The sink is undoubtedly the workhorse of the kitchen. Think about all of the food debris and grease households put down there on a weekly basis. It can quickly accumulate and cause some pretty bad smells. Not all stinky sinks are food-related, though. Households may have a plumbing issue and a potential health risk on their hands.
For those who notice a nasty smell lingering in the kitchen, even after a big clean, they may need to look to the plughole.
A stinky kitchen sink is enough to put anyone off their food. Unsure of how to get rid of the “foul odour” in her kitchen sink, one woman took to the Mrs Hinch Cleaning Tips page to ask for advice.
Lisa Stocks wrote: “Hi, how do I get rid of the foul smell in my kitchen drain from the sink?
“I’ve tried bicarbonate of soda and white vinegar, but it’s done nothing. Any advice please?”
There are typically two main reasons why a kitchen sink is giving off a “foul smell”. The first being if there is a buildup of food and debris in the pipes, over time this can start to decay and smell.
Anything households put down the sink, other than water, can get stuck to the pipes or the U-bend. As this food and debris decay, the smell will rise through the pipes.
The second reason being if there is no water in the U-bend households could experience smells coming up from the sewer pipes. This can happen if there is a leak in the U-bend or if the water evaporates in hot weather.
Lisa’s post was inundated with comments, with the majority recommending that the problem can be sorted with a household cleaning staple – soda crystals.
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Carly Watson said: “Soda crystals sorted mine out. Poured a load down and left overnight, then washed through with hot water in the morning. I regularly chuck a bit of Zoflora to sit overnight too.”
Judith Reed wrote: “Soda crystals and boiling water because they are fantastic at removing any buildup of waste stuck in the pipes, hence removing smells. It’ll remove the foul odours in five minutes.”
Marg Burgess recommended: “Boiling water, then soda crystals, approximately two cups on top. Leave for one hour then use boiling water to flush away.”
Carlyne Hugh said: “Soda crystals, about half a mug, pour them down the plug hole and dampen them with approximately one tablespoon of boiling water. Leave for five minutes, then reboil the kettle and pour the whole kettle full of boiling water down the plug hole.
“If you can get to the outside drain hole, sprinkle the same amount of soda crystals down, again a drop of water, then again a kettle of boiling water to swish the crystals away.
“Afterwards pour a capful of neat disinfectant, Detol, Stardrops or Zoflora scented directly down plug hole. All smells should be gone.”
Soda crystals are a multi-purpose cleaner that can work wonders on a blocked or smelly sink, according to plumbing experts at Dyno.
They said: “Soda crystals are a great way to prevent fats, oils and grease from accumulating inside your drains. Just pop a cup of soda crystals into a bowl of boiling water and carefully stir the mixture until the soda crystals have dissolved. Now, slowly pour the mixture down your drains.”
For those who don’t get the desired result after this method, they could try adding in some citric acid when they put the soda crystals down the sink. Basically, the acid (citric) and alkali (soda crystals) will react together and should dislodge whatever is stopping the water from going down the pipe.
Once the smell in the sink has gone away, households will want to take steps to stop it from happening again.
To prevent sink drains from smelling in the future, regularly pour boiling water down the drain to help dissolve buildup and kill bacteria.
For those who are dealing with persistent foul odours coming from their sink, it is work making a call to the professionals.
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