The Blog

Help! My Drain Smells

Remember, this is a symptom of another issue.  It can be as simple as the trap in a drain drying out, and just needing some water in it to seal things back up again.  (A trap is connected to the sanitary sewer piping, so when the water in a trap is no longer at a level to keep air/vapors from flowing, it smells!)

Sometimes, there is a floor drain that gets covered over, then dries out from no use and the smell is released.  Don’t lay carpet or tile over a working drain! 

If the kitchen sink drain smells, usually the disposal side smells, it is from food waste build-up in the grind chamber.  Citrus peels, ice cubes, or soaps aren’t going to do much – you need to remove the build-up.  A round toilet brush or large bottle brush work well.  Or, with some care, you can wash the grind chamber by hand.

A bathroom lavatory sink drain may also produce a less than desirable smell from soap and even toothpaste slimes.  You need to clean the drain walls down into the trap area working around the pop-up mechanism after removing the stopper.  A bottle brush, or shotgun cleaning rod and brush work very well.  If the lavatory sink has an overflow hole connecting to the drain, you need to get creative on how to brush this or neutralize the bacteria growing in this drainway.