How to Clean a Smelly Drain

Have you ever gone into your kitchen only to get hit in the face by a foul stench? You start looking around—it’s not the garbage can, and the nasty odor is clearly not the fridge. No, the cause appears to be an icky and pungent kitchen drain. The good news is, with some investigation and drain-cleaning efforts, you can say goodbye to that unpleasant stench and say hello to freshness!

Why Does My Drain Smell Bad??

Your sink can develop an offensive odor for a few reasons. Determining the cause is the first step of freshening up your kitchen and avoiding a recurrence. The most common culprits include:

  • Bacteria: A kitchen drain clogged with food particles, grease buildup and other gunk 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, adding to the bad odor.
  • Sewer gases: If the P-trap below the sink dries out, sewer gases may come up from the drain, causing a lingering sewer smell. This frequently occurs with seldom-used plumbing fixtures
  • Plumbing flaws: From DIY mishaps to missing traps or drain vents, plumbing issues can allow unwelcome smells to enter your living space.

Tips to Clean a Stinky Drain

Here are four surefire ways to eliminate smelly drain odors:

  • Hot water: Heat a mixture of water and vinegar until it nearly boils and slowly pour it in the drain. The hot water clears out the sludge and vinegar neutralizes the stench.
  • Baking soda and vinegar: Start with the hot water method explained above. If it’s insufficient, dump a cup of baking soda down the drain and then pour two cups of hot vinegar. Appreciate the fizz and leave it for an hour. Then, rinse the drain with more hot water to get rid of stubborn gunk and bacteria.
  • P-trap cleaning: Don your protective gloves and put a bucket under the P-trap. Loosen the pipe by hand or with a wrench, if necessary, and remove it. Empty the contents into the trash, flush any leftovers out of the pipe and reassemble your sink’s plumbing.
  • A note on bleach: Although it’s a powerful antibacterial agent, bleach is not suggested for cleaning drains. It can harm your pipes and possibly create toxic gases, so avoid using bleach in this circumstance.

Strategies for Fresh and Clean Drains

It’s not hard to keep reeking drains at bay with a little routine cleaning. Here’s what we encourage:

  • Run your garbage disposal and flush it with cold water for 20 seconds after grinding up food to completely flush particles down the pipes.
  • Clean the drain every week or so with a gallon of near-boiling water to prevent the buildup of odor-causing gunk.
  • Run water into infrequently used sinks to keep the P-trap filled. For more protection, pour a bit of mineral oil in the drain, because that slows down evaporation.
  • Pour a handful of baking soda down the drain and follow that with hot water to absorb and counteract odors.
  • Once in a while, follow up the baking soda method with a cup of white vinegar for a deeper clean. Leave it there for a half-hour, then clean the drain thoroughly with hot water.
  • Grind lemon or orange peels to leave your sink smelling nice and clean.
  • Make use of enzyme cleaners to counter the buildup of odor-causing residue without turning to harsh chemicals.
  • Hire a professional to check your plumbing occasionally. This can help catch odor-causing issues before they become a concern.
  • Don’t ever put 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 scraps and other debris before they go down the drain. After that, empty the strainers into the trash to keep your pipes flowing properly and smelling clean.
  • Opt for professional drain cleaning to ensure a thorough job. Licensed plumbers have the tools and training to handle tough clogs and smelly problems. Additionally, they can provide personalized advice specific to your residence’s plumbing system.

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

If your efforts to clean the foul-smelling kitchen drain are not successful, it’s time to call in the pros. Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing delivers fast, durable plumbing solutions in the U.S., including professional drain cleaning. Our 100% satisfaction guarantee means we’re dedicated to your complete happiness.

So, the next time your smelly drains make you want to run out of the room, go with the knowledgeable pros at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. Schedule your appointment by phoning 866-397-3787 today!

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