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From A.B. May
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From A.B. May

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How to Get Rid of Smells in Your Kitchen Sink

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Have you ever wondered how to get rid of smells in your kitchen sink? Fortunately, clearing odors from your sink is typically a quick fix. In this blog, we will learn why odors occur, what you can do to prevent them, and how to know when it is time to call a professional.

Why Does My Sink Smell?

There are two leading causes of odors in your kitchen sink: leftover food caught in the disposal and sewer gases making their way through the pipes.

LEFTOVER FOOD can stick in the disposal or drain and create a bad smell. Certain foods are notorious for causing problems in your sink. Rice, grease/fat, coffee grounds, bones, and potato peels can clog your pipes. For a full list of food to keep away from your kitchen sink, click here or watch this short video.

Food residue can also ferment in the sink, causing a rancid odor. Keep reading to find out how everyday household items can lift stubborn food smells and solve the majority of these problems.

SEWER SMELL If you smell a sewage odor, you may have an empty sink trap. The p-trap or s-trap under the sink stores a small amount of water in the bottom of the “u” shaped part of the pipe. The water acts as a barrier between the sewer and your sink. If the water disappears, there is no longer anything separating the smell from escaping into your home.

kitchen sink plumbing


How Can I Get Rid of Leftover Food Smells?

  • VINEGAR AND BAKING SODA First, try using supplies you already have on hand. Take a cup of baking soda and pour it down the drain. Next, pour one cup of white vinegar into the drain. The mixture will foam. Let it sit for 20 minutes, then pour hot water over the top of the mixture to clear it.
  • ICE CUBES AND COARSE SALT Turn on your disposal with a few ice cubes to knock food particles off the blades and some coarse salt to scrub them. Afterward, run cold water. Follow with lemon for a fresh scent.
  • LEMON SLICES Citrus is a natural cleaning agent (and it smells good, too). Cut up a lemon into small slices and put them down your garbage disposal. With the water running, turn the disposal on and let it run until the lemon is completely ground. Turn off the disposal and let the water run for another 30 seconds.
  • BIO-ENZYME DRAIN CLEANER A bio-enzyme cleaner is an effective, natural cleaning product. The natural enzymes break down stubborn food particles without harming your pipes. Ask your A.B. May plumber about Endure, our favorite enzyme drain cleaner.

How Can I Get Rid of Smells From the Sewer?

RUN WATER DOWN THE DRAIN FOR ONE MINUTE. Sometimes the answer is simple. Did you just get back from vacation? If the sink wasn’t used regularly, the trapped water could have evaporated. Run water down the sink for one minute. Wait 30 minutes and see if the smell is gone. If it is, simply run the water for one minute anytime the smell resurfaces.

CHECK THE SINK TRAP The sink trap is located under your kitchen sink. Check the pipes for leaks or breaks. If you notice anything wrong, it is best to contact an experienced plumber

For help with your kitchen drain or any other plumbing problem, contact your Kansas City professional plumber from A.B. May. 


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