How to Clean a Smelly Drain

Have you ever walked into your kitchen only to detect a foul smell? You start looking around—it’s not the garbage can, and the nasty odor isn’t coming from the fridge. No, the cause is a smelly kitchen drain. Thankfully, with a little investigating and drain-cleaning efforts, you can eliminate that unpleasant smell and say hello to freshness!

What Causes a Stinky Drain?

Your sink can smell bad for several reasons. Pinpointing the cause is the best way to begin freshening up your kitchen and preventing a recurrence. The most prevalent culprits include:

  • Bacteria: A kitchen drain lined with food particles, grease buildup and other crud is a breeding ground for bacteria and other microorganisms that create unpleasant odors as they feed.
  • Clogged drain: Obstructed pipes can lead to stagnant water and bacteria growth, making the smell worse.
  • Sewer gases: If the P-trap located under the sink dries out, sewer gases may waft from the drain, triggering a lingering sewer smell. This most often is found in plumbing that is no longer used
  • Plumbing flaws: From DIY mishaps to missing traps or drain vents, plumbing challenges can allow unwelcome smells to permeate your living space.

How to Fix a Stinky Drain

Here are four tried-and-true ways to banish pungent drain odors:

  • Hot water: Heat a mixture of water and vinegar to near-boiling and slowly pour it in the drain. The hot water clears out the debris and vinegar negates the scent.
  • Baking soda and vinegar: Start with the hot water technique explained above. If it’s not enough, dump a cup of baking soda into the drain and follow that with two cups of hot vinegar. Appreciate the fizz and let it sit for an hour. Then, flush the drain with more hot water to get rid of stubborn gunk and bacteria.
  • P-trap cleaning: Don your rubber gloves and position a bucket under the P-trap. Loosen the pipe by hand or with a wrench, if required, and remove it. Dump the contents into the trash, rinse the pipe and refasten your sink’s plumbing.
  • A note on bleach: Although it is a good antibacterial agent, bleach is not advisable for cleaning drains. It can damage your pipes and possibly create toxic gases, so don’t use bleach in this scenario.

Strategies for Fresh and Clean Drains

It’s simple to keep foul-smelling drains under control with a little routine cleaning. Here’s what we suggest:

  • Operate your garbage disposal and flush it with cold water for 20 seconds after grinding up food to completely flush particles out the pipes.
  • Rinse the drain every week or so with a gallon of near-boiling water to protect against the buildup of odor-causing debris.
  • Run water through rarely used sinks to keep the P-trap filled. For extra protection, apply a little mineral oil in the drain, because that slows down evaporation.
  • Sprinkle a handful of baking soda into the drain and follow that with hot water to absorb and reduce any odors.
  • Occasionally, follow up the baking soda method with a cup of white vinegar for a even greater clean. Allow the baking soda to activate for half an hour, then flush the drain extensively with hot water.
  • Grind lemon or orange peels to leave your sink smelling fragrant.
  • Make use of enzyme cleaners to counter the buildup of odor-causing residue without turning to harsh chemicals.
  • Hire a specialist to examine your plumbing sporadically. This can help find odor-causing scenarios before they become trouble.
  • Avoid pouring grease and other kitchen scraps or substances in the drain that can easily clog or rot, such as coffee grounds and fibrous vegetables.
  • Use mesh strainers to catch food debris and other debris before they go down the drain. Next, throw the debris from the strainers into the trash to keep your pipes flowing easily and smelling pleasant.
  • Schedule professional drain cleaning to ensure a comprehensive job. Licensed plumbers have the tools and skill to handle tough clogs and smelly problems. In addition, they can give personalized advice specific to your home’s plumbing system.

Call for Experienced Drain Cleaning in the U.S. with Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing

If your hard work trying to clean the stinky kitchen drain don’t work, it’s time to call in the pros. Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing is known for fast, long-lasting plumbing solutions in the U.S., including professional drain cleaning. Our 100% satisfaction guarantee means we’re devoted to your complete happiness.

So, the next time your stinky drains make you want to plug your nose, reach out to the knowledgeable pros at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. Schedule your appointment by contacting us at 866-397-3787 today!

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