Knowing how to clean stinky drains will help you keep kitchen odors under control. It’s certainly helped me! Living with two males and two (male) cats, I wind up playing “What’s That Smell?” far more often than I like. Most of the time, I can trace the source of the stench back to one of the guys. Most of the time… but sometimes the source is a nasty sink drain. Fortunately, smelly drains are easy to clean and, if you make a habit of it, you can keep them odor-free.
How To Clean Stinky Drains
There are a variety of ways to eliminate drain odors. Many people find that a combination of methods works best, so choose the one that’s most convenient for you to start with then try another approach if the smell persists.
Flush the drain: Often, the smell is caused by stray hairs and other debris getting stuck in soap scum lining the drain. Eliminate that stuff quickly by pouring a couple of quarts of boiling water down the drain. Wait five minutes, then pour an equal amount of cold water down the drain to force any remaining grease to congeal. Finally, repeat the boiling water flush to remove that last bit of congealed stuff. (Do be sure to have a plunger handy, just in case.)
Use vinegar: Boil four cups of white vinegar. Pour two down the drain, rinse with cold water, follow with the rest of the hot vinegar. This usually powers through any small clogs in the drain, which are often the source of the smell.
Scour the drain and pipes: Run hot water down the drain. Turn the water off. Dump a cup of baking soda down the drain. Pour two cups of hot vinegar down the drain. (Watch out, it’ll fizz.) Wait a half hour then flush the drain with hot, if not boiling, water.
How To Keep Your Garbage Disposal From Smelling
Using any of the above methods every week or two will keep your drain from developing a nasty residue that can lead to small clogs, but sometimes kitchen garbage disposals need a bit of extra help. Here are two things you can do that will keep your kitchen sink smelling fresh all the time.
Run ice cubes in the disposal: They’re hard, so they scour the disposal blades while it runs and the cold temperature helps collect any excess grease in your disposal then carry it away.
Grind citrus peels: My mother simply shoves half a lemon down her disposal and lets it whir around until it’s gone. That clogs my older sink, though, so I slice my lemon or orange peels up before whirring them. It does give a nice smell to the sink and, thanks to the citric acid it helps remove greasy buildup.