How to Clean a Smelly Drain

Have you ever gone into your kitchen only to detect a foul stench? You start searching—it’s not the garbage can, and the nasty odor is clearly not the fridge. No, the perpetrator seems to be an icky and pungent kitchen drain. Fortunately, with some investigation and drain-cleaning efforts, you can eliminate that undesirable stench and say hello to freshness!

What Causes a Stinky Drain?

Your sink can stink for a few reasons. Pinpointing the cause is the best way to begin freshening up your kitchen and stopping a recurrence. The most common offenders include:

  • Bacteria: A kitchen drain covered with food particles, grease buildup and other gunk is a breeding ground for bacteria and other microorganisms that make unpleasant odors as they feed.
  • Blocked drain: Stopped up 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 waft from the drain, causing a lingering sewer smell. This typically occurs with seldom-used plumbing fixtures
  • Plumbing flaws: From DIY problems to missing traps or drain vents, plumbing issues can allow unwelcome smells to penetrate your living space.

How to Clear a Stinky Drain

Here are four surefire strategies to banish potent drain odors:

  • Hot water: Heat a mixture of water and vinegar almost to the boiling point and carefully pour it in the drain. The hot water clears out the debris and vinegar negates the scent.
  • Baking soda and vinegar: Start with the hot water strategy outlined above. If it’s inadequate, pour a cup of baking soda down the drain and then pour two cups of hot vinegar. Appreciate the fizz and let the solution work for an hour. Then, flush the drain with more hot water to get rid of stubborn gunk and bacteria.
  • P-trap cleaning: Don your safety gloves and position a bucket under the P-trap. Unscrew the pipe by hand or with a wrench, if needed, and remove it. Empty the contents into the trash, wash out the pipe and reassemble your sink’s plumbing.
  • A note on bleach: Although it’s an effective antibacterial agent, bleach is not suggested for cleaning drains. It can harm your pipes and possibly create toxic gases, so don’t use bleach in this scenario.

How to Keep Your Drains Smelling Fresh

It’s easy to keep funky drains under control with a little elbow grease. Here’s what we recommend:

  • Operate your garbage disposal and clear it using cold water for 20 seconds after grinding up food to thoroughly flush particles out the pipes.
  • Flush the drain weekly with a gallon of near-boiling water to stop the buildup of odor-causing gunk.
  • Run water through infrequently used sinks to keep the P-trap filled. For more protection, put a little mineral oil in the drain, because that slows evaporation.
  • Spread a handful of baking soda in 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 more intense clean. Let it sit for 30 minutes, then clean the drain completely with hot water.
  • Cut up lemon or orange peels to leave your sink smelling nice and clean.
  • Use enzyme cleaners to counter the buildup of odor-causing residue without resorting to the use of harsh chemicals.
  • Hire a pro to examine your plumbing periodically. This can help find odor-causing issues before they become a big problem.
  • Avoid pouring grease and other kitchen scraps or substances down 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. After that, dump the strainers into the trash to keep your pipes flowing easily and smelling pleasant.
  • Hire professional drain cleaning to ensure a thorough job. Licensed plumbers have the tools and knowledge to handle tough clogs and smelly problems. Plus, they can give personalized advice specific to your household’s plumbing system.

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

If your attempts to clean the stinky kitchen drain prove unsuccessful, it’s time to call in the pros. Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing provides fast, enduring 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, choose the knowledgeable pros at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. Schedule your appointment by calling 866-397-3787 today!

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