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Fact or Fiction? Putting Lemons in Your Disposal to Help it Smell Fresh is a Good Idea
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Plumbing 02/20/12

Fact or Fiction? Putting Lemons in Your Disposal to Help it Smell Fresh is a Good Idea

At Bill Howe, we know that no one enjoys the odor of rotting food rising from their sink and garbage disposal. Many websites offer natural solutions for getting rid of garbage disposal odor, including the idea of grinding up lemons in the disposal, as the the clean, fresh lemon scent can eliminate any and make a big difference in your kitchen. However, experienced San Diego plumbers like us know that this home remedy could have unexpected consequences for your sink drain.

A garbage disposal may chop a lemon peel into very small pieces. However, an experienced San Diego plumber will tell you that those lemon peels and pieces will eventually end up in your kitchen drain line, causing it to clog and back up. Putting lemon juice in the disposal for deodorizing is a better solution. However, use this method sparingly as the citric acid may eventually corrode your disposal’s metal parts.

The only way to prevent a clogged and smelly garbage disposal is to use the disposal sparingly (put a small amount of food particles in at a time) and rinse the disposal well after each use. This will keep it clean and smelling fresh. In fact, our San Diego plumbers recommend running hot water with a small amount of bleach to thoroughly clean the disposal to avoid odors and grime buildup. Unfortunately, if your drain is already smelly and clogged, then no amount of warm water or garbage disposal cleaner, such as bleach, or deoderizer, will eliminate the smell and foul odors. If your garbage disposal is clogged, then it’s time to give Bill Howe Plumbing a call.

An experienced San Diego plumber from Bill Howe will come to your home and offer a free estimate to remove the clog and clean your garbage disposal. Once the location of the stoppage is determined, the technician can resolve the issue immediately by removing the particles and the unpleasant odor, leaving you with a fresh smelling drain. If the job is more complicated, like having roots or a broken line, or if you would prefer a formal estimate, then we are happy to write an estimate for you.

To schedule an appointment or receive a free estimate, please contact us at 1-800-BILL-HOWE (1-800-245-5469).


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  1. Any kind of hard or tough-peeled vegetable should not be put in the garbage disposal. They can ruin your disposal and therefore should be dumped away.

    Really appreciate this piece of information!

  2. This is very helpful. Will definitely keep in mind not to put those any fruit/vegetable peel in the garbage disposal. Thanks for the tip!

  3. Yes, you are absolutely right that lemon juice can help to provide good smell from Garbage Disposal. I always use this to clean my kitchen garbage disposal. Thank you.

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