How to Resolve a Smelly Bathroom / Kitchen Sink

Living in a bustling family home with a well used bathroom and kitchen can often conjure up a few interesting smells, and you can find yourself playing detective to a game called “What’s that Smell?” Fortunately a smelly bathroom or kitchen sink can be easy to resolve. Here are a few simple tips as to how this can be done. 

Smelly sinks are caused by a clogged drain, which are easy to clean and if you make a habit of regularly cleaning the drain, you can be sure to keep your basin and bathroom odour-free, here are a few different ways in which you can do so. 

How to Clear Your Drain

Nine times out of ten a smelly drain is caused by stray hairs and other debris that become lodged in soap scum that starts to line the drain. This can be eliminated by pouring boiling hot water down the drain, then wait for five minutes and pour an equal amount of cold water down the drain to force any remaining grease to congeal.

Using a plunger can also help, simply place the plunger cup over the basin drain and pump vigorously up and down, for at least a minute to remove any small blockages. Finally as the last part of the process, repeat the boiling water flush to remove any remaining congealed build up, be sure to have that plunger handy, just in case!

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How to Keep Your Kitchen Garbage Disposal from Smelling

Sometimes kitchen disposal units can require a little extra help to clear, here are a few ways you can keep your kitchen sink clear and smelling fresh at all times. Running ice cubes down the disposal not only cleans the disposal blades, the cold temperature of the ice helps to collect any access grease within the disposal unit and remove it. Another way ideal for eliminating grease is to grind citrus peel, from a lemon or orange and let it whirr around the unit until it’s all totally gone, not only is this method highly effective it gives off a nice citrus smell.

Another way to eliminate sink odour is to pour a cup of white vinegar down the drain, let it stand for 30 minutes then rinse with hot water. To avoid a blocked sink the rule of thumb is to be careful as to what you put down your drain, and take regular action to clear any small deposits that might be forming. Wastes with hair catching properties are ideal for keeping hair, soap scum, and other solids from making their way into the drain. Never pour grease down your drain, and to remove grease from pots and pans simply wipe with a paper towel before rinsing.


Caustic Soda, (Sodium Hydroxide) is also very effective for unblocking sinks and plug holes. Caustic Soda has fantastic degreasing properties meaning it can break down grease and fat, which are the most common cause of a blocked drain. To unblock a sink using Caustic Soda, we would recommend using a solution of around 10%. To create a 10% solution of Caustic Soda, simply dissolve 100g of (Caustic Sosa) Sodium Hydroxide crystals into 1 litre of water.

Simply pour the 10% solution down the drain and let it get to work, it is recommended to leave caustic soda to work its magic for around half an hour to break down any deposits in the sink.  When about 5 minutes has passed, slowly run some water into the sink, increasing the water pressure. If it isn’t clear, repeat the process of creating a solution and pouring it down the sink until the drains appears to be clear, Caustic Soda can also be used to effectively unblock plug holes, outdoor drains and toilets.

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Check Your U-Bend

If these methods do not resolve the issue, it may be that there is a blockage in the U-Bend of your sink. U-bend traps, or waste pipes, are found underneath the plug hole of bathroom basins, kitchen sinks, and baths. A U-Bend waste tube is usually filled with water to prevent drain odours from escaping. The easiest way to clear an obstructed U-Bend is to remove any blockages from it. This can be done by carefully removing the u-bend pipe using a wrench and emptying the containing water. With the aid of a wire brush and a flush of warm water any remaining residue can be easily swept away.

The above methods every week or two should prevent the drains in your home from developing any nasty residue that can congeal and form an unpleasant smell. If a smelly drain is something of a persisting issue, it might be worth seeking professional advice from a plumber as it could be due to an external issue rather than an internal issue.

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