Having a garbage disposal in your sink makes it easy to clean your dishes and remove food particles, but these devices can sometimes have a tendency to accumulate food particles and other organic matter. Over time, anything that accumulates inside the disposal can produce a foul odor that can permeate your entire kitchen or even your entire home.

When that happens, it’s important to immediately clean your disposal to prevent mold from growing inside, which not only creates an unsanitary environment inside your sink, but it can also affect the disposal’s performance. Thankfully, eliminating bad odors and keeping your disposal smelling fresh and working at peak efficiency is easy.

3 Easy Steps for Removing Bad Odors from Your Disposal

Chances are, you already have the key “equipment” necessary for freshening up your garbage disposal. Garbage disposals don’t require any fancy cleaning solutions or chemicals, and in fact, natural methods are both more effective at removing foul odors and much less likely to damage your disposal and its blades.

  • Use citrus fruit peels
    The peels of citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and limes are commonly tossed in the trash, but they are one of the best ways to turn an odor-filled garbage disposal into an air freshener. Simply toss a few peels inside your garbage disposal and leave them there for a few days. Every time you turn on the disposal with water running, you’ll get the smell of citrus fruits. As an added bonus, the peels will help clean the blades.

  • Use baking soda and vinegar
    Baking soda and vinegar aren’t just for elementary school science projects—they’re also a powerful cleaning combination, especially in hard to reach places like garbage disposals. Pour one cup of dry baking soda into your garbage disposal, turn it on, and then pour one cup of distilled white vinegar into your disposal to reduce and eliminate odors. This method is also a great way to sanitize your entire sink.

  • Use ice cubes
    Because garbage disposal odors are often caused by small bits of decaying food, it’s important to use something that can break those bits up and carry them down the drain. Ice cubes are perfect for knocking any food debris off garbage disposal blades. Like citrus peels, they will help sharpen your disposal’s blades.