How to Fix a Smelly Kitchen Sink Drain

Don’t let a smelly sink drain keep you out of the kitchen.

A smelly kitchen sink drain is enough to drive everyone out of the kitchen. A number of odor-causing bacteria can multiply and thrive in the environment of the drain. As they multiply, they release a number of rather unpleasant smells. Odors can also be caused by gunk and other debris that build up in the curved portion of the plumbing beneath the sink, called the P-trap. To fix a smelly kitchen sink drain, you can clean out the P-trap or treat the sink with a number of different methods. To tackle a very smelly kitchen sink drain, you might want to do both.

Remove the P-trap To Clear Out Gunk

Step 1 – Remove the P-trap. It is curved to trap water, preventing sewer gases from leaking into your home. Unfortunately, it can also trap odor, bacteria and sink gunk in general. Place a bucket underneath the curved trap.

Step 2 – Use an adjustable wrench or pliers to unscrew the couplings on either side of the P-trap. Pull off the trap.

Step 3 – Dump the water and anything else in the trap into the bucket. Take the trap to another sink and rinse it thoroughly. Scrape out anything built up inside with a brush.

Step 4 – Wrap the threads on the tail piece (the straight piece of plumbing leading to the drain) and the sewer inlet pipe with plumber’s tape. Slip the P-trap back into place. Tighten the couplings.

Step 5 – Run the faucet and check for leaks. Tighten any couplings if necessary.

Treat the Smell

Step 1 – Pour 3 cups of vinegar down the drain. Allow it to sit for two to three hours. Do not run the water while you are waiting. The vinegar smell will eventually dissipate.

Step 2 – Pour 3 cups of beach down the drain — use the common household kind. Allow it to sit for an hour. Bleach kills household bacteria that cause odors. After it sits, run cold water in the sink for five minutes to wash it out.

Step 3 – Pour 1 cup of coarse salt (such as sea salt) down the drain. Juice two lemons, and pour the juice into the drain on top of the salt. Allow this mixture to sit for two hours. Then run cold water in the sink for five minutes.

Step 4 – Pour 1 cup of baking soda down the drain before you go to bed. Allow this to sit overnight. Rinse the drain in the morning.

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