Sign in

Do Your Drains Smell Foul?

William Koonce
Do Your Drains Smell Foul?

The Stinky Situation

Ah, nothing like the smell of fresh flowers and clean laundry. Unless, of course, you're in your bathroom, holding your nose because your drains are emitting a foul stench. It's a common problem for many homeowners. But fear not, my odor-averse friends, because I'm about to give you the lowdown on what causes those stinky drains and, more importantly, how to fix it.

The Culprits of the Crime

One of the main reasons your drains are smelling like the inside of a port-a-potty is because of bacteria. Yes, the very same bacteria that live inside your gut and help digest your food are also present in your drains. And when they multiply, they produce sulfuric compounds that make your nose curl.

Another common reason for that awful odor is your garbage disposal. Bits of food get stuck and begin to rot, producing a smell so rank, it would make a skunk cry. Also, hair and soap scum can clog your bathroom sink, which prompts the bacteria to throw a party and make your drain smell like a neglected locker room.

The Freshening Fixes

Now for the exciting part – getting rid of that smell! But first, please don't just mask the odor with air fresheners or scented candles. That won't solve the underlying issue and, frankly, it just makes the air thicker with fragrance and stink. Here are some actual solutions:

1. Clear Out Your Garbage Disposal

No more tossing eggshells down the drain. Instead, place them in the trash! And clean the disposal regularly by adding some citrus peels in it. This will help freshen the garbage disposal and the entire kitchen. Who says you need lemons for lemonade?

2. Use Baking Soda and Vinegar

These two common kitchen ingredients can be your best friends when it comes to fighting stinky drains. Pour a cup of baking soda down your drain, add a cup of vinegar and let the mixture fizz for 10-15 minutes. Once the fizzing is done, run hot water down the drain to flush it out. The combo of baking soda and vinegar will break down the gunk that's causing the odor.

3. Boil Some Water

No kidding, boiling water can be like a breath of fresh air. Simply boil a big pot of water and pour it down your drain. It'll help dissolve any gunk clinging to the side of the drain, and the heat will kill off any bacteria causing the odor.

4. Contact a Professional

If you've tried the above remedies and your drain still smells like yesterday's tuna sandwich, it's time to call in the experts. Professional drain cleaning plumbers can fix even the stubborn drains without toxic chemicals that can harm the environment. Plus, it will save you the hassle of trying to fix the problem yourself and failing miserably.

The Precautions

Now that your drains smell fresh and lovely (hopefully), it's essential to maintain them. First, always use a drain strainer to catch hair, food scraps, and other debris that can clog your drain. Make sure that you clean the strainer daily or weekly depending on how much debris goes there.

Second, try to avoid pouring oils, grease, and other fatty substances down the sink. They tend to harden inside your plumbing and are difficult to remove. Pouring them down the toilet is even worse. It's a big no-no!

Finally, always flush your drains using hot water. It'll help flush out any residual bacteria or soap that could be producing odors. Plus, it'll keep the pipes clear of any buildup and clogs. But be careful; use hot water only for drains with either metal or PVC piping, using boiling water on drains with plastic pipes may melt or damage them.


Your drains smell foul, and you feel like you've done something terrible to offend the nostrils of those around you. I get it. We've all been there. But hopefully, now you're equipped with the information and know-how to solve that odorous problem. Remember, bacteria, food, and grease are the main causes of drain odor, but with some baking soda, vinegar, and boiling water, your drains can smell as fresh as a field of daisies.

So go forth and be stench-free, my friends!

William Koonce
Zupyak is the world’s largest content marketing community, with over 400 000 members and 3 million articles. Explore and get your content discovered.
Read more