garbage disposal smells like dead animal
Kristina Davis

No one likes when their garbage disposal smells like dead animal. Garbage disposal might be the best invention since sliced bread but it isn’t invincible. 

There are times when it has complications which in this case is smelling like a dead animal.

It is a terrible smell to have in your house, especially in your kitchen. It makes using your sink undesirable after some time.

This is why this writer would be taking you through all the possible ways of fixing it.

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There are several ways to get rid of the smell of dead animals in your garbage disposal. But to be able to do that, we must first be aware of all the possible causes.

Why Does Your Garbage Disposal Smell Like Dead Animal?

why your garbage disposal smell

As I said earlier, to be able to solve a problem, we must be familiar with the causes.

There is a wide range of reasons why your garbage disposal might smell like dead animals. But in this article, we are only going to mention the most obvious one.

A garbage disposal deals with dirt and garbage on a regular basis. Since it deals with garbage, it is only normal and also quite unfortunate that it gets the smell too. 

After constant use of the garbage disposal, it is sure to have a buildup that is also sure to stink.

At first, it is more of a sour smell and if ignored comes back as the smell of a dead animal.

Note: If ignored further, the garbage disposal smell would affect the whole kitchen.

How To Get Rid Of Smell In Garbage Disposal 

get rid of smell

Knowing that we are all aware of the major cause of the smell, we can now proceed to how you get rid of it.

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There are different methods and you are free to use any one of your choices.

Here are the methods:

Method #1: Washing The Garbage Disposal

The most ideal method is to wash the garbage disposal to get rid of the source of the smell.

Here are the steps involved:

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.

This is why removing the clogs should be the first step taken when washing the garbage disposal.

unclog sink

In order to remove the clogs, you first unplug the garbage disposal for safety.

Use a flashlight and a picker or anything you can use to access the clogs to remove them. 

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After you have moved the clogs, you can then proceed to connect the garbage disposal back to a power source. 

Switch on the tap and allow water to fill the sink, and then turn on the garbage disposal for some minutes. After that, you can turn it off and also switch off the tap.

Tip: Never put your hand into the garbage disposal when cleaning.

Step #2: Soak The Sink

After all that, you fill-up the sink again and add a considerable amount of soap to the sink. Let the water lather up and leave it to soak for a while. 

Then turn on the garbage disposal and allow the soapy water to pass through the drain.

After all the water has passed through, you turn off the garbage disposal.

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soak sink with water

Step #3: Wash With Bottle Brush

Since the sink and garbage disposal have been properly soaked, you can then proceed to wash them.

Wash the accessible parts of the garbage disposal with a bottle brush or an old toothbrush dipped in liquid soap. Also, you should wash the other exposed parts of the sink.

Step #4: Rinse With Cold Water

This part is a little bit technical but still practical.

Before rinsing the garbage disposal with cold water, you must make use of ice cubes to dislodge any dirt particles you couldn’t reach. 

So you add little bits of ice cubes and possibly a little bit of salt inside the garbage disposal and turn it on until the ice is gone. 

ice cubes

The main point of the ice cube is for it to remove stuck dirt, and the salt is meant to cleanse, and remove the odor from the blades.

After all that, you can then wash it all down with cold water. You turn on the water and then turn on the garbage disposal.

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Method #2: Baking Soda And Vinegar

Method two is basically an extension of method one if you are not satisfied with the result from method one. 

Baking soda and vinegar are famous for many things in the household but today, they are being recognized for their odor-removing abilities. 

They are extremely effective when used alone or together to get rid of the smell of dead animals in your garbage disposal.

use baking soda and vinegar

Here are the steps involved:

Step #1: Pour Into The Drain

Put 2 cups of baking soda inside the garbage disposal drain, after which you add half a cup of vinegar shortly after. 

After adding both to the drain, you let it sit for about an hour or so before turning on the tap.

Then you turn on your garbage disposal and let it run for some minutes before turning it off.

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Step #2: Make Use Of Vinegar Cubes

Rather than using plain ice, you can be more creative and make use of vinegar cubes instead.

Because not only does it clear out tiny particles, but it also cleans the blade and the drain because vinegar has high cleaning power.  

vinegar cubes

Place vinegar in an ice cube tray and leave it to freeze overnight. After that, place the cubes in the drain and turn on the garbage disposal. 

Tip: Only turn it off when you are sure all the ice is gone.

Step #3: Rinse With Cold Water

After all that, you fill the sink with cold water and then turn on the garbage disposal to allow it to pass through.

Method #3: Using Natural Remedies

This method requires you to make use of at least one of the previously stated methods. This method involves using things that can be easily found. 

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It could be things like lemon peel, eggshells, salts, and the like to get rid of the dead animal smell while also cleaning the garbage disposal.

lemon peel

So if you have lemon peels, you chop them into small pieces and put them in the garbage disposal, and then turn it on.

This would give the garbage disposal a fresh smell. 

Once the lemon is all gone, you turn the garbage disposal off so you can add some eggshells and salt, and then turn it back on. 

The eggshell will help clean the blades in the garbage disposal. You can replace the eggshell with anything hard, like chicken bones.

Tip: This method should be practiced from time to time to help prevent odor.

There are other things you can make use of in favor of baking soda and vinegar.

A few examples would be borax, salt and ice, mouthwash, citrus juice, and scouring powder. 

use mouthwash

All these are equally as effective as using the other methods listed above.

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Make use of the same way you would make use of vinegar and baking soda when trying to get rid of the smell of dead animals in your garbage disposal.

Tip: For the best result, you can make use of all the methods simultaneously.


I would always be a preacher of prevention is better than cure which is why it is important to be watchful of things you put in your garbage disposal. 

Adding large and fibrous food into it would, in the long run, make garbage disposal smell like dead animals

Also, under no circumstances should you use hot water for your garbage disposal.

If you can follow all these, you should not have a problem with your garbage disposal smelling bad. 

Even if you do end up with such a problem, I’m sure you are now equipped with the knowledge of how to fix it.