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So your kitchen smells horrid and it doesn't seem to be the usual culprits: trash cans, pet odors and expired sour cream in the fridge. What gives? Chances are, you need to clean out your garbage disposal.

Freshening your garbage disposal is fairly easy if you maintain a monthly routine of cleaning it out (I recommend using lemon peels or liquid bleach water). However, once your garbage disposal starts smelling less than fresh, you've got a bigger problem than a splash of bleach can fix. Odors form when hardened food residue begins to form among the pipes of your garbage disposal, so if you're smelling something from the depths of your sink, it's time to do a bit of emergency surgery:

1. Gather your supplies. You will need: 2. Remove the pipe connected to your disposal with the channel lock pliers. Keep your five gallon bucket handy to catch any drips.
3. Attach the rubber test cap to the pipe exiting the disposal (make sure it's tight to avoid leaks!).
4. Fill the unit with hot water just to the sink drain; then add 1/2 cup of powdered oxygen bleach. Let sit for one hour.
5. Turn on the disposal and allow the blades to agitate the water for a minute, or until a foam is created (whichever comes first).
6. Remove the rubber test cap and allow the water to drain into your five gallon bucket.
7. Carefully reattach the pipe with the channel lock pliers.
8. Test for leaks.

That's it! Although it seems complicated, cleaning out a garbage disposal is one of the easiest plumbing tricks around. Just wait until you graduate to shower pipes...


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