How to get rid of kitchen sink smells?

How to get rid of kitchen sink smells?

Let the aroma of your tasty foods fill the kitchen and not the foul smell coming from the sink. 

Your kitchen needs to invite the people in your house to have a look at the delicious meal you prepared for them.

Unfortunately, the truth is that the sinks of many modern kitchens may emit a foul smell. This can be due to many reasons—improper usage of sinks, maintenance issues, and much more. 

We'll tell you everything you need to know about getting rid of foul smells in the kitchen sinks and maintaining a top-class drainage system. 

Are you excited? Let’s get started!

What exactly is the cause of the foul smell?

Primarily, the foul smell of your kitchen drain can occur due to two reasons. 

  • The first and foremost reason is the accumulation of food or its debris in the drain pipe. Over time, you can guess what happens. The decay of food particles creates a foul smell. The food also gets stuck to the interiors of the pipes, thus enhancing the foul smell. 

  • Secondly, the sewer can produce a foul smell rising from the pipes if the U-bend has a shortage of water which is possible due to a leak or evaporation. 

If you’re able to take care of the drain pipe and the U-bend, nothing is stopping your kitchen from smelling great. 

Now that we know the causes of the smelly kitchen sink, let’s see how we can prevent the foul smell. 

Methods used to prevent foul smell in the drain

If you tick the right boxes, you’ll never have to worry about a smelly kitchen sink. Yes, easier said than done. However, you can practise these habits regularly to prevent any foul smell. 

  • You need to avoid pouring any sort of fat or grease down the drain as it can mess up the sewer, resulting in a foul smell. 

  • We’ve already talked about how the accumulation of food in the drain pipe can result in foul sink smells. All you need to do is cover the plughole with a drain screen. This way, no solid food particles can slip into the drain. 

  • Boiled water can also do the magic. Regularly pour some hot water down the plughole to kill the bacteria residing there. 

  • Every time you’re on vacation, pour some baking soda down the plughole to activate top-class cleaning. 

  • You can regularly consult with a professional plumber to make sure your kitchen drain is in good shape. 

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Choosing the Right Cleaning Tools:

Keeping your kitchen sink smelling fresh starts with having the right tools at your disposal. Here's what you'll need to tackle odour-causing issues and maintain a healthy drainage system:

Drain screens: Invest in a well-fitting drain screen for your sink. This acts as the first line of defence, catching food scraps and debris before they enter the drain pipes and potentially causing clogs or odours. Choose a screen with a fine mesh to effectively capture even small particles.

Garbage disposal:  If your kitchen sink has a garbage disposal unit, utilise it effectively. However, it's not a substitute for proper food waste disposal. Grind only food scraps that the disposal can easily handle, and avoid pouring grease or oil down the drain.

Natural cleaning solutions: Embrace the power of natural cleaning solutions for routine maintenance. Baking soda, vinegar, and lemon juice are your allies in the fight against kitchen sink odours. These readily available ingredients are safe, effective, and eco-friendly.

Plunger:  A trusty plunger is a must-have tool for any kitchen. It can dislodge minor clogs caused by food scraps or soap scum, preventing them from developing into major blockages and potential odour problems.

Cleaning brushes:  Having a variety of cleaning brushes in different sizes allows you to reach into different areas of your sink and drain for a more thorough clean. Consider a long, thin brush for reaching deep into the drainpipe and a stiffer brush for scrubbing the sink surface.

Rubber gloves: Protect your hands while cleaning with a pair of rubber gloves. This is especially important when using harsh chemicals or dealing with messy clogs.

How we can rectify the issue of a smelly kitchen sink

Alright, let’s go digging into solutions if you probably have a smelly kitchen sink. Before we do that, we must also know what kind of smell is coming from the sink. 

Accordingly, we can come to a suitable solution. So, there are two types of foul smells. 

The rotting and the sewer gas smell. The use of chemical cleaning methods best eliminates the rotting food smells. The sewer gas smells require you to check your U-bend. 

Ok! These are the DIY drain cleaning methods for getting rid of rotting food smells.

DIY drain cleaning methods

1. Boiling water

Hot water is the easiest solution when it comes to cleaning the kitchen drain pipes, and removing food particles from their sides. Most of the time this method should work. 

2. Baking Soda

What if the boiling water method doesn’t work? That’s when you use baking soda to do the trick for you. Baking Soda is used for a variety of purposes and cleaning smelly kitchen drains is on the top of the list. 

The most prominent baking soda solution is: 

Baking Soda + Vinegar + Boiling Water 

Take some baking soda and put it in the drain. Wait for some time. Let the baking soda do the magic. Pour half a cup of vinegar into the mixture of baking soda. Once the popping settles down, add some boiling water. 

Note: You can also use salt to add an abrasive component to the solution and thus maximise the efficiency of cleaning the drain. Pour half a cup of salt once you’ve added the baking soda and vinegar. Flush it off with some boiling water. 

  • In place of vinegar, you can also use lemon juice to clean the smelly kitchen sink. Lemon juice reacts with baking soda to clean the drain effectively, leaving no residuals in between.

  • Take a step further and add some eucalyptus oil or any of your favourite oils with the baking soda solution to produce the smell of your choice. 

Rest assured, your kitchen sink won't produce any false odour. 

Chemical cleaning methods 

Let’s see how chemicals can be used to get rid of rotting food smells. 

1. Potassium Hydroxide

If the condition in your drain is terrible, occupied with fats and grease, you can pour some KOH ( Potassium Hydroxide ) to transform the grease into soft soap. 

2. Bio-enzyme drain cleaner

Modern chemists would suggest using enzymes that are eco-friendly to eat the food debris, ensuring your drain works smoothly. 

3. Other chemical alternatives

Caustic drain cleaners are composed of sodium hydroxide, lye, or sulfuric acid to react with the food particles and clean the drain pipes. 

U-bend checkup 

The U-bend is the main culprit if your kitchen drain pipe has a sewer gas trap. The U-bend is supposed to be full of water, thus preventing sewer gas from escaping out of the plughole. 

Take these measures to check if your U-bend is working properly. 

  • The U-bend needs to be hydrated always, i.e. it must always be filled with water. If the water has evaporated due to some reason, just make sure to run some water to fill up the U-bend.

  • A leak in the U-bend is a critical aspect to look into. If there are any patches or holes in the drain pipe, call a professional plumber to rectify the leak. 

  • In case, food particles are flogging in your U-bend, make sure to remove the U-bend and clean it. 

Smart Cover to your rescue!

However well you manage the drain pipes, there’s always a chance for a burst pipe or a blocked drain. Smart Cover will make sure that you don’t have to fork out all your money for an expensive repair. You can count on us always - your trusted plumbing and drainage insurance.


Conquering the battle against smelly kitchen sinks is all about taking a proactive approach. By incorporating preventative measures like developing good habits and choosing the right cleaning tools, you can significantly reduce the chances of encountering unpleasant odours.

Remember, routine maintenance is key. Regularly cleaning your sink, flushing with hot water, and employing natural cleaning solutions like baking soda and vinegar can work wonders in keeping your drains clear and odour-free.

Escape the unpleasant odours by checking out our blog on "How to Fix Smelly Drains." Dive into practical solutions, expert advice, and preventive measures to keep your drains fresh and odour-free.