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How to get a bad smell out of your sink drain

Updated July 20, 2017

Foul odours wafting up from your kitchen sink's drain are typically symptoms of rotten food or organic material that has got into the pipes. It can also signify that bacteria has infested your pipes and needs to be disposed of. Some of you may immediately reach for the phone upon hearing this to call for a plumber. You can take care of a smelly drain with just a few basic household ingredients.

Remove any sink stoppers or sink strainers from the drain holes in your sink.

Measure out 1 cup of baking soda per drain hole in your sink. Pour it down each hole.

Wait 20 minutes for the baking soda to have a chance to soak into the organic matter in your drain. Baking soda will help absorb the stench from any bacteria or matter in your drain.

Pour 1/2 cup white vinegar down each drain hole and immediately cover it with a rag or drain stopper. The vinegar will react violently with the baking soda, causing it to foam up and attempt to come back up the pipes.

Wait for a minute for the reaction to die down, then turn on the hot water on your sink and allow it to run down into both drain holes. This will wash away the last traces of any bacteria or organic material in your drain and should clear up the foul odour.

Things You'll Need

  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar
  • Measuring cup
  • Rag or drain stopper
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About the Author

Joshua Benjamin began as a professional freelance writer in 2009. He has successfully published numerous articles spanning a broad range of topics. Benjamin's areas of expertise include auto repair, computer hardware and software, firearms operation and maintenance, and home repair and maintenance. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Business Administration from California State University, Fresno.