How to Clean a Smelly Drain

Have you ever entered your kitchen only to get hit in the face by a foul odor? You start looking around—it’s not the garbage can, and the nasty odor is not the fridge. No, the perpetrator seems to be a stinky kitchen drain. The good news is, with some investigation and drain-cleaning efforts, you can eliminate that unpleasant stench and say hello to freshness!

Why Do Drains Stink?

Your sink can stink for many reasons. Determining the cause is the starting point to freshening up your kitchen and stopping a recurrence. The most common offenders include:

  • Bacteria: A kitchen drain clogged with food particles, grease buildup and other sludge is a breeding ground for bacteria and other microorganisms that produce unpleasant odors as they feed.
  • Plugged drain: Obstructed pipes can lead to stagnant water and bacteria growth, making the smell worse.
  • Sewer gases: If the P-trap underneath the sink dries out, sewer gases may waft from the drain, creating a lingering sewer smell. This frequently happens in seldom-used plumbing fixtures
  • Plumbing mistakes: From DIY problems to missing traps or drain vents, plumbing challenges can allow unwanted smells to enter your living space.

How to Clean a Stinky Drain

Here are four surefire methods to eliminate pungent drain odors:

  • Hot water: Heat a mixture of water and vinegar until it nearly boils and carefully pour it in the drain. The hot water clears out the sludge and vinegar counteracts the odor.
  • Baking soda and vinegar: Start with the hot water technique explained above. If it’s insufficient, pour a cup of baking soda into the drain and then pour two cups of hot vinegar. Enjoy the fizz and let it sit for an hour. Then, clear the drain with more hot water to tackle stubborn gunk and bacteria.
  • P-trap cleaning: Don your protective gloves and place a bucket under the P-trap. Unscrew the pipe by hand or with a wrench, if needed, and set it aside. Dump the contents into the trash, wash out the pipe and reassemble 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 potentially create toxic gases, so avoid using bleach in this situation.

How to Keep Your Drains Smelling Fresh

It’s not hard to keep smelly drains at bay with a little maintenance. Here’s what we recommend:

  • Operate your garbage disposal and rinse with cold water for 20 seconds after grinding up food to thoroughly flush particles out the pipes.
  • Clean the drain weekly with a gallon of near-boiling water to stop the buildup of odor-causing gunk.
  • Run water into seldom-used sinks to keep the P-trap filled. For extra protection, apply a small amount of mineral oil in the drain, because that reduces evaporation.
  • Pour a handful of baking soda into the drain followed by hot water to absorb and neutralize odors.
  • From time to time, follow up the baking soda process with a cup of white vinegar for a deeper clean. Allow the baking soda to activate for a half-hour, then flush the drain thoroughly 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 resorting to the use of harsh chemicals.
  • Hire a specialist to check your plumbing sporadically. This can help catch odor-causing situations before they become a concern.
  • Don’t ever put grease and other foods down the drain that can easily clog or rot, such as coffee grounds and fibrous vegetables.
  • Use mesh strainers to catch food particles and other debris before they go down the drain. Then, throw the debris from the strainers into the trash to keep your pipes flowing easily and smelling clean.
  • Opt for professional drain cleaning to ensure a thorough job. Licensed plumbers have the tools and skill to deal with tough clogs and smelly problems. In addition, they can provide personalized advice specific to your residence’s plumbing system.

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

If your hard work trying to clean the foul-smelling kitchen drain are not successful, it’s time to call in the professionals. Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing provides fast, long-lasting plumbing solutions in the U.S., including professional drain cleaning. Our 100% satisfaction guarantee means we’re focused on your complete happiness.

So, the next time your nasty-smelling drains make you want to plug your nose, go with the knowledgeable pros at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. Plan your appointment by contacting us at 866-397-3787 today!

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