How to Fix a Kitchen Sink Smell

Updated February 21, 2017

When food or other debris is washed down the sink, it can accumulate in different areas along the pipes. As the food decays, it begins to exude odours, which may waft up and out of your kitchen sink into your living space. However, you can fix a kitchen sink smell quite easily, using common household items.

Pour ½ cup baking soda into the kitchen sink. Get as much of the baking soda as possible into the drain. Allow it to sit for 30 to 45 minutes.

Rinse the baking soda down the drain with ½ cup vinegar. When the vinegar comes in contact with the baking soda, it will cause foaming. Allow it to sit after the foaming has begun for an additional 15 minutes.

Run hot water down the sink for 1 to 2 minutes. This will wash the baking soda, vinegar and any other debris out of the sink.

Pour another ½ cup baking soda into the sink, if the smell remains. Allow it to sit for 30 minutes, and then pour another ½ cup vinegar into the sink. Allow it to sit for 15 minutes, as you did before.

Pour 1 cup lemon juice into the drain to rinse out the baking soda and vinegar. Wait 5 minutes, and run a large amount of hot water down the drain to flush out any lingering smells or debris. The lemon juice should leave a fresh, clean scent behind.


If the stench remains after performing this method, bleach may be used. Since bleach is a toxic substance, use caution. Pour a small amount of bleach into the drain, taking care not to splatter, and rinse well with cold water. For severe cases of kitchen sink smell, call a licensed plumber to check and clean out the pipes below the sink.


Never remove any pipes or sections of pipe without professional supervision. Flooding or permanent damage can result.

Things You'll Need

  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Lemon juice
  • Bleach (optional)
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About the Author

Willow Sidhe is a freelance writer living in the beautiful Hot Springs, AR. She is a certified aromatherapist with a background in herbalism. She has extensive experience gardening, with a specialty in indoor plants and herbs. Sidhe's work has been published on numerous Web sites, including