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Get Rid of Nasty Drain Smells: 4 Household Cleaning Agents for the Kitchen and Bathroom

drain smells
Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay – Semevent

Sooner or later, it happens to you: your sink or shower drain smells absolutely nasty. We’ll show you what you can do about it, without resorting to caustic and expensive chemical products. 

If your drain smells, you don’t have to use aggressive chemicals to get rid of the less-than-pleasant aroma. Cleaning products promise sparkling, odor-free drains in seconds, but many household remedies are equally effective, while also being better for the environment, and cheaper too. 

Food or product residue is often the reason that your drain smells disgusting. Tried and tested household remedies can break up and decompose deposits, eliminating bad odors from the source.

Smelly Sink Drain: Household Remedies

smelly sink drain
Using common household items to clean your drains instead of conventional cleaning products helps reduce damage to the environment. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay – Brett_Hondow)

1. Vinegar and Baking Powder: Your sink or shower drain smells? Try using baking soda and vinegar to get rid of the stench. 

  1. Block the drain so liquid can’t get through. 
  2. Sprinkle three or four tablespoons of baking powder on and around the drain.
  3. Pour 1/2 cup of white vinegar into the sink.
  4. Wait for the baking powder to foam up and let sit for 15 minutes. 
  5. Unblock the drain and rinse with warm water. 

Read on: Washing Clothes with Vinegar: Benefits of Adding Vinegar to Laundry

2. Salt: If you’re trying to neutralize a smelly sink drain, salt is your friend. 

  1. Sprinkle two tablespoons of salt onto the drain and wait 30 minutes.
  2. Rinse with cold water. 

3. Baking Soda: Another common household item that works against drain smells is baking soda. 

  1. Simply sprinkle 1/2 cup of baking soda onto the drain and cover with a damp cloth.
  2. Let sit for 5 minutes. 
  3. Rinse with hot water. No more smelly sink drain!

4. Washing Soda: Washing soda is one of the most effective household remedies for kitchen drain smells and shower drain smells. 

  1. Sprinkle two tablespoons of soda on the drain and let sit for 30 minutes. 
  2. Rinse with cold water. 

If nothing is helping, you’ll have to do a deep clean. Here’s what to do:

  1. Place a bucket under the pipe underneath your sink. 
  2. Carefully unscrew the U-shaped pipe. 
  3. Check the pipes for blockages.
  4. Remove any buildup of debris. 
  5. Clean everything with warm water. 

Read on: Unclog Your Drain Without Harmful Chemicals

Drain Smells: Prevention

shower drain smells
Using a fine metal sieve prevents the buildup of debris. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay – Fede13)

The best way to remedy drain smells is to not allow them to appear in the first place. To prevent a smelly sink drain or shower drain, follow these tips:

  1. Use sieve inserts in the kitchen and bathroom. The fine mesh prevents food residue or hair from getting into the drain.
  2. Don’t flush any leftover food down the drain; compost it instead. 
  3. Be careful not to let any chunks of soap fall into the drain in the shower. This can cause blockages that will only grow with time. 

This article has been translated from German to English by Christie Sacco. You can read the original here: Abfluss stinkt: Diese 4 Hausmittel helfen in Küche und Bad

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