too much food in it at once, or if you don’t flush it with enough water.
Another possible cause of garbage disposal smells like dead animal is a clog in the drain pipe or the P-trap. The P-trap is the curved section of the pipe under the sink that prevents sewer gas from coming up. If the P-trap is dry or blocked by something, it can allow sewer gas to escape into your sink and create a nasty smell.
A third possible cause of garbage disposal smells like dead animal is a problem with the vent pipe. The vent pipe is the pipe that connects your drain system to the roof and allows air to flow in and out. If the vent pipe is clogged, damaged, or disconnected, it can also allow sewer gas to enter your sink and cause a bad odor.
How to Fix Garbage Disposal Smells Like Dead Animal?
Depending on the cause of the smell, there are different ways to fix it. Here are some of the most effective methods:
Method #1: Washing The Garbage Disposal
If the smell is caused by food waste and bacteria in the disposal, you need to wash it thoroughly. Here are the steps to follow:
Step #1: Move The Clogs
We know that the smell of dead animals in a garbage disposal is mostly a result of buildups, there could be a clog somewhere holding it up. To remove any clogs, turn off the disposal and use a pair of tongs or pliers to pull out any visible objects from the drain opening. Be careful not to damage the blades or your fingers.
Step #2: Soak The Sink
Fill the sink with hot water and add some dish soap or baking soda. Plug the drain and let the water sit for 10 minutes. This will help loosen any grease or grime in the disposal.
Step #3: Wash With Bottle Brush
Unplug the drain and turn on the disposal. Let the water run through it for a few seconds. Then, use a bottle brush or an old toothbrush to scrub the inside of the disposal, especially around the rubber splash guard and the blades. This will help remove any remaining food particles or bacteria.
Step #4: Rinse With Cold Water
After scrubbing, rinse the disposal with cold water for another few seconds. Cold water helps solidify any grease or fat and flushes it out.
Method #2: Using Natural Cleaners
If washing the disposal doesn’t eliminate the smell, you can try using some natural cleaners that have antibacterial and deodorizing properties. Some of these cleaners are:
Lemon contains acids and also bacteria-killing agents so it will be one of the best methods. Also, lemon seeds and lemon juice work combined like a charm, so use lemon juice for removing Garbage disposal bad smells. Cut a lemon into quarters and drop them into the disposal. Run it for a few seconds with cold water. The lemon will help sanitize and freshen up your disposal.
Vinegar and Baking Soda
Vinegar and baking soda are another powerful combination that can kill bacteria and neutralize odors. Pour half a cup of baking soda into the disposal, followed by one cup of white vinegar. Let it fizz for 10 minutes, then flush it with hot water.
Ice cubes can help clean and sharpen your disposal blades. They can also dislodge any stuck food particles or grease. Fill your disposal with ice cubes and add some salt or vinegar for extra cleaning power. Run it for a few seconds with cold water. The ice will help remove any debris and odor from your disposal.
Method #3: Checking The P-Trap
If the smell is caused by a dry or clogged P-trap, you need to check and fix it. Here are the steps to follow:
Step #1: Locate The P-Trap
The P-trap is the curved section of the pipe under the sink that connects the disposal to the drain. It usually has a nut on each end that you can unscrew by hand or with a wrench.
Step #2: Remove The P-Trap
Place a bucket or a bowl under the P-trap to catch any water or debris. Carefully unscrew the nuts and remove the P-trap. Be prepared for some foul-smelling water to come out.
Step #3: Clean The P-Trap
Use a wire coat hanger or a plumber’s snake to clear any clogs in the P-trap. You can also rinse it with hot water and soap or vinegar and baking soda. Make sure there are no leaks or cracks in the P-trap.
Step #4: Replace The P-Trap
Reattach the P-trap to the pipe and tighten the nuts. Run some water through the disposal and check for any leaks. If there are no leaks, the smell should be gone.
Method #4: Inspecting The Vent Pipe
If the smell is caused by a problem with the vent pipe, you need to inspect and fix it. Here are the steps to follow:
Step #1: Locate The Vent Pipe
The vent pipe is the pipe that connects your drain system to the roof and allows air to flow in and out. It usually looks like a metal or plastic pipe sticking out of your roof.
Step #2: Check For Clogs
Clogs in the vent pipe can prevent air from escaping and cause sewer gas to back up into your sink. To check for clogs, you can use a flashlight or a mirror to look inside the pipe. You can also use a garden hose or a plumber’s snake to clear any blockages.
Step #3: Check For Damage
Damage in the vent pipe can also allow sewer gas to enter your sink. To check for damage, you can look for any cracks, holes, or loose connections in the pipe. You can also use a smoke bomb or a match to see if any smoke comes out of the pipe.
Step #4: Fix The Vent Pipe
If you find any clogs or damage in the vent pipe, you need to fix them as soon as possible. You may need to call a professional plumber for this job, as it can be dangerous and complicated.
Method #5: Calling A Professional Plumber
If none of the above methods work, or if you are not comfortable doing them yourself, you may need to call a professional plumber for help. A plumber can diagnose and fix any issues with your garbage disposal, drain system, or vent pipe. They can also advise you on how to prevent future problems and keep your disposal smelling fresh.
Garbage disposal smells like dead animal can be very unpleasant and annoying, but they can also be fixed with some simple methods. Whether it is caused by food waste, bacteria, clogs, dry P-traps, or sewer gas, there is always a solution for it.
You can try washing your disposal with natural cleaners, checking your P-trap and vent pipe for problems, or calling a plumber for assistance.
We hope this blog post has helped you understand why your garbage disposal smells like dead animal and how to fix it. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below. Thank you for reading!