Kitchen Sink Odors: Causes And Cures

If you are a homeowner, at some point or another you will likely run into odd smells emanating from your kitchen sink. If you smell an awful smell coming from not just your kitchen sink, but each and every sink in your home, then there is most likely a problem with your water supply. However, if the rancid smell is coming only from the kitchen sink, then there is probably a different cause for the smell. There are a few reasons that your kitchen sink could be emitting a horrible odor and a few easy ways that you can get your kitchen sink to stop smelling.

Food Caught in the Garbage Disposal

Your garbage disposal is in place to break up food into small enough particles that they can easily be washed down the drain. However, sometimes food gets stuck in the corners, or food particles will stick to certain parts of the disposal. When this happens, the food starts to rot in your drain and can cause an awful smell. 

If rotting food bits are the cause of your kitchen sink smell, it is a relatively easy fix. There are a few things that you can do to clear out your disposal and get your sink smelling great again. Plug your sink and fill it with about four inches of hot water. Into the hot water pour a few teaspoons of baking soda, as well as a few teaspoons of salt. The baking soda will serve to neutralize odors, and the salt helps to break down grease.

Unplug your sink and, as the water starts to drain, continually run your garbage disposal. Once all the hot water has drained away, place a few ice cubes and the grated rind of a lemon into the disposal. Run the garbage disposal to grind up the lemon and the ice. After this step, your sink should no longer smell! If you still notice a smell after taking these steps, your odor might be due to a different issue. 

Bacterial Build-Up

Your kitchen sink may not be smelling due to built-up rotting food in your garbage disposal, but from bacteria that thrive and grow within in your kitchen sink pipes. Bacteria easily starts to grow in your kitchen sink's pipes due to the warm environment, as well as the moisture and food residue in the pipes. 

Bacteria can be killed by either pouring standard drain cleaner into your kitchen pipes, or by flushing your pipes with a mixture of hot water and vinegar. You may need to flush your pipes two or three times in order to effectively kill all the bacteria present and rid your sink of the smell completely. 

Venting Issues 

Each home has venting mechanisms attached to the plumbing in order to ensure that when the pressure in the sewer changes, smelly sewer gas doesn't end up being pushed into your home. If your vent is clogged or leaking, it won't be able to do its job properly and sewer gas can be leaking into your home, causing odors. 

The vent will run from the roof of your home to the plumbing in your kitchen. If you are feeling particularly handy, you can use a plumber's snake to try and clear any blockages. If the smell remains, there might be a leak in your vent, which will need to be fixed by a professional plumber. If you have no idea how to access your vent, or don't feel comfortable trying to unblock it yourself, a plumbing company will perform the service for you. 

Your kitchen sink shouldn't be smelling. Not only is a bad smell unpleasant, but it can be a sign of more serious problems. If you have tried, and failed, to cure your smelly sink, you might need to call in help from a professional plumbing company. Plumbing professionals have the knowledge and experience to precisely target where the smell originates from and rectify the issue. 

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