Cleaning Smelly Drains

sink drain

Bacteria growing in your drain can produce odors that waft throughout the house. This is a guide about cleaning smelly drains.



Here are questions related to Cleaning Smelly Drains.

Question: Mildew Smell Coming From My Sink

I am in need of some help with my kitchen sink. It has a mildew/mold smell coming out of it, it has the slots in it so i can't stick anything down it and I don't have a garbage disposal. I have tried lemon juice, bleach, baking soda and don't know what else to try. Does anyone have any ideas?

Jen from Eau Claire, WI


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I get a mildew smell coming out of my washing machine. Any idea what is going on? And, how do I get rid of it? c major

Question: Sink Smells Bad

My sink has a moldy, mildew smell that I cannot figure out. It smells like a dishrag that has soured. I do not have a disposal or anything, it is just a plain sink. I have looked under my sink and there is a small dried puddle but it does not stink under there at all and it does not seem to be leaking anymore for whatever reason.

I have used bleach and I did the baking soda and vinegar thing. It works for a day or two and then that smell is back. I can walk by and get a whiff of that smell and it makes me furious! What can I do? Is there a service for this?

By sweetie6116 from GA


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By Virginia [13]08/27/2009

You can also crush up some denture cleaning tablets or alka seltzer tablets throw them in the drain & add a cup of water and let it bubble for a little while, then flush with hot water.

Question: Musty Smelling Sink Drain

What can I do to get rid of a musty smell coming from the sink drain?

Stephen from Penns Creek, PA

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By badwater [264]10/19/2008

Homemade Drain Cleaner

Pour 1/4 cup baking soda into your drain, add 1 cup white vinegar. Allow this to bubble for 5 minutes. Add 1 cup boiling water, & let stand for 5 minutes longer. Then flush running tap water through for a few minutes. If you have a double sink, do one side first before doing the other side. Not both at the same time.

Question: Smelly Drains

How can you get rid of smells coming from the sink drain?

Karen from MI

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By Pam M.04/30/2015

I tried the 1/2 cup each of salt & baking soda. I couldn't fit that much in my drain because of the bend for my double sink. It clogged everything up & I had to get out the plunger. I tried a 2nd time with 1/4 each of salt & vinegar. I could hear the bubbling in the 2nd sink drain. It seems that has cured the problem, but my nose is full of the smell of vinegar. I'll know by tomorrow if it really worked.

Question: Sour Smell from Kitchen Drain

My kitchen still has a "sour smell" emanating from the kitchen drain. I cleaned the garbage disposal with lots of ice cubes and lots of running water. I have a septic tank which was pumped 3 months ago and I was told I should never use bleach because it deteriorates the seals? A while back I tried baking soda and vinegar, but it didn't help long. I also have a dishwasher. Jeez. Someone please tell me what else I can do.

By Maryann

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By Marty Dick [163]03/02/2015

I will assume it isn't beyond the disposal unit. I used to put citrus peelings through my disposal. just the peelings ... no pulp, seeds or stringy stuff. It makes it smell really fresh and clean. Another thing I remember my Mama doing when I was a little kid was to pour boiling water down the kitchen sink. We had no disposal so she had to keep things super clean.

Question: Smelly Bathroom Sink Drain

I have an odor coming from the overflow drain in my bathroom sink. What is causes it and how do I get rid of it?

By Lynda

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By Diane [3]03/31/2010

I put a small amount of chlorine with water down it. I haven't had a problem since.

Question: Removing Mold in Sink Drain

Like a lot of others who have asked similar questions, I too have moldy and bad odors coming from my drains. When we shower or run the water, or let the water out, there is a bad odor, and moldy odors that travel throughout the house through the AC vents. I can see the mold on the inside of the PVC pipe in one side of the kitchen drain. I have tried bleach, and baking soda and white vinegar.

When I have mold start on the caulk on the side of the tub, I spray bleach on it, and it sets and gets rid of the mold. But how can I plug up the inside of the sink drain, so the bleach or whatever, can set right there on the mold to soak it and remove it. Anything poured down the drain just runs off and can't set on it and soak it. Is there something that I can put down the drain to temporarily plug it up in there, so the bleach can soak the mold loose off the inside of the drain? Something that could dissolve slowly. A plumber wants to sell us a $50.00 gallon of stuff, but how can it soak it if it just runs on down the drain? I wish I could get a small scrub brush down the drain to scrub he mold off. Thanks!

    By Ann C. [1]

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    By Gerrygerry T.06/14/2015

    I had the same problem a few years when I went away to Holland to stay 2 weeks with one of my sons. When I returned there was a horrible odour in the kitchen, before I filled the kettle for my cup of tea, I had a good look at the little drain-hole in my steel sink, it had a wee screw in the middle; I got a screw-driver and removed same, then took the fitting off, poured bleach and bicarb soda and lemon juice in to the hole, and with a thin bottle brush scrubbed all down the insides (the amount of black that came off was quite a surprise).

    Boiled the kettle up and poured this down the plug hole. Then put everything back in place in the plug hole and screwed the wee screw back in the sink hole. What a lovely odour I had ever since. Try this, it worked for me. Cheers, Geraldine in Coventry West Mids.
    PS Be sure to insure the wee screw is tightened securely, or else you will have a leak!

    Question: Cleaning a Smelly Shower Drain

    How do I keep my shower drain from smelling foul?

    By Maria

    Most Recent Answer

    By Carol D. [5]11/21/2011

    Use baking soda and vinegar. Or baking soda and lemon juice or lime juice.

    Question: Removing Odor in Bathroom Drain Pipes

    How to remove odor that comes up from the tub drain when taking a shower or doing laundry?

    By C. F.

    Solutions: Cleaning Smelly Drains

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