How to Clean a Smelly Drain

Have you ever walked into your kitchen only to be greeted by a foul odor? You start looking around—it’s not the garbage can, and the nasty odor isn’t coming from the fridge. No, the culprit appears to be a stinky kitchen drain. The good news is, with a bit of detective work 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 several reasons. Identifying the cause is the first step of freshening up your kitchen and preventing a recurrence. The most common culprits include:

  • Bacteria: A kitchen drain lined with food particles, grease buildup and other gunk is a breeding ground for bacteria and other microorganisms that produce unpleasant odors as they feed.
  • Clogged 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 waft from the drain, causing a lingering sewer smell. This most often occurs with seldom-used plumbing fixtures
  • Plumbing mistakes: From DIY mishaps to missing traps or drain vents, plumbing issues can allow unwanted smells to permeate your living space.

How to Clean a Stinky Drain

Here are four tried-and-true methods to banish smelly drain odors:

  • Hot water: Heat a mixture of water and vinegar to near-boiling and slowly pour it down the drain. The hot water clears out the gunk and vinegar neutralizes the odor.
  • Baking soda and vinegar: Start with the hot water method outlined above. If it’s not enough, put a cup of baking soda down the drain and chase it with two cups of hot vinegar. Enjoy the fizz and let it sit for an hour. Then, flush the drain with more hot water to tackle stubborn gunk and bacteria.
  • P-trap cleaning: Don your rubber gloves and place a bucket under the P-trap. Unscrew the pipe by hand or with a wrench, if needed, and remove it. Clean out the contents into the trash, rinse the pipe and reassemble your sink’s plumbing.
  • A note on bleach: Although it’s a powerful antibacterial agent, bleach is not recommended for cleaning drains. It can harm your pipes and potentially create toxic gases, so avoid using bleach in this situation.

How to Keep Your Drains Smelling Fresh

It’s easy to keep smelly drains at bay with a little maintenance. Here’s what we recommend:

  • 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 infrequently used sinks to keep the P-trap filled. For extra protection, pour a bit of mineral oil in the drain, because that slows evaporation.
  • Sprinkle a handful of baking soda down the drain followed by hot water to absorb and neutralize odors.
  • Occasionally, follow up the baking soda treatment with a cup of white vinegar for a deeper clean. Let it sit for 30 minutes, then flush the drain thoroughly with hot water.
  • Grind lemon or orange peels to leave your sink smelling citrus-fresh.
  • Use enzyme cleaners to prevent the buildup of odor-causing residue without resorting to the use of harsh chemicals.
  • Hire a professional to inspect your plumbing periodically. This can help catch odor-causing issues before they become a big problem.
  • Avoid pouring grease and other food items down the drain that can easily clog or decay, such as coffee grounds and fibrous vegetables.
  • Install mesh strainers to catch food particles and other debris before they end up in drain. Then, empty the strainers into the trash to keep your pipes flowing smoothly and smelling fresh.
  • Opt for professional drain cleaning to ensure a thorough job. Licensed plumbers have the tools and expertise to handle tough clogs and smelly problems. Plus, they can provide personalized advice specific to your home’s plumbing system.

Schedule Professional Drain Cleaning in Canada with Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing

If your efforts to clean the smelly kitchen drain prove unsuccessful, it’s time to call in the professionals. Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing provides fast, long-lasting plumbing solutions in Canada, including professional drain cleaning. Our 100% satisfaction guarantee means we’re dedicated to your complete happiness.

So, the next time your stinky drains make you want to plug your nose, 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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