How to Clean a Smelly Drain

Have you ever gone into your kitchen only to get hit in the face by a foul smell? You start investigating—it’s not the garbage can, and the nasty odor isn’t coming from the fridge. No, the cause seems to be an icky and pungent kitchen drain. Fortunately, with some investigation and drain-cleaning efforts, you can say goodbye to that undesirable stench and say hello to freshness!

What Causes a Stinky Drain?

Your sink can develop an offensive odor for many reasons. Identifying the cause is the first step of freshening up your kitchen and avoiding a recurrence. The most common causes include:

  • Bacteria: A kitchen drain lined with food particles, grease buildup and other crud is a breeding ground for bacteria and other microorganisms that create unpleasant odors as they feed.
  • Blocked 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 typically occurs with seldom-used plumbing fixtures
  • Plumbing flaws: From DIY accidents to missing traps or drain vents, plumbing problems can allow unwelcome smells to permeate your living space.

How to Clear a Stinky Drain

Here are four tried-and-true ways to cure potent 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 odor.
  • Baking soda and vinegar: Start with the hot water technique explained above. If it’s not enough, pour a cup of baking soda down the drain and follow that with two cups of hot vinegar. Watch it fizz and leave it 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 place a bucket under the P-trap. Unscrew the pipe by hand or with a wrench, if required, and set it aside. Dump the contents into the trash, flush any leftovers out of 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 cause harm to your pipes and may create toxic gases, so don’t use bleach in this situation.

Strategies for Fresh and Clean Drains

It’s not hard to keep funky drains at bay with a little elbow grease. Here’s what we recommend:

  • Run your garbage disposal and flush it with cold water for 20 seconds after grinding up food to totally flush particles down the pipes.
  • Flush the drain once a week with a gallon of near-boiling water to stop the buildup of odor-causing debris.
  • Run water into seldom-used sinks to keep the P-trap filled. For extra protection, pour a small amount of mineral oil in the drain, because that slows down evaporation.
  • Spread a handful of baking soda down the drain and then pour hot water to absorb and counteract odors.
  • Occasionally, follow up the baking soda treatment with a cup of white vinegar for a more intense clean. Leave it there for half an hour, then flush the drain extensively with hot water.
  • Cut up lemon or orange peels to leave your sink smelling nice and clean.
  • Use enzyme cleaners to prevent the buildup of odor-causing residue without resorting to the use of harsh chemicals.
  • Hire a specialist to examine your plumbing sporadically. This can help catch odor-causing scenarios before they become trouble.
  • Avoid pouring grease and other kitchen scraps or substances in the drain that can easily clog or decay, such as coffee grounds and fibrous vegetables.
  • Install mesh strainers to catch food scraps and other debris before they get caught in the drain. After that, throw the debris from the strainers into the trash to keep your pipes flowing properly and smelling pleasant.
  • Hire professional drain cleaning to ensure a properly done job. Licensed plumbers have the tools and expertise to handle tough clogs and smelly problems. In addition, they can provide personalized advice specific to your home’s plumbing system.

Schedule Professional Drain Cleaning in Columbus with Stevenson Service Experts

If your hard work trying to clean the smelly kitchen drain prove unsuccessful, it’s time to call in the professionals. Stevenson Service Experts is known for fast, long-lasting plumbing solutions in Columbus, including professional drain cleaning. Our 100% satisfaction guarantee means we’re dedicated to your complete happiness.

So, the next time your nasty-smelling drains make you want to plug your nose, choose the knowledgeable pros at Stevenson Service Experts. Plan your appointment by phoning 614-334-3192 today!

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