Ways to Eliminate Drain Odors

Have you ever entered 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 aroma is not the fridge. No, the cause seems to be a smelly kitchen drain. Thankfully, with a bit of detective work and drain-cleaning efforts, you can alleviate that unpleasant smell and say hello to freshness!

What Causes a Stinky Drain?

Your sink can smell bad for many reasons. Determining the cause is the best way to begin freshening up your kitchen and stopping a recurrence. The most frequent causes include:

  • Bacteria: A kitchen drain clogged 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 below the sink dries out, sewer gases may come up from the drain, leading to a lingering sewer smell. This oftentimes occurs with seldom-used plumbing fixtures
  • Plumbing mistakes: From DIY mishaps to missing traps or drain vents, plumbing issues can allow unwelcome smells to permeate your living space.

How to Clean a Stinky Drain

Here are four tried-and-true strategies to banish potent drain odors:

  • Hot water: Heat a mixture of water and vinegar almost to the boiling point and gradually pour it into the drain. The hot water clears out the gunk and vinegar neutralizes the odor.
  • Baking soda and vinegar: Start with the hot water technique mentioned above. If it’s not enough, dump a cup of baking soda into the drain and follow that with two cups of hot vinegar. Appreciate the fizz and leave it for an hour. Then, flush the drain with more hot water to clean out stubborn gunk and bacteria.
  • P-trap cleaning: Don your safety gloves and put a bucket below the P-trap. Unscrew the pipe by hand or with a wrench, if necessary, and set it aside. Empty 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 ideal for cleaning drains. It can cause harm to your pipes and may create toxic gases, so avoid the use of bleach in this situation.

Strategies for Fresh and Clean Drains

It’s very easy to keep funky drains at bay with a little maintenance. Here’s what we suggest:

  • Operate your garbage disposal and clear it using cold water for 20 seconds after grinding up food to completely flush particles through the pipes.
  • Rinse the drain once a week 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 additional protection, pour a little mineral oil in the drain, because that slows evaporation.
  • Sprinkle a handful of baking soda into the drain and then pour hot water to absorb and neutralize odors.
  • Occasionally, follow up the baking soda method with a cup of white vinegar for a more intense clean. Leave it there for half an hour, then clean the drain completely with hot water.
  • Grind lemon or orange peels to leave your sink smelling citrus-fresh.
  • Use enzyme cleaners to stop the buildup of odor-causing residue without resorting to the use of harsh chemicals.
  • Hire a professional to inspect your plumbing sporadically. This can help find odor-causing issues before they become a concern.
  • Avoid pouring grease and other kitchen scraps or substances down the drain that can easily clog or decompose, such as coffee grounds and fibrous vegetables.
  • Install mesh strainers to catch food particles and other debris before they go down the drain. After that, dump the strainers into the trash to keep your pipes flowing easily and smelling clean.
  • Hire professional drain cleaning to ensure a properly done job. Licensed plumbers have the tools and knowledge to handle tough clogs and smelly problems. In addition, they can provide personalized advice specific to your household’s plumbing system.

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

If your attempts to clean the smelly kitchen drain are not successful, it’s time to call in the pros. 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 stinky drains make you want to run out of the room, choose the knowledgeable pros at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. Make your appointment by phoning 866-397-3787 today!

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