Clean Your Sink To Remove Biofilm Buildup
We mentioned earlier that one possible cause of a smelly drain is biofilm buildup. Again, this is a pretty easy thing to check for just detach your stopper, pull it out, and see if theres nasty black gunk on the bottom of it.
If so, that means all you really need to do is thoroughly clean out your sink, including a deep-clean down through the drain and into the pipes. You need to eliminate that bacterial buildup, which is whats causing the foul odor.
So what cleaning supplies should you use to clean out your biofilm buildup? You can invest in any store-bought cleaning product thats specifically designed to clean sinks. You can also just use vinegar . One important word of caution: Never mix vinegar with bleach. Doing so can produce noxious, potentially dangerous fumes.
Once youve used the cleaner of your choice, we recommend either pouring a couple of cups of hot water down the drain or simply allowing the hot water to run for about a minute. This can further break down and flush away bacteria.
Add Water to Your P Trap
What course of action is best if the cause of your sewer smell is a dry p trap? This may be an even easier fix. Often, all youll really need to do is run water for a few minutes, allowing that p trap to regain its protective moisture barrier. If this doesnt work, then its possible that youve misdiagnosed the problem or, that youve reached the point where you need to call a plumber.
How Often To Clean A Shower Drain
Clean your shower drain monthly to remove trapped hair and soapy sludge. If there are multiple shower users with long hair, cleaning out the drain every other week is even better.
Clogs should be removed as quickly as possible using a toilet plunger, drain snake, or commercial solution . Slow-running or smelly drains can be easily cleaned with household products like baking soda, distilled white vinegar, or chlorine bleach.
One caution: Never mix cleaning productseven mixing chlorine bleach and vinegar can produce toxic gas. Follow the instructions on the label carefully!
Useful Tips To Cleaning Your Drain
1. By preventing smelly drains from occurring in the first place, you can avoid dealing with the problem of how to clean them.
2. Never pour fat, grease, and oil into the drain.
3. Food scraps should be thrown away or added to a compost pile.
4. Once a week, pour boiling water down all drains in the house.
5. The baking soda, vinegar, and boiling water stage should be done at least once a month.
6. Maintain the cleanliness of your waste disposal.
7. To avoid the p-trap drying out, run your taps frequently.
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Why Does My Dishwasher Smell
If you have a smelly dishwasher, it could be because youre not rinsing your dishes properly before loading them. Food particles can collect in your dishwashers filter and crevices, and over time, this can cause an unpleasant odor. To avoid smelly dishwashers or drains its important to know how to clean your dishwasher regularly.
One way to prevent food from accumulating is to practice proper dishwasher usage. A great rule of thumb is to thoroughly scrape and rinse plates, silverware, bowls, and other items before they go into the dishwasher.
Depending on the mess, you probably wont need to scrub the plates with soap, but scrape food off and rinse dishes clean. Failure to do this means large food particles can get caught in the grates . This can result in clogs that prevent draining or can create a smelly dishwasher.
If theres food caught in the drain system of your dishwasher, remove it. Then, use a clean sponge to wipe the area clean. Also, you can pour a chemical drain cleaner down your garbage disposal, too. Itll help freshen the same plumbing the dishwasher uses and leave a fresh, citrus scent.
For more information on how you can use Liquid-Plumr® products, visit our FAQs page.
Cleaning Sink Mildew With Hydrogen Peroxide And Baking Powder
Using the hydrogen peroxide mixture is a similar process, but simpler. First, pour ½ cup baking powder down the drain. After 20 minutes have passed, follow up with 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide to create a solution.
To prevent this musty mildew odor from returning, consider cleaning your sinks drain on a more regular basis instead of waiting for sink mildew to form and start emitting an odor.
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How To Prevent Bad Sink Drain Smells
Bacteria thrives in moist, dirty conditions, and it can build up in the bathroom sink drain. This bacteria is the leading cause of those stinky smells that rise out of the sink. Hydrogen peroxide is a non-corrosive liquid with anti-microbial and anti-bacterial properties that kill bacteria, while baking soda absorbs and prevents odors.
- 1 cup hydrogen peroxide
To make this simple DIY sink deodorizer and cleaner, put all of the baking soda into the drain and allow it to rest for 20 minutes. Pour in the hydrogen peroxide and watch as the drain begins to fizz.
The chemical reaction between the two lines the pipes with a foam that will kill that fungus related stench. Its also ideal to get rid of gnats in bathroom sink and drain. Rinse the sink with cold water from the faucet. Repeat this method once a month to eliminate bacteria growth and keep those nasty drain smells at bay.
Cleaning A Stinky Drain
There are various ways to eliminate foul odors from a sink drain. Many people find that combined methods work best. Start with the simplest options and work your way toward the more complicated ones.
- Pour boiling water or vinegar down the drain: Bring a pot of water or white vinegar almost to a boil, and pour half of it slowly down the drain. Wait for a few minutes, rinse the pipe with cold water to solidify any lingering gunk, and pour the rest of the hot water or vinegar down the drain to wash it away.
- Pour baking soda and vinegar down the drain: Run hot tap water for several seconds, and then turn the water off. Dump one cup of baking soda down the drain followed by two cups of hot vinegar. Let the concoction fizz. After one hour, flush the drain with hot tap water.
- Clean the P-trap: Put on rubber gloves and remove the curved portion of the plumbing beneath the sink with a wrench. Empty any water and gunk from the trap into a bucket. Take the P-trap outside and rinse it out with a garden hose. Reassemble the plumbing before using the sink again.
- Clean the drain vent: In most houses, all drain vents terminate in a single opening on the roof. Climb up a ladder and clear away any leaves or other debris clogging the drain vent.
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Tips To Keep Your Bathroom Drain Stink
After battling that foul stench, invest in a routine to keep your drainage clean and stink-free. Here are a few tips on proper bathroom drain maintenance:
- Do not throw food waste into the bathroom drain.
- Rarely used sinks should be flushed with clean tap water at least once a week.
- Use a monthly cleaning solution to clear moderate build up in pipes.
- Do not pour highly acidic solutions, like muriatic acid, into pipes to prevent rust and corrosion.
- Scrub your sink and around the drain along with your routine cleaning schedule.
For more tips on proper bathroom cleaning, check out our blog. You can also schedule an appointment with us today for professional cleaning services that will keep those nasty smells out of your home.
How To Use A Drain Snake
If the clog is a mass of soap scum-coated hair that just won’t move, you need a drain snake . The price for one of these tools can range from around $30 for a metal snake to just $10 for a three-count package of plastic drain snakes.
Using a drain snake is easy: Just remove the drain cover, then push the snake into the drain pipe. When you start to feel resistance, you’ve hit the clog. Don’t pull up the snake just yet. Keep rotating the snake so the clog will be caught for removal or broken up.
When you stop feeling resistance, slowly pull the snake from the drain and dispose of the clog. Finally, run the shower at full force for a few minutes to make sure everything is clear. Clean the drain cover with hot water and an all-purpose cleaner and replace it.
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Things To Avoid When Cleaning Your Bathroom Sink Drain
Weve all been there before. You drop something down the sink drain, and it gets stuck, if not clogged. All of a sudden, water wont go down, and you cant get to it with the drain snake to clear the blockage.
So, what do you do? You grab anything within your reach and start pouring it down the drain hoping to break up whatever is clogging up.
You shouldnt do certain things if you want to clean your sink drain properly. If you are not a plumbing expert, it may be a good idea to leave the job for a professional. If you decide to handle this job yourself, please dont do any of these things!
First Clean The Sinks Surfaces
When your bathroom sink drain smells bad, its sometimes because there is a build-up of gunk and bacteria around the sink drain. To get rid of the smell, youll need to clean the sink and drain thoroughly. First, clean all of the surfaces in your bathroom sink area, including the countertops, faucets, and fixtures.
If your bathroom sink is made of porcelain, you can clean it with warm water and liquid soap, bleach on white porcelain, or hydrogen peroxide on colored porcelain.
If your sink is made of a non-porcelain material, such as stainless steel or plastic, you can also clean with a combination of vinegar, water, and baking soda.
Vinegar and water can be used for stone sinks if needed, but dont leave the vinegar on the surface for too long. Your best bet with stone sinks is to buy a mild cleaner that is made specifically for stone.
No matter what cleaning solution you use, wipe everything down with a clean cloth or sponge afterword. You may even want to use an old toothbrush. Dig the brushs bristles deep into the sinks grooves, especially down around the drain where mold and mildew can grow.
Pay special attention for mold or mildew growing in or under your sinkproblem areas will often be dark and damp.
You may be asking, why do you start by cleaning the sinks surface? The answer is simple. Because sometimes the odor isnt coming from the drain after all.
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What Causes A Smelly Drain
Sinks have foul odors because various things can go wrong with the pipes.
The most typical causes of foul drains include:
- Odor-forming bacteria: Your pipes can be clogged from food, hair, grease, soap particles, and other gunk. Even if they do not cause a clog, they attract odor-releasing bacteria.
- Clogged vent pipes: When debris clogs a drain, water may begin to pool in the sink. This stagnant water can lead to odors.
- Sewer gases: Sewer gases can rise from the drain when there is an empty P-trap. This typically only happens in sinks that are infrequently used.
- Plumbing errors: Missing traps or vents, leaks, and rotting drain tubes can all cause odors to seep from a bathroom or kitchen sink.
Dont Let Smelly Drains Win
Its understandable when homeowners want to do repairs themselves. The sense of accomplishment and ownership that comes with fixing a problem can be very satisfying.
And there are certainly some DIY solutions that will grant you a reprieve from smelly bathroom drains or fix the problem completely. But, if that smelly drain keeps coming back, you may need to take the next step and call in the professionals.
At Carroll Plumbing & Heating, we can get to the bottom of any smelly bathroom drain problem. Wondering if its time to call us in? Read more about determining when a problem is something you can take care of yourself, and when its time to bring in the pros.
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How To Clean A Smelly Bathroom Drain: Causes And Diy Methods
What’s in the article?
Trying to locate that foul stench of sewage or rotting food? Your sink drain might be the culprit. Sink drains, especially the bathroom sink drain, are commonly overlooked in routine cleaning, but require some maintenance just as well.
Though not the most glamorous chore, cleaning sink drains is essential in home upkeep in order to prevent clogs, bacterial growth, and smells.
How To Fix A Smelly Bathroom Sink Due To Bacteria
1. Pour a pot of boiling water down the drain to help loosen up any debris.
2. Add 1/2 cup of baking soda and 1 cup of vinegar to the drain and let it sit for 30 minutes.
3. Flush the drain with hot water after 30 minutes.
The white vinegar alone should clear up the basic drain odor. If this doesnât work, we recommend using a natural enzyme product. This takes it a step further, as the enzymes will âeatâ away at hair clogs and other organic material that might be causing the smells further down in the sink trap.
Pro tip: also pour some in the overflow hole of the sink.
See this post where we review the best enzyme drain cleaners.
This method is great to clear up smelly sinks. Itâs a great DIY alternative to buying sani-clean drain sticks.
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Why Does My Bathroom Sink Drain Smell Like Sewer
The smelly bathroom sink drain is most likely caused by a clog in the P-trap. The P-trap is the U-shaped pipe under the sink that holds water to prevent sewer gases from coming up through the drain. Alternatively, if there is no water in the P-trap, then sewer gas can come up through the drain and cause a smelly bathroom sink. We assume here you confirmed the odor was coming from only one drain versus the entire house.
How To Unclog Hair From A Bathroom Sink Drain
Pay attention to your bathroom sink drain as you let water run every morning. If water starts to drain slowly, you may need to clear the drain. If members of your family often brush their hair or shave over the sink, it’s likely the blockage is caused by hair combined with soap residue. No need to worry, though. First, remove the drain stopper and see if you can remove the clog yourself. We recommend using a drain snake to unclog the bathroom sink drain. If the clog is too far down, try using an unclogging gel from the store. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when handling these chemicals. Or use the natural cleaning solution, below, to clear the drain.
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Tips To Keep Drains From Stinking
Routine attention can keep your drains from developing odor-causing buildup.
Dont pour grease down your drain.
Flush your kitchen drains with hot water after doing the dishes.
Sprinkle baking soda down your drains weekly to control odors. To keep bathtub and shower drains from smelling, pour hot vinegar down them weekly to eliminate soap scum and body oil.
Use a plastic drain snake every 2-3 months. You might also want to install a hair-catching drain cover in the shower or bathtub. Keep your P-traps from drying out. The P-trap is the curvy pipe under your sink. Your shower and tub have them, too, though theyre hidden. P-traps are designed to hold a little water at all times to act as a barrier to sewer gasses. When the P-trap goes dry, those sewer gases enter your home. To avoid empty p-traps, make a point to run the water for a few minutes each week in seldom-used sinks, tubs, and showers to flush and refill the P-trap.
Causes Of A Smelly Bathroom Drain
Odors coming from the bathroom drain are indicative of a plumbing problem, mold, or clogs. Not all odors are the same, and figuring out the source, and knowing how to fix it, can save you the time and trouble of living with a smelly bathroom drain.
P Trap isnât Working Properly
That sewage smell coming from your bathroom sink is exactly what it is- sewage backing up the drain, releasing its foul stench. Sink plumbing has a curved pipe, called a P Trap, directly below the sink which holds water, creating a seal that traps sewer gas and keeps it from entering our homes. When the P Trap isnât working properly, gases make their way through the drain.
A dry P Trap would no longer be able to create a seal that keeps gases from entering your home, while an unused sink P Trap filled with stagnant water can turn foul, emitting the sewer smell itself. To check whether your pipes have dried, point a flashlight down the drain and see if it is filled with water. If not, it means the water held by your pipes has dried.
The P trap isnât the only place where sewer gases can travel. When the drainage vent is clogged or blocked, the sewer gases find another exit, usually through our open sink drains. For the average homeowner, issues with the drain vent are difficult to diagnose, and you will need to call a professional to fix the problem.
Mold and Mildew
The bathroom drain can emit odors from mold, clogs, and sewage.
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