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Why Does My Sink Smell?

dirty old kitchen sink

Do you smell something funky when you walk by the sink?

Just because dirty dishes are cleaned here, doesn’t mean your sink is allowed to smell like this…

If you want to remove the stench, we’ll let you know how — but first, here’s why it smells:

sink odors

Why Does the Sink Smell?

When trying to figure out why your sink smells so bad, you have to first address whether or not you have a garbage disposal. If you do, chances are the food you’ve ground up in it has stuck to the sides of the drain, the blades, or the disposal unit itself.

For those who do not have a garbage disposal, there can still be food debris stuck to the side of the drain and pipes that are creating this terrible smell. While food debris can certainly cause foul odors, grease, and other oils previously poured down the drain are a main cause of smelly drains. Not only does solidified grease and oil smell, but it will cause clogs that can damage your drain pipes and main sewer line.

How to Fix a Smelly Sink

  • Clean the Blades - If your sink is equipped with a garbage disposal, the first step is to clean the blades of the disposal. The easiest way to do this is to place some ice cubes down the drain along with some sea salt while the disposal is on. The ice cubes will help remove food debris from the blades, while the salt helps scrub the sides of the drain.
  • Use Boiling Water - A common way to help push down any stuck debris in a sink’s drain pipe is to fill it with boiling water. This can help get rid of the debris that’s causing the foul odors. Rather than boiling water just for this purpose, use leftover boiling water from kettles of tea or pots used to cook pasta. Rather than allowing these to cool, pour them directly down the drain.
  • Homemade Volcano Experiment - For a more extensive cleaning, you’re going to have to think back to the elementary school science fair. Grab yourself some baking soda and white vinegar. Pour the baking soda down the drain and then follow it up with some white vinegar. This will cause a reaction that will cause the ingredients to fizz — and clean!​​​​​​​
  • A Dash of Essential Oils - Whether you used white vinegar or boiling water, it never hurts to leave your drain and sink smelling fresh. Add a drop of your favorite flavor of essential oils into the drain. Essential oils are a nice finishing touch to help keep your kitchen smelling nice.

Knowing why your sink smells and how to remedy this situation will help your home be a much better place!

If your sink’s drain won’t stop smelling or you fear there is a bigger issue at hand, please do not hesitate to call our professional plumbers and appliance repair experts.