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Why Your Kitchen Sink Drain Smells Bad

Sep 25 2023
A sink drain

Some plumbing problems go unnoticed for weeks, whereas others make their presence known via odours from hell.

Kitchen sink drain smells tend to spread across your household, likely signalling a serious plumbing issue that needs attention ASAP.

Your kitchen sink works just as hard as you do when it comes to preparing meals, washing dishes, cleaning produce, and disposing of food particles. In the long run, this lean, mean cleaning machine may be the cause of a stench due to bacteria buildup, a clogged drain, or other culprits.

Now before you see your future plumbing bill pass by you in slow-mo, we’re happy to inform you that eliminating a smell from your kitchen sink is fairly easy.

Why does your kitchen sink drain smell bad? Let us count the ways!

    1. Bacterial Growth

If there’s no leak causing the anti-fragrance, then you may be looking at a bacterial problem. Bacteria are a natural component of your plumbing system (and everything else on this planet), but when the wrong type of bacteria starts to thrive, they can be accompanied by a repulsive funk that no amount of dish soap can resolve.

    2. Mould and Mildew

Mould and mildew are types of fungi—practically the equally destructive cousins of bacteria.

A kitchen sink leak that has been overlooked can soak wood and other materials in the kitchen, creating the perfect conditions for mould and mildew to grow. And as you already have guessed, the stinkiness is a part of the package deal.

    3. Hydrogen Sulphide

Does the smell from your kitchen sink remind you of rotten eggs?

If so, then it’s a sign of hydrogen sulphide content in the water, which can be produced by certain “sulphur bacteria” in plumbing systems. Sulphur bacteria are not harmful; however, hydrogen sulphide gas in the air can be hazardous at high levels.

If this is the case, getting rid of that bad eggy smell that lingers in your house would require flushing your plumbing system with a strong chlorine solution.

    4. Clogged Sewer Vent

When the smell from the kitchen sink is accompanied by the poor drainage of water, the chances are that the problem is a clogged sewer vent.

When this type of plumbing issue occurs, gases that should be sent out of your pipes get trapped and accumulate. The result is a pungent odour with some severe drainage problems in the mix.

A clogged sewer vent is a problem that typically plagues houses that aren’t used very often. So, if your vacation house suddenly smells like garbage rather than the fresh scent of the beach nearby, then a clogged sewer vent could be the cause.

This is a plumbing emergency that needs to be resolved immediately.

    5. Plumbing Errors

In some instances, people tend to notice a rancid smell after having some plumbing work done. If the smell wasn’t there before, it could be attributed to a human error made by the plumbing team. This could be due to a leaking pipe, a missing piece, or a misinstalled component. If this is the case, give your plumber a call so they can double-check and repair the issue.

A plumber repairing a sink

How Can I Get Rid of Kitchen Sink Drain Smells?

Baking Soda and Vinegar

Let’s bring it back to basics: baking soda, vinegar, and hot water.

You’ve heard of this one before, right? All you have to do is pour one cup of baking soda and one cup of vinegar down the drain. Let the mixture sit for about 20 minutes. Next, flush the sink drain with boiling water.

Finally, cap it off with a cold flush of water by running the tap.

Ice, Lemon Peels, and Salt

If your sink is equipped with a garbage disposal, switch it off before starting this next DIY tip.

Pour ice cubes and about two tablespoons of salt down the drain. Now, turn your garbage disposal back on to process the ice and salt. Follow it up with a handful of lemon peels. This works wonders for eliminating residue and removing odours.

Call a Plumber

If the clog or smell isn’t too extreme yet, then it can be easily eradicated with the simple DIY tricks mentioned above.

But when DIY doesn’t quite make the cut, it’s time to call a plumber. Leave it to the pros to get to the root of the problem and get rid of that kitchen sink stench!

A person in yellow gloves pouring salt down a kitchen sink drain

The Scent of Success

Effortlessly transform those foul kitchen sink drain smells into the scent of success by calling in the assistance of the experts.

As the leading service provider in Hamilton, Burlington, and Oakville, you can count on 1st Rooter to address all your home’s plumbing needs—whether it’s a clogged drain or water leaks. For over 25 years, our team has been upholding unparalleled service and an excellent customer experience.

Request a quote now to get rid of that smelly sink today!

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