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My garbage disposal smells bad. What can I do?

Plunger above the disposal in a dirty sink.

(Photo: Flickr/Kung Pao Cowboy)

My garbage disposal smells bad. What can I do?

November 14, 2012

Q:  My garbage disposal smells bad. I have tried putting lemons down it, but it doesn't help. The disposal is also connected to the dishwasher via a hose.

A: There are several steps you can try. First, put the stopper in your sink drain and run a full sink of hot water, then mix in a cup and a half of bleach. Then let the water drain out. After the water empties, DO NOT run fresh water down the drain for several hours. This may solve your problem.

If not, add a half cup of bleach to the bottom of your dishwasher and fun a full cycle, empty of dishes. NOTE: Do not use bleach in your dishwasher if you have a stainless steel interior. If your dishwasher is stainless steel, try using white vinegar instead.

-- Answer from Eric M. Bright, a carpenter and kitchen remodel contractor on JustAnswer.

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