Bad odours coming from the drain can signify a multitude of plumbing troubles. For homeowners, fortunately, a lot of these issues can be resolved very inexpensively and without involving a plumber. At least, not to start.

If you have an issue with smelly drains at your home, chances are it’s a common issue that will take an easy fix. Here is how to clean a smelly drain:

1. Call a plumber

If you’ve tried everything you can think of and you still have a smelly drain on your hands, a professional should have a look at it. It could mean leaks or rotting drain tubes or something serious.

You should be alarmed if the smell is coming out of multiple drains in different parts of the home. It’s possible there could be something wrong deep in the plumbing. If you have any concerns, a plumber can inspect and tell you exactly what the cause is.

2. Use an eco-friendly deodorizer for bacteria

This is the most common reason that your drain smells bad. It’s from bacterial building from materials like food, toothpaste, grease, hair, and anything else that could have been washed down the sink. In time, being in such a wet environment, it’s bound to get a little foul.

A simple deodorizing technique is to use some hot water, white vinegar, and baking soda. If you don’t want to go the DIY route, you can buy eco-friendly sink drain deodorizers online that will do the trick.

3. Use a drain snake to address any clogs

Sometimes the gunk that gets caught in our drains isn’t going to get rinsed down with water and vinegar. A drain snake can help dislodge any solid clogs. For example, if there’s long hair, this is not a clog that’s easily cleared without a drain snake or a similar tool. If you have the tool, however, it’s easy.

A few attempts and, most of the time, you can completely clear what’s in there, and all the while without using any chemical decloggers or anything similar.

4. Examine the gas trap and clean it out

The gas trap is the bent pipe located just below the drain. It’s purposefully designed this way. Water is kept there naturally with gravity. This water forms a seal that normally blocks odours from coming up the pipe and into your home. If there’s organic material caught in the gas trap, the scent will seep out.

Like before, a little hot water, white vinegar, and baking soda should rinse out what’s there and take care of the smell. If it doesn’t, you may want to remove it and inspect it. You may need a replacement if it’s absorbed a lot of smells.

5. Your air vent to the plumbing is clogged

A clogged air vent can be a big problem for smells. All plumbing systems need an air vent. It’s usually on the roof. As leaves come across the vent, though, they can get caught, eventually clogging it.

Suddenly, you have a vacuum going on in your pipes and smelly odours rising are commonplace. If you clean the vent out and get rid of that debris, though, the plumbing smells should naturally be gone in a very short time.

6. Address issues with the garbage disposal

Some sinks have garbage disposals or drain catchers. These can get clogged with food or whatever falls into them fairly easily. If it’s a drain plug or catcher, rinse it off once a week.

If it’s your garbage disposal that’s causing the issue, add cold water to make a smelly drain not smell anymore. Then, add ice cubes and some lemon peels into the dirty garbage disposal. This should knock any food particles off and allow them to fall down the drain safely without further smells.

7. Pour near-boiling hot water in the drain weekly

If it turns out to be a reoccurring issue, add a little drain maintenance to your weekly chores. Pouring near-boiling hot water down your drain once a week can help dislodge any gunk that could be building up inside the pipe and shouldn’t damage your plumbing.

Alternatively, you can opt to pour white vinegar down the drain in the same way. Both should dislodge whatever’s sticking to the pipe if that is what’s causing a smelly drain.

8. Your main sewer drain could be clogged

A clogged main sewer drain is something else that can happen – and hopefully, this isn’t it. A homeowner can’t fix this on their own. They should call a plumber to look at this. A smell similar to rotten eggs or sulphur indicates that the sewer line could fail through a clog or break. If it’s something stuck, it may be able to be dislodged with an augur but not always. A professional needs to look at it to determine the best solution closely.

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