Having a stinky sink is no fun at all. If you’re wondering how to remove a smell from your kitchen sink, you’re in luck. You can remove the smell, and there’s a chance you can do so without calling a professional.

It all depends on why your sink – or your sink drain – is smelly in the first place.

Let’s look at how to clean a kitchen sink drain smell, paying close attention to the causes behind the odor. In some cases, you can be rid of the smell in less than an hour. Other, more complicated cases may require assistance from a plumber.

Home remedies for a smelly kitchen sink

Your kitchen is a busy place. In most homes, it’s a pretty dirty place as well.

Whether you have a garbage disposal or not, lots of little food particles make their way down your drain. Over time, these old food bits can accumulate inside of your pipes and send a foul odor up the drain.

If this sounds like it might be your problem, try this:

  • Grab some vinegar and baking soda
  • Pour about a cup of baking soda down the drain
  • Wait about 20 minutes; then pour about half a cup of plain vinegar down the drain
  • Wait another 20 minutes (you’ll hear the mixture sizzle and may see bubbles)
  • Put a full kettle of hot water on to boil
  • After the water starts boiling, pout it all down the drain

As long as there isn’t a serious clog or plumbing problem, this method might get rid of the nasty smell. Some people prefer to use lemon juice or essential oils instead of vinegar; however, we suggest using vinegar before trying anything else.

If you have coarse salt, you can throw that in with the baking soda to help break up any gunk lining the inside of the pipes. These methods work for many people, but more serious plumbing issues will require specialized attention.

Notice a sewer smell from the kitchen sink? You may have a leaky P-trap

In some cases, the smell coming from your sink won’t smell like old food. It will smell like straight-up sewage. Pretty gross, right? There are a few different reasons this can happen, and one is a leaky P-trap.

The P-trap is the dip in the drain pipe below the sink. Water must fill up the P-trap before it drains away from the house. The purpose of the P-trap is to always hold some amount of water so that sewage smells from the drain line don’t enter your home through the drain. The water in the P-trap essentially “blocks” the smell from escaping.

So, what do you think happens when the P-trap leaks?

Long story short, those nasty sewage smells are no longer being blocked. They come up through the plumbing, through your drain, into your kitchen, and into your nose. Yucky stuff.

Look under your sink and see if there’s water under your P-trap. That’s, um, a pretty good sign you’ve got a leaking P-trap.

Wondering how to remove a smell from your kitchen sink when this happens? Your best bet is to call a plumber to identify the source of the leak. After figuring out why the P-trap is leaking, your plumber will either repair the leak or replace the P-trap and connected pipes.

A blocked vent can cause a sewage smell from the kitchen sink

Did you know that your plumbing system vents via your roof? True story.

P-traps help prevent the stinky gasses from deep within your home’s plumbing system from emanating into your living space. But to truly redirect where those gasses go, your plumbing needs adequate ventilation. Go outside and look up at your roof. See some PVC pipes sticking up? Those are your plumbing vents.

Occasionally, those vents get backed up. There might be an obstruction (fallen leaves, sticks, straw, or a bird’s nest) preventing the gasses from escaping. If there’s no issue with your P-trap and you’ve got a sewer smell coming from your kitchen sink, this might be the reason.

It’s best to call a professional to assess the state of the vent and clean it out if needed.

There may be a really big clog in the drain pipe

Whether it’s a big knot of old food or someone (a small child?) stuffed something large down the drain, you may have a big obstruction somewhere deep in the drain line. This can cause a bad smell, not to mention a slow-draining sink.

When you can’t see any obstruction with a flashlight and you’re fighting with a smelly sink that doesn’t drain well, it’s best to schedule drain cleaning service from a plumber.

Plumbers have special tools, such as contractor-grade plumbing snakes and cameras that they can send down the pipes to see and break up any clogs. When there’s a big clog in your drain line, a plumbing professional has the tools to fix the problem.

Conclusion: How to remove a smell from your kitchen sink depends on the severity of the problem

When there’s a large obstruction, leak, or ventilation issue, you should call a plumber. Otherwise, you might be able to “freshen up” your drain pipe with some products you already have in your kitchen.

If you live in Metro Atlanta and can’t figure out how to get rid of a terrible smell from your kitchen sink, get in touch with PV today! We’ll help you schedule an appointment with a licensed plumbing professional who knows exactly how to solve the problem.

To reach us, simply call 404-798-9672 today or fill out the form below!

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