December 26, 2014

Preventing trash compactor odors

By Sears PartsDirect staff
See how to prevent trash compactor odors.
See how to prevent trash compactor odors.

Trash compactors save you trips to the garbage can by compressing your kitchen trash into a small, tidy package. But taking out the trash less often means it stays longer in the kitchen, giving it more of a chance to, well, stink. Fortunately, trash compactor odors are easy to prevent.

The first step to preventing offensive odors is to never put raw meat or fish into the compactor. Ditto fruit rinds and skins. And it goes without saying that animal waste and bathroom trash don't belong in the kitchen compactor (or anywhere in the kitchen, for that matter). A good rule: if you wouldn't leave it overnight in the kitchen trash can, don't put it in the trash compactor.

Many compactors have features to reduce or prevent odors, such as charcoal filters or air-freshening discs. Replace the filter or disc every 6 months.

You can also prevent odors by periodically giving the compactor a good cleaning. Unplug the trash compactor before starting and wear rubber gloves to protect your hands. Follow label directions for all cleaning products.

  1. Open the drawer, remove the bag and take it out to the trash.

  2. Following the instructions in the owner's manual, remove the drawer from the cabinet.

  3. Vacuum loose debris from inside the cabinet.

  4. Wash the drawer and inside the cabinet with a soft cloth, mild detergent and warm water. Dry the surfaces thoroughly with a soft cloth.

  5. Clean the ram with an anti-bacterial cleaner or degreaser and then thoroughly dry with a soft cloth.

  6. Clean exterior surfaces with an appliance cleaner.

If your trash compactor has problems more serious than bad smells, our trash compactor repair guides can help. 

Symptoms common to all trash compactors

Choose a symptom to see related trash compactor repairs.

Main causes: bent drawer support rollers, damaged trash container
Main causes: lack of power, faulty drawer safety switch, bad power switch, momentary start switch failure, bad drive motor, wiring failure
Main causes: broken drive gear and sprocket chain, stripped power nuts, faulty top limit and directional switch
Main causes: stripped or broken power nuts, broken or disconnected drive gear and sprocket chain, damaged drive parts
Main cause: broken top limit and directional switch
Main cause: faulty drawer tilt switch
Main causes: stuck foot pedal, bad momentary start switch, power switch failure

Repair guides common to all trash compactors

These step-by-step repair guides will help you safely fix what’s broken on your trash compactor.

How to replace a trash compactor motor centrifugal switch

If the trash compactor ram won’t return to the top position, replace the motor centrifugal switch by following the instructions in this repair guide.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 45 minutes or less
June 1, 2013
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a trash compactor power switch

If the trash compactor won’t power up, use the steps in this repair guide to replace the power switch.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less
How to replace a trash compactor momentary start switch

The momentary start switch starts the motor when you lift the foot pedal. This repair guide shows how to replace the switch if it stops working

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less

Articles and videos common to all trash compactors

Use the advice and tips in these articles and videos to get the most out of your trash compactor.

December 16, 2015

Using a wiring schematic to trace a current video

By Sears PartsDirect staff

Find out what’s wrong with your appliance by following a circuit.

December 9, 2015

How to read a wiring schematic video

By Sears PartsDirect staff

Learn how to decipher symbols so you can buy the right part for your problem.

December 26, 2014

How to load a trash compactor

By Sears PartsDirect staff

Learn the proper way to place your trash in your trash compactor.