How To Fix a Stinky Sink


A stinky bathroom sink presents a more common issue than you might imagine. Residue, bacteria and odour tend to congregate in the drain.

Thankfully, it is relatively simple to keep your drain clean and free from odour. All you really need is some cheap household ingredients, inclusive of baking soda and vinegar.

There’s little point investing in expensive chemical-based cleaning products in your effort to clean smelly drains. Frequently, these won’t prove anywhere near as effective, and will incorporate potentially damaging chemicals in turn.

Tackling the sink smell

Kitchen sinks can be especially susceptible to drain smells, given that rotting food and other debris can congregate there.

There’s a few simple steps to follow to tackle your sink smell for both kitchen and bathroom sinks, though…

Soaking your sink

This might sound like the most obvious piece of advice anybody has ever put forward, ever. Soak a sink – a vessel often filled with water – in water?

That’s the general idea, but it’s a touch more technical.

First, place a sink stopper in the sink drain, filling the sink halfway with warm water and a teaspoon of dish soap. Then, wearing gloves, swirl around the basin contents until the soap dissolves in the water.

After that, allow the solution to sit in the sink for 10 minutes. This will assist in loosening any residue that has built up. Then remove the sink stopper to send the water down the drain alongside debris, helping to alleviate the bad smell now associated with your sink.

Getting the best out of garbage disposal

If your sink features a garbage disposal, it will also incorporate a sink flange. Often, for sinks of this type, the sink flange can prove the source of bad smells.

To clean the part, unplug the garbage disposal at the wall outlet or switch off the power from the breaker box. Then, attach a liquid dish to a brush with a handle or dish wand, before wetting it and putting it down the sink. Scrub the sink flange at the top, and run cold water over it for half a minute.

Create your own sink deodorizer

You could potentially save yourself plenty of future hassle by creating your own sink deodorizer, and it’s likely you’ll already have all the necessary ingredients to make an effective solution.

All you require is…

– Salt
– 2x lemons
– A pot of boiling water
– 1/4 cup of white vinegar
– 1/4 cup of baking soda

Now, to make your own deodorizer…

  1. Lemon chopping

    Cut the lemons in half, and sprinkle each with salt.

  2. Lemon scrubbing

    Scrub the sides and bottom of your sink using the salted lemon.

  3. Has it had a rinse?

    Rinse out the sink using warm water.

  4. Add baking soda

    Pour baking soda into the smelly drain

  5. Soda and vinegar on that, please…

    Add the vinegar. Baking soda and vinegar combined will create a chemical reaction that will make the solution fizz, so don’t be alarmed when that happens!

  6. Let it boil

    Set the water to boil as you await the fizzing solution settling down.

  7. Pour it down the drain

    Slowly pour the boiling water down the drain. The hot temperature will help to eliminate the remaining microorganisms that could be causing a smelly sink.

Take particular care when pouring the hot water not to place your face over the drain to check that it’s working. The steam could potentially rise and pose a burning hazard.

There’s a variety of DIY deodorizer recipes available, typically including the ingredients aforementioned. That solution is an ideal option to begin with in your bid to fix a smelly sink.

milano newby corner sink

Stop yourself from having to clean a smelly sink

There might be an effective means to clean a stinky sink, but that doesn’t make it an enviable task.

You can stop yourself from having to knuckle down by taking measures towards preventing smelly drains. And after all, it is easier to stop a drain problem from arising in the first place than it is to eliminate it.

To cease odours from infiltrating your sink drains, use a wire mesh to catch any food materials and stop them from washing down the pipes. You can run boiling hot water down the sink each day to ensure everything is working as it should be.

Don’t put oil or fat down the sink, as this can lead to a noticeable build-up in the pipework beneath the kitchen sink drain.

For bathroom sinks – wall hung basins and counter-top sinks alike, soap and hair are common causes of blockages. You can combat them with a sink strainer, which will help prevent them from being washed into the pipework.

Frequently washing your drains can prove particularly helpful. Simply apply a drain cleaner solution on a weekly basis to healthily maintain your drainage system overall.

The key to a clean sink

So there you have it. The easiest means to avoid a smelly sink is to take preventative measures against a build-up of residue and gunk in the first place.

If you do struggle to maintain a sparkling sink at any point, it should be relatively easy to combat the smell by following the advice listed in this article.

However, if you have concerns that there is a larger problem causing the smell, it might be worth consulting a professional plumber for advice.

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