Your kitchen sink and garbage disposal are working through gallons of water and a swarm of food particles every single day. The mixture of organic material and water makes the pipes near your sink especially susceptible to buildup that results in wafts of horrible odors escaping into your kitchen, and possibly other areas of your home. So how do you get rid of them? We have a few ideas.
A Hot Water Scrub
Your first step to try and remove any drain odor is to treat it like the dishes you're washing and give it a cleaning scrub. Start by boiling a pot or kettle of water. Larger containers tend to be more convenient even if they take longer to prepare. Pour a few cups of the boiling water into the pipes. The combination of motion and heat makes the small molecules of water cut through organic material and kill many microscopic organisms.
A Cleaning Solution
If basic boiling water doesn't do the trick, you can try adding a few other cleaning agents. The most common (and obvious) option is dishwashing liquid. If you don't have any dishwashing liquid, a classic home remedy is to mix the boiling water with baking soda and vinegar.
Take two parts vinegar to one part baking soda and make 1 to 3 cups of the divided combination depending on your sink size. Do not mix the two before you begin the cleanse. For the typical dual basin sink, you'll want 1 cup to 1 1/2 cups per drain.
To use either method, pour the cleaning solution down the drain, starting with the baking soda and adding the vinegar, then follow it up with a kettle of boiling water. Cover the drain opening with a seal that will keep all of the heat and bubbles within the pipe. Wait a few minutes, then rinse the pipes and wait for the smells to regather. If you can smell the filth returning quickly, you can try another run of the cleansing.
You can also add a selection of different additives to the baking soda and vinegar solution on your follow-up runs. Some well-known additions include an equal part of coarse salt or swapping the vinegar for lemon juice.
Showing your pipes a little love on the regular can stave off the smells before they can offer a fight. Before and after you do any heavy use of your kitchen sink, throw in 1 tablespoon of baking soda down the drain and supply a rinse. Hot water scrubs are always welcome, too.
If you have a drip coffee machine, you can do a two-step cleaning process to keep both it and your sinks running clear. Pass a full pot of vinegar through the coffee maker, then immediately pour the steamed liquid down the drain.
Call on a Plumber for Help
If the odor-causing, flow-reducing substances are too firmly ingrained into your drain or are actually emanating from problems hidden further into your pipes, you probably won't be able to fix it on your own.
If your DIY attempts don't eliminate the pipe odors, just give us a call at John Baethke & Son Plumbing. Professional drain cleaning is just one of the many around-the-clock plumbing services that we offer for you.