How to Clean a Smelly Drain

Have you ever entered your kitchen only to detect a foul odor? You start looking around—it’s not the garbage can, and it is clearly not the fridge. No, the cause is an icky and pungent kitchen drain. Thankfully, 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 develop an offensive odor for several reasons. Determining the cause is the best way to begin freshening up your kitchen and preventing a recurrence. The most prevalent culprits include:

  • Bacteria: A kitchen drain clogged with food particles, grease buildup and other sludge is a breeding ground for bacteria and other microorganisms that make 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 underneath the sink dries out, sewer gases may come up from the drain, leading to a lingering sewer smell. This most often is found in seldom-used plumbing fixtures
  • Plumbing flaws: From DIY mishaps to missing traps or drain vents, plumbing problems can allow nasty smells to permeate your living space.

Ways to Clean a Stinky Drain

Here are four tried-and-true methods to cure potent drain odors:

  • Hot water: Heat a mixture of water and vinegar almost to the boiling point and carefully pour it into the drain. The hot water clears out the gunk and vinegar counteracts the stench.
  • Baking soda and vinegar: Get started with the hot water strategy mentioned above. If it’s not enough, put a cup of baking soda down the drain and follow that with two cups of hot vinegar. Watch it 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 place a bucket below the P-trap. Loosen the pipe by hand or with a wrench, if required, and take the pipe out. Dump the contents into the trash, rinse the pipe and reassemble your sink’s plumbing.
  • A note on bleach: Although it’s an effective antibacterial agent, bleach is not recommended for cleaning drains. It can harm your pipes and may create toxic gases, so avoid using bleach in this circumstance.

Strategies for Fresh and Clean Drains

It’s easy to keep reeking drains under control with a little maintenance. Here’s what we encourage:

  • Operate your garbage disposal and clear it using cold water for 20 seconds after grinding up food to completely flush particles through the pipes.
  • Flush the drain every week or so with a gallon of near-boiling water to prevent the buildup of odor-causing particles.
  • Run water down rarely used sinks to keep the P-trap filled. For more protection, pour a small amount of mineral oil in the drain, because that decreases the rate of evaporation.
  • Sprinkle a handful of baking soda into the drain and then pour hot water to absorb and reduce any odors.
  • Periodically, follow up the baking soda method with a cup of white vinegar for a more intense clean. Leave it there for 30 minutes, then clean the drain completely with hot water.
  • Cut up lemon or orange peels to leave your sink smelling citrus-fresh.
  • Utilize enzyme cleaners to stop the buildup of odor-causing residue without resorting to the use of harsh chemicals.
  • Hire a professional to check your plumbing periodically. This can help catch odor-causing situations before they become a big problem.
  • Avoid pouring grease and other foods in the drain that can easily clog or decompose, 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, throw the debris from the strainers into the trash to keep your pipes flowing easily and smelling pleasant.
  • Schedule professional drain cleaning to ensure a comprehensive job. Licensed plumbers have the tools and knowledge to handle tough clogs and smelly problems. Additionally, they can supply you with personalized advice specific to your residence’s plumbing system.

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

If your attempts to clean the foul-smelling kitchen drain prove unsuccessful, it’s time to call in the professionals. Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing is known for fast, lasting 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 nasty-smelling 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 calling 866-397-3787 today!

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