We have lived here for 6 years and our condo was brand new at that time. A few months ago I decided to buy a double-bowl stainless sink instead of my original white one, which I had difficulty keeping sparkling white.
My original white double sink had 2 equal-sized bowls but I chose a larger main sink with the small vegetable sink to the right. Our garbage disposal (which of course is only 6 years old) has in the past couple of months developed a musty, foul odor. I have purchased some commercial product called Disposer Clean or something. It doesn’t help. As I look under the sink it seems the plumbing under the disposer goes straight down then makes an abrupt turn upward, then into the drainpipe.
I also looked in the disposer with a flashlight and it seems to me that it looks rusty or something. Any thoughts??
As to the rust, it is not uncommon to see these disposal blades rusting slightly. However, if they have a lot of rust it could be that the blades are not functioning as they should and are leaving waste in the disposal. In this case, a new disposal would be needed.
Disposals get the foul end of our food waste. It is possible, if you put a lot of leafy remnants, such as lettuce, potato peels, and similar items, for some of the leftovers to stay inside of the disposal. I understand you tried the disposal cleaner without any luck, but you might try these suggestions also.
With the disposal and water running, try placing several ice cubes into the disposal. This may sound horrible, but the ice chips may force any food debris out. This not only helps with the cleaning of the disposal, but will actually sharpen the blades as well.
If you still have the odor, use the sink stopper which came with the disposal to allow you to fill up the sink. Once the sink is full, remove the stopper and allow all of the water to go down the disposal and pipes. The pressure from so much water can act like the ice and possibly remove any food remnants.
A common home remedy to try would be a half-cup of baking soda poured into the disposal, with the disposal off, followed by a half-cup of vinegar. Let this sit in the disposal for 5 – 10 minutes, then flush it, with the disposal off, for a minute with hot water.
Whenever you use the disposal, you should follow a few tips. Always use cold water. Never jam the food all at once into the disposal. Feed the food in small increments. Always leave the water running for 5 – 10 seconds after you’ve turned the disposal off, allowing the waste to get flushed down the pipes.
There are certain foods which I won’t put into the disposal, because, like you, I notice a smell for a while. Broccoli is one of these. I would rather empty it into the trash, but the smell will stay if you don’t take the trash out fairly soon. Potato peels, corn husks, lettuce, celery, parsley, rice, and other similar foods are best left for the trash can. Grease from cooking is another item that is best for the trash can (only after it has hardened). Although liquid grease will go down the disposal, it can also coat your pipes, giving the potential for future odors.
A couple of good items for the disposal are ice, egg shells (another way of sharpening the blades), and occasionally, half of a lemon or lime, which will leave the disposal smelling wonderfully (if such a thing is possible).