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Why Your Sink Smells and How to Fix it

Everyone strives to have a clean kitchen that smells nice, and having a bad odor coming from your sink can ruin that. If this sounds like something that you have been experiencing and want to remedy it, then you’ve come to the right place.

We can assist you in determining why there is a bad smell coming from your kitchen sink, as well as how to fix the underlying issue; there are generally two main reasons for this to happen, and we’ll cover them here:

  • Rotting Food: sometimes we forget to run the garbage disposal after food gets inside, and this can cause a terrible smell.
  • Sewer Smell: sometimes when gas is leaking from the drain trap or vents, this can cause a smell that is akin to sewage.

How to Get Rid of the Rotten Food Smell

Sometimes food residue can start to accumulate in your disposal or pipes, especially if you allow fat and grease to find its way down. Try the following methods and solutions to take care of the problem, and eliminate the bad smell from food residue:

  • Bio-Enzyme Drain Cleaner: by using enzymes, these natural drain cleaners will begin to eliminate the food residue in your piping by eating away at it. Unlike chemical drain cleaners, you will cause no damage to your pipes and is safe to use regularly.
  • Vinegar and Baking Soda: Most likely, you will already have both vinegar and baking soda on hand, making this a quick and easy solution. Simply pour 1/2 cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by 1 cup of white vinegar. Allow these to react with each other and start to foam, then let sit for a while and pour hot water down the drain to wash everything through your pipes.
  • Ice Cubes: It may sound strange, but running ice cubes through your disposal can help to remove small particles of food that may be stuck.
  • Citrus Peels: By running citrus peels in the disposal, you will be able to eliminate any type of odor that may be caused (if the source of the odor is taken care of)

How to Get Rid of Sewer Gas Smell

If you are smelling what seems to be like sewage, then that is a different problem and relates to sewer gas coming through the pipes. This problem is usually coming from either the sink trap or the plumbing vent.

  • The sink trap: will be located under your kitchen sink, it is shaped like a “u” and is designed to keep sew gas from finding its way into your home in theory. If you are smelling sewer gas, you will first want to check to make sure that there is a sink trap installed. Another common issue is a leak of the sink trap, and you will want to check this as well.
  • The Drain Vent: Sometimes the culprit to smelling sewer gas will be the drain vent; and because of the fluctuating pressure in these vents, it is still possible to smell sewage even if there is nothing wrong with the vent itself. At high levels, pressure can make its way through the water that is in the trap and then the low pressure can begin to leak water from the trap.

And that is where plumbing vents come into play; they allow for fluctuations in pressure to occur without gas finding its way into your home or apartment. These vents are technically pipes that run straight from your home through the top of the roof.

Some common problems to look out for with the drain vents are:

  • Something blocking the vent, such as a bird’s nest
  • A leak in the vent
  • No drain vent (it does happen from time to time)

In many cases, unlike fixing water heater issues, stopping your sink from stinking can be done yourself without the help from a qualified plumbing service. This means that you can save yourself some money and maybe even some time since you don’t need to wait for a plumber.

Read about: How to fix a leaking toilet