21 January Close up of a kitchen sink and vegetables

How to Get Rid of Bad Sink Drain Odours

Posted by PlumbWize

While using a garbage disposal or sink strainer, we often get diligent in making the kitchen sink harder. Certainly, food scraps, grease, and several other smelly stuff clog the sink drain. Sadly, the next morning we woke up only to find a clogged drain with food particles that resulted in a foul smell coming out of the kitchen sink. Disgusting! But what now?

The black flaps on the sink drain accumulate rotting food as you use it. There is a major possibility that your kitchen sink drain smells because it hasn’t been properly cleaned for a while now. So, it would be best if you did not mind grabbing dish soap and a sponge to quickly scrub the sink to remove the food particles and nasty smell. You can scrape the black flaps on the smelly sink drains using soap scum and a scrub brush.

Besides this, there are many easy ways to clean the smelly sink of your home. In this guide, we will help you get back your sink, and smelly drains squishy clean.

Close up of a kitchen sink
Why clean the outside of the sink?

The outside of the sink sometimes gathers debris from food over time. Any dumped food or dishes that you clean down the kitchen drain can accumulate and contribute to the foul smell. You can soak your kitchen sink in very hot water and give it a deep scrub using soap.

This will not only clean your sink and shower drain but also help to pass water through the pipe freely. However, it is important to use mild soap as harsh chemicals can ruin the stainless steel surfaces.

Tips To Clean Drains If You own a garbage disposal

Always make it a point to remove food particles and other obstacles from the garbage disposal. This is because food scraps often become one of the main reasons for blocking the garbage disposal and drain smell.

Start by wiping out the bigger chunks of food. Remember to unplug your garbage disposal before putting your hand down into the smelly sink.

If your garbage disposal doesn’t have a plug, then reverse the breaker attached to it before you start removing the particles. It is not ideal for putting your hands inside the sink drain otherwise.

Tip #1. Hot water and Soap scum

Begin by pouring into the sink drain one cup or more of hot water and soap scum. This mixture of soapy, hot water will flush out the debris while running through the garbage disposal unit. This is perhaps the easiest step that may do the cleaning!

You can use a stopper to put it in the kitchen sink and fill it with adequate hot water and dish soap. This is quite different from turning on the tap to run water, which we generally do simply!

Tip #2. Use Ice cubes, lemon juice, and coarse salt

If your sink still has a foul odour, you need to ensure that the disposal blades are deep clean and tidy with no drain clog. Choose a combination of a few ice cubes, lemon juice, and coarse salt to make a punch to remove an unpleasant odour.

Put some ice cubes and a handful of coarse salt and squeeze the lemon juice into the garbage disposal. The ice cubes help to knock off the debris, while the coarse salt helps to scrub the disposal sides. Do it repeatedly, and then pour lemon juice to eliminate the foul smells from your draining property.

Lemon juice is a wonderful ingredient that helps to bring freshness. Try this trick and never notice any smell coming out of your sink. The fresh scent of lemon will linger in the kitchen after you run half a lemon through the garbage disposal.

Tip #3. Mix vinegar, lemon peels, ice cubes

Often you may not have time to deep clean your kitchen sink drain. So, here is a shortcut you may use to remove bad smells and gunk. Freeze the lemon peels into white vinegar and then put it into the disposal.

Take lemon peels and pour one cup of white vinegar to do the vinegar trick. Let it freeze overnight, and the next morning, remove the lemon cubes from the ice tray and drain a few into the disposal.

Run cold water and change the switch. You will find no bad smell coming out of your sink.

Tricks to Follow Without a Garbage Disposal

Tip #1. Pour boiling water

If you don’t have a garbage disposal, you can remove unpleasant odours from the kitchen sink drain or bathroom sink with the help of simple boiling hot water.

Sometimes you may have extra boiled water after making pasta or tea. Do not let the boiling hot water cool on the gas stove. Instead, pour it into the sink drain or shower drains.

This can be decent enough to keep your milder sewage smell away. If not, keep reading this list to know how to amp up the cleaning to remove smells from your sink drain.

This boiling water trick is ideal when there is a blockage deep down the bathroom sink or sink drain. Often the bathroom sink smells disgusting when you have no time to clean it. Every time you have boiling water, instead of cooling it down, just throw it down the bathroom sink or kitchen sink to reduce the drain smells.

Tip #2. Pour baking soda

Sometimes all you need is baking soda to clean the bathroom sink smells or smelly drains. Pour a tablespoon of it into the water and run it down the smelly drains. If you want to keep your kitchen or bathroom sink smells away, use baking soda once a week.

Tip #3. Hot vinegar

The next time you use hot vinegar to clean the coffee maker, do not throw it away. After you clean the coffee maker, you can also repurpose the hot vinegar to remove foul odour from your drain.

You can mix it up with a cup of baking soda and pour it down the drain. It is a wonderful way to keep your coffee maker and the plumbing system clean and fresh smells. Furthermore, you wouldn’t feel like you spent the coffeepot’s vinegar down the drain. Even if vinegar is cheaper, you are still not wasting it in any way.

Tip #4. Use Citrus fruits

Citrus fruits are great when it comes to deodorizing sewer smell. Simply turn on the water down the sink and put a slice of orange or lemon into it. If you have a garbage disposal, turn it on for a few seconds. A slice of citrus fruit is enough to clean the disposal garbage sides along with the kitchen sink by at least four inches.

It is not as economical as vinegar, but you can still use lemon juice to bring a nice smell into your kitchen and bathroom sink. Also, never put a full citrus fruit like an orange or lemon down because it could ruin the plumbing systems.

Tip #5. Sodium Borate

Sodium borate or borax is a very common cleaner used in almost every household. It usually cleans the floors or inside the dishwashers and other appliances or floors to make the home smell fresh.

Even though it is not so much popular as baking soda, borax can sink drain smells. All you need to pour is three to four tablespoons of borax down the bathroom sink or drain smell. Turn on the normal water in the sink, and the borax will do the magic of cleaning!

Tip #6. Borax, ice cubes, and lemon

If borax alone fails to handle the stink, combine it with a few ice cubes and half of a lemon. Start by dribbling three full spoons of borax and two to three cups of ice cubes into the drain. Squeeze half a lemon down the drain to eliminate bad odours.

Tip #7. Lemon juice, Baking soda, and hot water

You can replace vinegar with a tablespoon of lemon juice, as both are suitable for creating bubbles when in contact with baking soda.

Moreover, the baking soda is legit to clean mold growth and sewer smell. Combining this, along with hot water and lemon juice, can effectively de-stink your smelly kitchen.

Tip #7. Vinegar, Baking soda, and hot water

Do you know the most commonly used trick among the population to get rid of the foul drain odour? Well, it is none other than a bubbling baking soda mixed with vinegar.

If you want to deeply clean mold growth and food debris from the drain, take one cup of baking soda and two cups of vinegar. You will see the baking soda bubbling up and making pops and fizzy sounds. Wait for a couple of minutes to let the mixture sit, and then wash it down in the stinky sink with very hot water.

Boiling hot water can kill more bacteria than room-temperature water. As a result, it will take much longer than usual for the foul smells to return after hot water kills and flush off bacteria from the sink. Also, keep on repeating this baking soda and vinegar trick as necessary to get rid of nasty smell-causing bacteria.

Tip #8. Baking soda and drops of essential oils, and hot boiling water

After dealing with a bad smell, you will definitely want a fresh one. Dump a half-cup of baking soda and a few drops of essential oils like tea tree, mint, eucalyptus, peppermint, and lavender down the sink drain. Allow it to sit for an hour or overnight. Rinse it up with hot water.


Whether there is a stinky smell in the bathroom sink or kitchen sink, even if it is an unused drain, being a household owner, you might not like it anyway. The above list of easy techniques may help you get free of awful sink smells just like rotten eggs. However, the problem of bad smells might not be rotten food debris.

If you notice the smell of sewer gas, there could be an obstruction in the sewer lines. The problem of sewer gases is not easy to deal with and needs a professional plumber. Besides the sewer gases problem, clogged plumbing systems are also a matter of concern. Therefore, it is best to call a licensed master plumber to investigate sewer gas and overall plumbing systems.

Other than that, clogging the kitchen sink with soap scum, food particles, or grease is easy to break with the above mentioned techniques. After cleansing, you can also light up scented candles to deal with terrible smells.


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