How to Clean a Stinky Drain – Step By Step Guide

From practical tips and expert insights to step-by-step instructions, this article is your go-to resource for mastering the art of keeping your drains fresh and odor-free. Whether you’re a homeowner, a DIY enthusiast, or simply curious about effective drain cleaning methods, this article has something valuable for everyone.

How to Clean a Smelly Drain

How to Clean a Smelly Drain

In this article, we’ll explain why drains start to smell bad and how you can get rid of smelly drains using effective cleaning techniques. Even if they don’t form a clog, they attract bacteria, which release foul odors. Clogged vent pipes can also lead to smelly drains. When debris clogs drain vents, water can start to pool in the sink, and standing water can grow stagnant and encourage bacteria growth.

Smelly Drain Cleaning Supplies

Before you start trying to fix the drain, here are some of the supplies you may need to tackle that smelly sink:

  • Water or distilled white vinegar heated to a near-boiling temperature.
  • Baking soda
  • Rubber gloves
  • Wrench
  • Bucket
  • Hose

How to Fix a Smelly Drain

The Clean the Drain Vent Method

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 that may be clogging the drain vent. You may have noticed that one common household cleaning tool is missing from this list..

What You’ll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Plunger
  • Drain snake
  • Drain auger
  • Drain brush
  • Drain cleaner

Cleaning a Stinky Drain With Vinegar and Baking Soda

Pour Baking Soda and Vinegar Mixture

Start by pouring a pot of boiling water down the drain. Then, pour one cup of baking soda and one cup of vinegar into the drain. The mixture will fizz, which helps remove any gunk, hair, or grime that has built up in the pipe.

Allow Mixture to Sit

Let the baking soda and vinegar mixture sit for at least 30 minutes. This gives it enough time to work through the buildup and eliminate the odor.

Flush the Drain With Hot Water

After the mixture has sat for a while, flush the drain with another pot of boiling water. This will help to clear out any remaining residue and ensure that the drain is clean and odor-free.

How to Clean Stinky Drain Aerators

Clean the Sink Aerator

Unscrew the aerator from the end of the faucet and soak it in vinegar to remove any buildup or debris. Use a small brush to scrub away any remaining residue.

Clean the Shower Aerator

For shower aerators, unscrew the showerhead and soak it in vinegar to remove any buildup. Use a brush to scrub away any remaining residue before reattaching the showerhead.

How to Prevent Stinky Drains After Cleaning

To prevent stinky drains from returning, consider using a bacterial drain cleaner once a month. This will help to keep the drains clean and free from odor-causing bacteria.

When to Call a Professional

If you’ve tried the DIY methods and the smell persists, or if you suspect a more serious issue such as a damaged drain pipe, it’s best to call a professional plumber to assess and fix the problem. 247 Emergency Plumbers can help with your Stinky Drains, call us today!


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