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?
March 31, 2010
If it's the drain that stinks, use a flashlight & look down the pipe to see if you see anything in there. We had that problem a couple of times & it was from someone (a kid) dropping something down the sink & not telling us. Once it was a toothbrush & once a paintbrush. They can't go down the drain, so they sit there & gather slime & bacteria & get really gross! Once we took the elbow pipe off & cleaned it out, the smell was gone.
I have a bathroom sink drain that stinks. I have put vinegar in it and used the steam cleaner using the steam down the drain. Last night I used Liquid Plumber. It still smells. Phewy when I brush my teeth. Help.
Sandy from Baltimore, MD
Is it a sewer gas smell? If so, it sounds like you are missing a trap or vent. If your trap has just gone dry, running water in it (a few cups) daily should cure that. (04/14/2008)
Pour one regular sized box of baking soda into the drain and add one bottle of vinegar. Pour hot water over this and do bi-monthly until you notice a change. Then you should be OK for about two months. It's a bubbly activated cleaner that really works safely.
We've had the same problem with our bathroom sink. It smells horrible because of the toothpaste, soap, shaving cream, etc. that goes down the drain.
You might have to remove the trap at the bottom of the sink and clean that well and don't forget to clean out the pipe that runs out to the sewer which protrudes out from the wall. My husband and I have removed black slimy stinking sludge that would make you gag. Clean out all that using an old damp rag if the baking soda, vinegar, and hot water doesn't take care of the problem. (04/14/2008)
I live in northern Canada and in the winter the stack on top of our house freezes over and we get a very awful smell from our drains. We go up there and take boiling water to it to clear out the ice and the smell goes away. Maybe yours is blocked? Doesn't hurt to make sure anyways. (04/15/2008)
I've had that problem too, but I found it wasn't the drain, but it was the little vent hole in the side of the sink. I poured some Clorox water down the side hole in the sink and used a small percolator brush to clean it out. The brush was only about 1/4 to 1/2 inch across, after I cleaned it the stink was gone. (04/15/2008)
If your house is old like mine (built in '38) there may not be a vent from all the pipes. I only have one from the main sewer pipe and it's a long way from my sink so I get the smell too. The only solution seems to be to put in another vent pipe. (04/15/2008)
Pour some pine oil or ammonia down the drain, good luck. (09/05/2009)
Running plenty of very hot water down the drains does the trick when I periodically have this problem in my home. (02/09/2010)