How to Clean a Smelly Drain

Have you ever gone into your kitchen only to detect a foul smell? You start investigating—it’s not the garbage can, and the aroma isn’t coming from the fridge. No, the culprit seems to be an icky and pungent kitchen drain. Thankfully, with some investigation and drain-cleaning efforts, you can say goodbye to that unpleasant stench and say hello to freshness!

What Causes a Stinky Drain?

Your sink can develop an offensive odor for a few reasons. Pinpointing the cause is the best way to begin freshening up your kitchen and preventing a recurrence. The most frequent causes include:

  • Bacteria: A kitchen drain covered with food particles, grease buildup and other crud is a breeding ground for bacteria and other microorganisms that create 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, creating a lingering sewer smell. This typically happens in plumbing that is no longer used
  • Plumbing errors: From DIY accidents to missing traps or drain vents, plumbing problems can allow unwanted smells to permeate your living space.

Ways to Clear a Stinky Drain

Here are four reliable strategies to eliminate pungent drain odors:

  • Hot water: Heat a mixture of water and vinegar to near-boiling and carefully pour it in the drain. The hot water clears out the gunk and vinegar counteracts the stench.
  • Baking soda and vinegar: Get started with the hot water method outlined above. If it’s insufficient, dump a cup of baking soda down the drain and chase it with two cups of hot vinegar. Watch it fizz and let it sit for an hour. Then, rinse the drain with more hot water to clean out stubborn gunk and bacteria.
  • P-trap cleaning: Don your rubber gloves and put a bucket under the P-trap. Unscrew the pipe by hand or with a wrench, if necessary, and set it aside. Dump the contents into the trash, flush any leftovers out of the pipe and refasten your sink’s plumbing.
  • A note on bleach: Although it is a powerful antibacterial agent, bleach is not ideal for cleaning drains. It can cause harm to your pipes and potentially create toxic gases, so avoid using bleach in this circumstance.

How to Keep Your Drains Smelling Fresh

It’s easy to keep smelly drains at bay with a little routine cleaning. Here’s what we encourage:

  • Operate your garbage disposal and flush it with cold water for 20 seconds after grinding up food to totally flush particles through the pipes.
  • Flush the drain every week or so with a gallon of near-boiling water to stop the buildup of odor-causing gunk.
  • Run water into rarely used sinks to keep the P-trap filled. For additional protection, pour a small amount of mineral oil in the drain, because that slows evaporation.
  • Spread a handful of baking soda down the drain followed by hot water to absorb and reduce any odors.
  • Once in a while, follow up the baking soda method with a cup of white vinegar for a even greater clean. Let it sit for a half-hour, then clean the drain extensively with hot water.
  • Use ground-up lemon or orange peels to leave your sink smelling fragrant.
  • Use enzyme cleaners to counter the buildup of odor-causing residue without resorting to the use of harsh chemicals.
  • Hire a professional to examine your plumbing sporadically. This can help catch odor-causing issues before they become trouble.
  • Avoid pouring grease and other kitchen scraps or substances into the drain that can easily clog or rot, such as coffee grounds and fibrous vegetables.
  • Try using mesh strainers to catch food debris and other debris before they end up in drain. Then, dump the strainers into the trash to keep your pipes flowing smoothly and smelling clean.
  • Opt for professional drain cleaning to ensure a thorough job. Licensed plumbers have the tools and training to clear tough clogs and smelly problems. Additionally, they can provide personalized advice specific to your household’s plumbing system.

Call for 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 is known for fast, durable 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 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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