Despite your best efforts to keep your kitchen and sink clean, you now have a weird, unpleasant smell coming from your drain. This can happen due to rotting food in several parts of the sink or a clogged drain. And each one has its own solution. Here are a few quick tips for dealing with stinky drains.
Vinegar and Baking Soda in Drain
If the smell is coming from a sink drain that doesn't have a garbage disposal attached, first check to make sure that there isn't any food caught on top of the trap that's visible in the top of the drain. Once that's clear, you can move on to a smell-busting tip that can help move small clogs out of the drain pipe.
Bring three cups of water to a boil on the stove then dump that water straight down the smelly drain. Follow this quickly with one cup of baking soda then two cups of white vinegar. The hot water acts as an initial burst to try and knock the clog out with pressure and heat.
Baking soda and vinegar form a chemical reaction that results in a lot of fizzing, which places more pressure on the clog. If it's a small clog with room for the liquids to move through its materials, these methods might prove enough to break up the clog and make your sink smell better.
Ice and Lemon in Disposal
If the smell is coming from the side of your sink with the garbage disposal, it's possible that there are food particles stuck down in the lower part of the disposal. Don't reach in there to try and dig them out by hand. Never place your hand in a disposal, even if its turned off, because an electrical malfunction could leave you with a stub on that arm.
To remove the odor, turn on the disposal and let about 10 ice cubes pass through. Ice is hard but easily broken and that combination of properties lets the ice knock food off the blade without actually causing any damage. This is a good thing to do every couple of weeks to keep your disposal fresh.
If the smell persists, you can turn to citrus. New garbage disposals can handle eating a whole lemon cut into slices. For older models, stick to just the peels. The textured skin can help remove food particles while the juice cleans anything the skin can't reach. Plus, you'll have a really lovely smelling drain for a few hours and then it will return to not having any smell, which is ultimately the goal.
Call a Plumber
If the smell persists despite your best efforts, there could be a serious plumbing issue at play and its time to call in the professionals. There could be a substantial plug in the drain or sewer could be backing up in some way that allows the smell to escape from your kitchen drain. Neither problem is meant for a novice to tackle.