Eeuuww – what’s that smell in the kitchen? Yuck, it’s from the sink. It smells like sewage or rotten food. The sink looks clean, and you try flushing lots of water down the drain. You run the garbage disposal, and it works fine. The smell persists. What should you do?

The smell could be caused by debris that has collected inside the disposal’s rubber flapper. With the disposal off, wipe this hidden surface with a coarse rag and detergent. Be careful not to put the rag or your hand too far into the disposal – rub the underside of the rubber flap.

With some disposals, this flap can be removed and cleaned. Typically it is just held in place in a slot around the edges.

After cleaning the flap, turn on the disposal and dump a few pounds of ice into it. The ice will bounce around in the disposal, and these hard chunks will break away debris.

Finally, with the disposal running, throw in a few lemons or lime peels. They are pretty tough, and they’ll also help break away any debris while leaving a pleasant scent.