No matter how careful you are, smelly drains happen to all of us at some point. Everything that passes through a drain leaves a trace and eventually all those traces of food particles, grease, hair, soap particles, and other gunk create bacteria, which results in a foul smell coming from the drain.
In addition to what passes through a drain causing it to smell, drains can also smell if a sink’s P-trap fails to prevent gases from rising from the sewer, through the drain, and into the home. This happens most frequently with sinks that aren’t used very often.
Another way that a drain can become smelly is if a vent becomes blocked. Plumbing includes vents that allow gases to escape outside. However, if the vents become blocked, those gases will sometimes leak into the home through the drain.
If there is a foul smell coming from a drain in your kitchen or bathroom, in some cases, you can take care of it yourself.
Tips for Fixing a Foul-Smelling Drain
There are a few do-it-yourself methods for getting rid of a bad smelling drain. The following are a list of tips homeowners can use to fix foul-smelling drains in their homes:
- Boiling water – In some cases, flushing your drain with hot water will get rid of the bad odor. To do this, boil a small pot of water, pour half the pot down the drain, wait a few minutes, pour cold water down the drain, and finally pour the rest of the hot water down the drain.
- Baking soda and lemon juice – The natural citric acid in lemons combined with the cleaning power of baking soda can form a powerful cleaning solution. First, pour a half a cup of baking soda and a half a cup of lemon juice down the drain. Second, plug the drain and let the solution clean it for an hour. Finally, unplug the drain and run hot tap water from the faucet down the drain to flush it.
- Distilled white vinegar – When heated, the acetic acid in white vinegar can neutralize bad odors and cut through gunk and grime. To accomplish this, heat four cups of vinegar until it simmers. Pour two cups of the hot vinegar down the drain and let the tap water run for a minute. After a minute, pour the other two cups of hot vinegar down the drain.
- Salt and baking soda – The abrasiveness of salt mixed with the cleaning power of baking soda can help fix a smelly drain in some cases. This method involves pouring a cup of baking soda and half a cup of salt down the drain. After that, allow the salt and baking soda to sit for a few hours (or overnight if the smell is really bad). Once the waiting period is over, boil two cups of water and pour it down the drain.
To learn more about repairing drains, or to speak with our experienced plumbers in Boston about your situation, give Winters® Home Services a call at (617) 977-3101 or contact us online today. We are available 24/7 for emergency plumbing services, and we offer free estimates, same-day service, and discounts.