Ooh! Ooh! That Smell
Is there an obnoxious odor coming from your kitchen sink that you can’t quite put your finger on? Where is it coming from and how do you get rid of it? Guests are starting to whisper and you are getting a reputation for being a bad housekeeper. Nobody wants to party at your house. Don’t panic, the solution may be fast and easy, not to mention very inexpensive. If you have a newer home, that smell is probably just left over from waste particles that have accumulated in the garbage disposal. Try this quick fix: Cut a large lemon in half and squeeze it into the garbage disposal opening. Let it work for five or ten minutes and then flush with hot water for about a minute. Repeat the same procedure again and see if that solves your problem. Surprisingly, this works most of the time. The citric acid in the lemon juice will neutralize the odor very effectively.
Now for older homes the problem could be caused by a faulty dishwasher drain hose leading from the dishwasher to the sink. This hose usually attaches to an air gap device at the underside of the sink and then wyes off with another hose to the side of the garbage disposal. Many times one or both of these hoses can become kinked causing food particles to become trapped in the hose with no way out. A sure sign that this is happening is during the drain cycle when the dishwasher will discharge water through the openings in the air gap back into the sink. This indicates that the drain hose is clogged.
You can imagine what happens to these food particles that have been lodged in the hose for a long period of time. They begin to decay creating a putrid odor. Even if you detach the hose and clear the obstruction, the foul smell will usually remain in the hose. Flushing the hose with hot water is worth a try but usually it is best to just replace the hose.
Just a note – Many homes are not equipped with an air gap device. Instead the dishwasher drain hose runs directly to the garbage disposal but the problem remains the same. Look for a kink in the hose. At this time it is also a good idea to make sure that the hose is run properly. It should be gently sloped upwards from the dishwasher to the underside of the countertop where it should be attached with a proper hose clamp. From there it should gently slope downwards to the garbage disposal. This method will help to insure that food particles do not back up in the drain hose and eventually back into the dishwasher.