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A woman holding her nose because of a bad smell in the kitchen.

Gross! Why Does My Kitchen Sink Smell?

Did you start cleaning the dishes in your kitchen sink and notice a strange, pungent smell emanating from the drain? Although these unpleasant odors can make it difficult to get through your daily chores, they can also suggest that something more substantial is going on deep beneath the surface.

So, why does your kitchen sink smell? The unfortunate truth is that this problem can have more than one cause. Below, we’ll discuss some of the most common reasons for this issue.

1. Drain Clog

The first signs of a drain clog often include standing water in the sink, sewage backups, and gurgling sounds. However, an unpleasant odor can also indicate that you’re dealing with this problem.

So, why does your kitchen sink smell when a drain clog is present? The reason is pretty straightforward. When food particles collect in your sink drain, sitting there for days or weeks on end, they will start to rot and grow bacteria — producing a foul odor.

The excellent news is that there are various ways to address clogged drains. Let’s go over some solutions to this common yet frustrating issue in more detail below.

How to Address a Clogged Drain

When your kitchen sink drain smells bad, your first thought might be to purchase a chemical drain cleaner. Although these products are known for being effective and tough on stubborn blockages, they can also damage your drains beyond repair.

Instead of using a chemical drain cleaner, consider using one of these methods instead:

Homemade Drain Cleaners

You can try many homemade drain cleaners, but one of the most popular solutions involves a mixture of baking soda and vinegar. Simply dump one cup of baking soda down the clogged drain, quickly followed by one cup of white vinegar. You’ll want to let the mixture sit for some time; ideally, you should let it remain in the drain for a few hours.

Once you’ve let the mixture sit in the drain, flush it out with a pot of boiling water. Of course, you should be careful not to splash, as hot water can be dangerous!

If you’re still dealing with a pungent sink smell after using the method above, you might consider trying a different homemade drain cleaner. Dish soap and hot water are known to break down grease clogs. Measure three to five tablespoons of dish soap, mix it with two liters of hot water, and dump it into the drain.

Professional Methods

If your kitchen sink drain smells bad because of a particularly tough drain clog, don’t hesitate to call a plumbing expert for help. At Connors Plumbing, Heating and Air, we can assist you with a professional drain cleaning in Mankato, MN, or the surrounding area. During one of these services, a technician will use cutting-edge equipment to safely and effectively clean your drain.

2. Dirty Garbage Disposal

Another reason for bad kitchen drain smells can be a dirty or clogged garbage disposal. Although your garbage disposal is meant to grind up all kinds of food debris, there are some items that it can’t handle. Think fibrous vegetables, bones, and rice. Food particles can also collect on the underside of the splash guard, causing unwanted odors to drift into your home.

How to Clean a Garbage Disposal

If you think your kitchen sink drain smells bad because of a dirty garbage disposal, there are a few steps you can take to remove old food particles and eliminate that pungent stink. Although there are many methods you can use to remove this problem, we’ll go over some of the most common tips below.

Scrub the Splash Guard

Do you think a grime-covered splash guard could be to blame for those terrible food smells? You can clean the splash guard with an old toothbrush.

First and foremost, shut off the power to the garbage disposal to prevent an unwanted injury. Once you’ve done this, you can choose to either remove the splash guard or keep it in its original place. You can make a cleaning paste with some baking soda and vinegar, which you’ll then use to scrub the splash guard. The bristles of the toothbrush will help remove any caked-on food debris.

Grind Up Ice Cubes & Salt

Do you think dirty garbage disposal blades could be why your kitchen sink drain smells bad? You can pour two cups of ice and one cup of table salt into the drain and grind them up. During this process, the salt and ice should work together to dislodge any food trapped on the blades.

3. Dry P-Trap

If you’ve been noticing sewer odors in your kitchen, a dry P-trap could be to blame. Why does your kitchen sink smell because of a dry P-trap? On a normal day, your sink’s P-trap should contain a small amount of water that prevents sewer gas from escaping the drain and entering your home. If this water dries up, there’ll be nothing to prevent the gas from drifting up and out of your drain.

How to Fix This Problem

If it seems like your sink’s P-trap isn’t holding water like it’s supposed to, you might want to consider pouring half a gallon of water into the affected drain. Hopefully, this simple solution will restore your P-trap’s barrier and prevent sewer gases from rising up into your home.

Fix Your Stinky Kitchen Sink With the Experts!

So, why does your kitchen sink smell? As you can see, there are several potential reasons for this problem. If you think you’re dealing with a clogged drain, turn to Connors Plumbing, Heating and Air! We can provide you with a professional drain cleaning service to ensure your kitchen drain is running smoothly once again.

Our plumbing experts are proud to offer everything from drain cleanings to water heater repair in Minnesota. Contact us today to learn more about our services!

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