Living with two males and two (male) cats, I wind up playing “What’s That Smell?” far more often than I like. Most of the time, I can trace the source of the stench back to one of the males. Most of the time… but sometimes the source is a nasty sink drain. Fortunately, smelly drains are easy to clean and, if you make a habit of it, you can keep them odor-free.
How To Clean Stinky Drains
Easy: Often, the smell is caused by stray hairs and other debris getting stuck in soap scum lining the drain. Eliminate that stuff quickly by pouring a couple of quarts of boiling water down the drain. Wait five minutes, then pour an equal amount of cold water down the drain to force any remaining grease to congeal. Finally, repeat the boiling water flush to remove that last bit of congealed stuff. (Do be sure to have a plunger handy, just in case.)
Easier: Boil four cups of white vinegar. Pour two down the drain, rinse with cold water, follow with the rest of the hot vinegar. This usually powers through any small clogs in the drain (which are often the source of the smell).
Easiest: Run hot water down the drain. Turn the water off. Dump a cup of baking soda down the drain. Pour two cups of hot vinegar down the drain. (Watch out, it’ll fizz.) Wait a half hour then flush the drain with hot, if not boiling, water.
How To Keep Your Garbage Disposal From Smelling
Using any of the above methods every week or two will keep your drain from developing a nasty residue that can lead to small clogs, but sometimes kitchen garbage disposals need a bit of extra help. Here are two things you can do that will keep your kitchen sink smelling fresh all the time.
Run ice cubes in the disposal: Not only are they hard enough to help clean the disposal blades, but the cold temperature will help collect any excess grease in your disposal and carry it away.
Grind citrus peels: My mother simply shoves half a lemon down her disposal and lets it whir around until it’s gone. That clogs my older sink, though, so I slice my lemon or orange peels up before whirring them. It does give a nice smell to the sink and, thanks to the acidic action of the citrus, it helps carry away any greasy buildup.
A few minutes a day while you’re at the sink, and a minute or two as part of your weekly cleaning routine, can clean stinky drains. What solutions do you have to keep your drains from stinking up your house? Share in the comments!
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