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how to fix a smelly kitchen sink

Why Does my Kitchen Sink Smell Horrible?

Oh no, what’s that horrible smell? Sure, it could be your garbage can — but you took the trash out yesterday. What about the bathroom? Well, it looks like that hasn’t been occupied in the past hour. What could that horrendous smell be, though? It turns out, that reek is coming from your kitchen sink!

Kitchen sink smells can have one of two causes:

  • Rotting food stuck in the drain or garbage disposal, or
  • Sewer gas is leaking in through the plumbing vent or drain trap

Thankfully, there are some simple ways to get rid of nasty kitchen sink smells!

Chemical-Free Ways to Eliminate Sink Odors 

  • Run ice cubes and lemon juice through your garbage disposal to help loosen food particles stuck in the blades. Follow this up with a baking soda and vinegar drain cleaner (see below for how to do it!)
  • Use a natural enzyme drain cleaner to eat away decaying food particles without harming your plumbing (note: avoid chemical drain cleaners like Liquid-Plumbr or Drano, as these can be corrosive and cause more harm than good).
  • If you smell sewer gas, the issue is likely with your sink trap or plumbing vent. Check under your sink and locate the U-shaped part of the pipe coming from your sink, then see if it is leaking anywhere. If not, your plumbing vent, which keeps sewer gas from spilling into your home when sewer pressure fluctuates, may have a leak or a blockage.

How to Clean Your Drain with Baking Soda and Vinegar

What if you’re conscious about what you discard down your sink drain — but it still tends to smell? If that’s the case, then it’s possible that you need to clean your pipe. Sure, your sink might be working fine, but there is a point where a clear drain will be in need of a “bath” to keep it that way. If you’re looking for the best solution, we highly recommend using a natural drain cleaner, which you can make at home with some essentials you already have.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 cup of baking soda
  • 1 cup of white vinegar
  • 1 tea kettle of boiling water

To start, you’ll want to pour 1 cup of baking soda down the sink drain, followed by 1 cup of white vinegar. After that, let the mixture sit for about 10 to 15 minutes. Finally, take the tea kettle of boiling water and pour it down the drain. Within seconds, you’ll have an odorless, clean pipe!

How to Dispose of Food Waste When You Don’t have a Garbage Disposal

Picture this: you’ve finished eating your dinner and have some scraps on your plate that still linger. Instead of throwing them into the garbage can, you decide to scrape the remaining food particles into the sink drain — even though your sink doesn’t have a garbage disposal.

Of course, tiny pieces of food can make their way down without any problems — but what about those big pieces that you jam through the drain? Unfortunately, it’s highly possible that those stray pieces will remain stuck in the pipe, building up with other particles over time — which leads to that foul smell.

If you’re afraid of having a lingering smell (and the fear of clogging your drain), then it’s best to take any remaining scraps and dump them into the garbage can. This will not only save your sink, but it will also protect your nostrils from a foul odor, too!

If you run into any problems with your home plumbing and prefer to forgo the DIY route, our technicians are here to help! Visit our website to learn more about the kitchen plumbing services that we offer here at Pipe Wrench Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, Inc. — or you can call (865) 518-7008 to speak with a representative directly.

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