How to Clean a Stinky Drain Quickly

A bad drain odor in the kitchen or bathroom can permeate through the entire home. This odor will only become worse over time and this is not a self correcting issue. In this article, we will explore how drains become stinky and what you can do to get rid of those foul odors quickly.

Why Do Drains Become Stinky?

Even if you are careful about what goes into the drains to protect them, it’s inevitable that some material will enter them. When the drain smells bad, there is usually a buildup of grease, oil, or other residues that are combined with other particulates. This will vary depending on where the drain is located, the kitchen drain is prone to food particles and a shower drain is more susceptible to soap scum problems. There may be an underlying cause, this could be a clogged sewer line and this should be investigated if this problem is persistent.

4 Cleaning Tips for Stinky Drains

Let’s take a look at four cleaning tips to get your drain smell fresh and clean again. They are:

1.   Boiling Water or White Vinegar

Boil 2 cups of water, pour it carefully into the drain, and leave it to sit for around 10 minutes. Next, rinse the drain with ice water and repeat this process as required. Alternatively, you can add some hot white vinegar or a mixture of hot water and vinegar to drain in the same way as above. This process may melt any accumulated grease that is then flushed away.

2.   Use a Plastic Drain Snake

An inexpensive plastic drain snake is a must have tool for any DIY home plumbing kit. This is inserted into the drain, then it’s twisted and pulled free with any loose hair. Hair is one of the primary causes of clogs that can attract bacteria which makes drains stink. It’s unlikely that you will get all the hair in a single pass and this process should be repeated until no hair is found.

3.   Baking Soda and White Vinegar

Commercial drain cleaning products should be avoided because they contain caustic chemicals that damage plumbing pipes. But, you can make kinder chemical cleaning products at home with store cupboard ingredients. Start by pouring 1 cup of baking soda in the drain and follow with 1 cup of white vinegar. This will cause a chemical reaction, leave the drain to fizz for an hour and then flush the drain with warm water. When these two ingredients are combined they create a formidable cleaning and deodorizing solution.

4.   Clean the P-trap

This is the curved plumbing fixture that you find under the kitchen or bathroom sink. It’s designed to prevent drain clogs and sewer gasses from entering your home. Always wear gloves when cleaning the p-trap because there will be harmful bacteria lurking there. Remove the curved section with a wrench, empty the dirty water in a bucket and wash the fixture. Then reassemble the p-trap and it should smell fresh and clean again.

If you attempt these cleaning tips and you cannot get the drains smelling fresh, it’s time to contact your local plumber.