How to freshen up a smelly sink | Pittsburgh | Terry's Plumbing

How to Freshen up a Smelly Sink

Even when you diligently clean it’s inevitable that some not-so-lovely things are going to make their way down your drain. When foul odors strike, do you know what to do?

Why is it Smelly?

The main reason that your sink could smell bad is because of built up gunk and bacteria. When food, hair, grease and even soap get rinsed down the drain, it causes a film to build up on the walls of the pipes and blades of garbage disposals. This film is the perfect breeding ground for bugs and bacteria which cause foul odors.

Another culprit that could be causing these awful smells is a drain clog. When debris piles up and clogs your drain, water can start pooling in the sink. The longer that the water stays stagnant and doesn’t move, the more intense bad smells can become.

Finally, if your plumbing system has some errors within it, bad smells could become a regular occurrence. Missing traps or vents, leaks and rotting drain tubes all cause odors to seep from a bathroom or kitchen sink.   


How to Clean a Smelly Sink

Soak your sink in soap and water – If the smell is coming from food residue in your sink you can get it squeaky clean with some dish soap. Just insert your sink stopper into the drain, fill your sink halfway with hot water, then add your dish soap. Using your hand, mix the dish soap into the water until it’s foamy. Once it is, let that mixture sit in your sink for about 10 minutes– doing this will loosen up the food debris and make it easy to rinse away.


Baking soda, vinegar and hot water – While you can clean the basin of your sink easily, reaching the grime in your pipes is a different story. This grime busting combination of baking soda, vinegar and hot water is sure to eliminate gunk with ease. The abrasive baking soda, acidic vinegar, and hot water will all work together to scour the sink drain walls and eliminate odors. First, boil a pot or kettle full of water and set it aside. While the water is boiling, pour one cup of baking soda followed by one cup of vinegar down your sink drain. Let the solution fizz in the drain for five to ten minutes, then take your boiling water and slowly pour it into the drain to flush everything down.


How to Clean a Smelly Sink with a Disposal

Deodorize the garbage disposal with citrus peels –  Sometimes, pulverized food particles refuse to go down the drain and instead seek refuge in your garbage disposal. There, they stick to the disposal walls until they rot and produce unpleasant odors. A remedy for this is to grind up the peels of citrus fruits in your disposal. Simply drop three to five citrus peel fragments into your sink drain and run your garbage disposal for twenty or thirty seconds.

The citric acid that’s found in orange and lemon peels for example, will dissolve the food residue from the walls of the disposal and replace foul odors with a refreshing citrus smell. So, next time you eat an orange or use lemon in a drink, save the unused fruit peels in an airtight container in the fridge. Then, the next time odors start to rear their ugly heads you’ll have a fresh supply of this natural sink freshener on hand.


Ice and salt – If the citrus peels aren’t cutting it and your disposal needs a deeper clean, ice and salt is the best combination to use. The abrasiveness of the ice and salt combination should loosen and lift away any stuck food debris or residue within your disposal. After grinding up two cups of ice and one cup of table salt in your drain, then flushing it out with cold water your disposal blades and impeller plate are sure to be squeaky clean. 


Get Super Terry

If you try these tricks and your sink is still smelly, give us a call! Super Terry can clean out and unclog your drains and have them smelling fresh again.