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Substitute and Solve - Stinky garburator will take some work to be odour-free

Hi Reena,

My garburator has a nasty odour coming up from the drain.I have tried baking soda on its own, baking soda and vinegar and also scrubbed the rubber gasket.I have tossed down lemons and run the garburator, and no difference. I have even poured a small amount of household ammonia down the drain and the sour smell lingers.

We will be away for a month this winter and I wonder if this will just get worse. Thanks for taking the time to respond any suggestions are appreciated.

You helped me out last year with the granite mortar and pestle question I had and your solution worked like a charm. Thanks to you, I spent the summer happily bashing garlic and herbs with no problem! We live in the country and use a water softener if that makes any difference. Thanks again, Deborah

Hi Deborah,

Food that is chopped up in the disposal is not always properly washed down the garburator and accumulates on the side walls of the disposal. If food gets old, it will decay and smell like compost. One of the causes for this is that not enough water is run into the disposal after food has been ground up.

To fix this, you will need to call in a plumber or clean the unit yourself by disconnecting the pipe that leaves the disposal from the drain system under your sink. Purchase a rubber test cap and attach it to the tube end of the pipe and tighten the clamp. Put an empty bucket under the end of the pipe. Fill the disposal with water, the water will back up into the sink. Turn the water off when it is level with the top of the strainer basket in the sink bottom. Pour half cup baking soda and half cup vinegar (or household ammonia) into the drain. Leave for one hour to give the solution a chance to loosen up the food particles. Loosen the clamp and let the water pour into the bucket.

Reconnect the disposer to the plumbing drain system. Put the plug into the sink and fill the sink with hot soapy water, baking soda and vinegar. Leave for one hour and drain. Regularly drop ice cubes; as you said lemon and orange peels through the garbage disposal helps to freshen. If smell remains, call in a licensed plumber to check out the system.

Dear Reena,

I had a new high efficiency furnace installed last year. This winter I have had problems with my front and side doors freezing up. Sometimes I cannot get the handles to move or the key in the lock when leaving or entering the house; sometimes the ice buildup around the door makes it almost impossible to open. My storm doors have a thick white frost on them. I run a dehumidifier in the basement constantly.

The guy who installed the furnace came in three weeks ago and disconnected the cold air return but it has made no difference. Since I still have heat, I am last on the list for return calls.

I called hydro and they suggested running the furnace fan but that just gives cool air plusI don’t think it makes the furnace very high efficiency to run while the dehumidifier is running as well. Any suggestions? Y

Dear Y,

Normally frost buildup is a result of vents, heating ducts or cold air returns being blocked or drafts around doorframes and windows. These drafts are not obvious until the really cold days hit. It may be worth your while to reinsulate doorframes and add new weather stripping wherever ice buildups are a challenge. It is also wise to have the humidity level tested because the dehumidifier may not be taking out enough moisture. Hydro’s suggestion to run the fan constantly is quite common because proper air circulation is key. I am hoping that the furnace installer makes another appearance before the weather warms up since this was not an issue prior to the installation of the new furnace.

reader feedback:

Dear Reena,

In regards to the lady with the wallpaper removal problem, there is a much simpler solution than what you gave. I have done this many times: Fill a spray bottle about three quarter full of liquid fabric softener for your washing machine. Fill remainder with hot water and just spray on the walls. Leave for about five to seven minutes, pull at edge and viola, off it comes! The glue can then just be washed away with very mild solution of dish detergent.Mary

Hi Reena,

I noticed your suggestions for wallpaper glue removal and wish to share our experience with removing 65 year old glue from our walls. We removed the paper off but the glue was like a rough concrete surface. I used unscented fabric softener sheets soaked in a litre or so of hot water and scrunched them up until the water was milky. Use a rag to apply to the wall, wait a few minutes for it to soak in and then use either a 4" or 6" blade to scrape it or the Scotch Brite type of pads to scrub down the wall. I peeled about three-foot square at a time and rinsed well with clean water. Some areas were really tough and took two or three applications. TSP did not work for us at all on the glue and when I inquired at the various paint companies regarding TSP, I was told it is an unnecessary step and wasn’t needed if the wall was clean. We have had no issues with paint peeling or blistering but we had primed with a good primer as the original primer under the wallpaper and glue was oil based. Nan

Reena Nerbas is a rural Manitoba home economist is a lab coat - and she’s not afraid to use it. Keep your questions coming:

» householdsolutions@mts.net

(204) 320-2757

reena.ca

Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition February 27, 2014

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Hi Reena,

My garburator has a nasty odour coming up from the drain.I have tried baking soda on its own, baking soda and vinegar and also scrubbed the rubber gasket.I have tossed down lemons and run the garburator, and no difference. I have even poured a small amount of household ammonia down the drain and the sour smell lingers.

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Hi Reena,

My garburator has a nasty odour coming up from the drain.I have tried baking soda on its own, baking soda and vinegar and also scrubbed the rubber gasket.I have tossed down lemons and run the garburator, and no difference. I have even poured a small amount of household ammonia down the drain and the sour smell lingers.

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