How to Clean a Smelly Drain

Have you ever walked into your kitchen only to detect a foul smell? You start searching—it’s not the garbage can, and the aroma is not the fridge. No, the cause is a stinky 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 several reasons. Identifying the cause is the starting point to freshening up your kitchen and preventing a recurrence. The most common causes 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.
  • Blocked drain: Blocked pipes can lead to stagnant water and bacteria growth, contributing to the stench.
  • 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 typically happens in household plumbing fixtures that are not used anymore
  • Plumbing errors: From DIY problems to missing traps or drain vents, plumbing challenges can allow unwelcome smells to penetrate your living space.

Ways to Clean a Stinky Drain

Here are four surefire methods to banish pungent 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 gunk and vinegar counteracts the odor.
  • Baking soda and vinegar: Get started with the hot water method mentioned above. If it’s inadequate, put a cup of baking soda in the drain and then pour two cups of hot vinegar. Enjoy the fizz and let it sit for an hour. Then, rinse the drain with more hot water to tackle stubborn gunk and bacteria.
  • P-trap cleaning: Don your safety gloves and put a bucket below the P-trap. Loosen 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’s a good antibacterial agent, bleach is not advisable for cleaning drains. It can harm your pipes and potentially create toxic gases, so don’t use bleach in this circumstance.

Strategies for Fresh and Clean Drains

It’s not hard to keep foul-smelling drains under control with a little elbow grease. Here’s what we suggest:

  • Run your garbage disposal and clear it using cold water for 20 seconds after grinding up food to thoroughly flush particles through the pipes.
  • Flush the drain weekly with a gallon of near-boiling water to prevent the buildup of odor-causing gunk.
  • Run water through rarely used sinks to keep the P-trap filled. For more protection, pour a little mineral oil in the drain, because that slows evaporation.
  • Spread a handful of baking soda into the drain followed by hot water to absorb and counteract odors.
  • From time to time, follow up the baking soda treatment with a cup of white vinegar for a more intense clean. Leave it there for half an hour, then flush the drain thoroughly with hot water.
  • Grind lemon or orange peels to leave your sink smelling citrus-fresh.
  • Use 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 detect odor-causing scenarios before they become a big problem.
  • Avoid pouring grease and other foods into the drain that can easily clog or decompose, such as coffee grounds and fibrous vegetables.
  • Try using mesh strainers to catch food particles and other debris before they get caught in the drain. Next, empty the strainers into the trash to keep your pipes flowing smoothly and smelling clean.
  • Schedule professional drain cleaning to ensure a comprehensive job. Licensed plumbers have the tools and training to take care of tough clogs and smelly problems. Additionally, they can supply you with 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 efforts to clean the foul-smelling kitchen drain are not successful, it’s time to call in the specialists. Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing provides fast, durable 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 smelly drains make you want to gag, choose the knowledgeable pros at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. Plan your appointment by phoning 866-397-3787 today!

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