How to Fix a Stinky Kitchen Sink

By Debbie Hall 

The kitchen is the center of most homes and when a bad odor comes from the sink, it can stink up the entire living space. Usually, odors emitting from a sink are less about cleanliness and more about the fact that cooking oil, food crumbs and other particles can get into the pipes and cause bad odors. Luckily, some household items can get your pipes sparkling clean and free of stinky smells.

Boiling hot water and soap

Many homes have a two-sided sink with a garbage disposal on one side and a strainer and drain on the other. Fill both sides with very hot, soapy water. Let stand for a few minutes and then flush through the garbage disposal while it’s running. Then rinse both sides with more boiling hot water.

Salt & Citrus

For more intense cleaning, first focus on the side with the garbage disposal. Add a combination of ice cubes, coarse salt and peels of lemons, lime or oranges, and then flush with boiling water. Another trick is to freeze lemon, lime or orange wedges in white vinegar in ice trays and then add the ice cubes to the garbage disposal to clean and flush with boiling water. Sometimes, this process has to be repeated twice. End with the flushing more peels in the garbage for a nice smell in the kitchen.

Baking Soda & Vinegar

On the side of the sink with a strainer, pour 1 cup baking soda down the drain and let sit for 15 minutes without adding any water. Then pour 1 cup of white vinegar down the drain. Let sit for another 15 minutes while it bubbles. Pour boiling hot water to clean out the drain. For extra cleaning, first pour ½ cup of coarse salt, then pour ½ cup baking soda and then pour 1 cup of white vinegar. Allow the combination to sit for 15 minutes and then flush with boiling hot water. For a fresh smell on that side of the sink, add lemon juice or a few drops of aromatic oil after flushing it with boiling hot water.

After you get your sink clean, maintain it by sprinkling baking soda once a week down the drain to absorb odors. Pouring hot water once a week will also help. Keeping a sink smelling fresh is easy and so much better than a stinky one.

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