How to Clean a Smelly Drain

Have you ever entered your kitchen only to be greeted by a foul stench? You start looking around—it’s not the garbage can, and it is not the fridge. No, the cause appears to be a smelly kitchen drain. The good news is, with a bit of detective work and drain-cleaning efforts, you can eliminate that undesirable stench and say hello to freshness!

Why Does My Drain Smell Bad??

Your sink can smell bad for many reasons. Determining the cause is the first step of freshening up your kitchen and avoiding a recurrence. The most common causes include:

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

Ways to Clean a Stinky Drain

Here are four reliable strategies to eliminate potent drain odors:

  • Hot water: Heat a mixture of water and vinegar until it nearly boils and slowly pour it into the drain. The hot water clears out the gunk and vinegar counteracts the stench.
  • Baking soda and vinegar: Start with the hot water strategy outlined above. If it’s insufficient, put a cup of baking soda down the drain and follow that with two cups of hot vinegar. Watch it fizz and let it sit for an hour. Then, clear the drain with more hot water to clean out stubborn gunk and bacteria.
  • P-trap cleaning: Don your rubber gloves and position a bucket underneath the P-trap. Loosen the pipe by hand or with a wrench, if required, and take the pipe out. Clean out the contents into the trash, flush any leftovers out of the pipe and reassemble your sink’s plumbing.
  • A note on bleach: Although it is a powerful antibacterial agent, bleach is not recommended for cleaning drains. It can harm your pipes and possibly create toxic gases, so avoid using bleach in this scenario.

Strategies for Fresh and Clean Drains

It’s not hard to keep funky drains under control with a little maintenance. Here’s what we recommend:

  • Run your garbage disposal and flush it with cold water for 20 seconds after grinding up food to completely flush particles down the pipes.
  • Flush the drain weekly with a gallon of near-boiling water to prevent the buildup of odor-causing debris.
  • Run water into rarely used sinks to keep the P-trap filled. For extra protection, apply a bit of mineral oil in the drain, because that slows down evaporation.
  • Spread a handful of baking soda in the drain and then pour hot water to absorb and counteract odors.
  • From time to time, follow up the baking soda process with a cup of white vinegar for a deeper clean. Leave it there for 30 minutes, then flush the drain thoroughly with hot water.
  • Use ground-up lemon or orange peels to leave your sink smelling fragrant.
  • Make use of enzyme cleaners to counter the buildup of odor-causing residue without relying on harsh chemicals.
  • Hire a pro to examine your plumbing sporadically. This can help catch odor-causing situations before they become trouble.
  • Don’t pour grease and other foods into 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 get caught in the drain. Then, throw the debris from the strainers into the trash to keep your pipes flowing easily and smelling fresh.
  • Schedule professional drain cleaning to ensure a comprehensive job. Licensed plumbers have the tools and skill to clear tough clogs and smelly problems. Additionally, they can give personalized advice specific to your residence’s plumbing system.

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

If your attempts to clean the smelly kitchen drain don’t work, it’s time to call in the pros. Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing delivers fast, lasting 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 stinky drains make you want to gag, choose 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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