5 Reasons for Smell Sink Drains That You Need to Know About

As a homeowner, you may have experienced an unpleasant odor coming from your sink drains. It’s not only irritating but also embarrassing when guests come over. The smell can be caused by various reasons, and it’s essential to identify the underlying cause to eliminate the odor. To help you out, here are five reasons for smelly sink drains that you need to know about.

1. Food Build-Up

One of the most common causes of smelly sink drains is the build-up of food particles. When you wash dishes or rinse fruits and vegetables, small pieces of food can get stuck in the drain. Over time, these food particles can accumulate and cause a foul smell. The food build-up can occur in the P-trap, which is the curved pipe under the sink that traps debris and prevents it from flowing into the main sewer line. To eliminate the odor, you can pour boiling water down the drain to loosen and flush out the food particles. You can also use a mixture of baking soda and vinegar, which will help break down the food particles and eliminate the odor.

2. Clogged Drain

A clogged drain can also cause a foul smell in your sink. When hair, soap scum, and other debris accumulate in the drain, it can create a blockage that prevents water from flowing freely. The stagnant water can then produce a bad odor that can permeate throughout your home. To unclog the drain, you can use a plunger or a drain snake to remove the debris and allow water to flow freely. You can also use a commercial drain cleaner, but be sure to follow the instructions carefully and use protective gloves and eyewear.

3. Dry P-Trap

If you haven’t used a sink or shower drain in a while, the P-trap can dry out and lose its water barrier. The water in the P-trap acts as a seal that prevents sewer gases from entering your home. When the seal is broken, the foul-smelling gases can escape into your home, causing an unpleasant odor. To eliminate the odor, you can run water down the drain for a few minutes to refill the P-trap and restore the water barrier.

4. Sewer Line Problems

If you’ve tried all the above solutions and still have a smelly sink drain, it could be a sign of a more significant problem with your sewer line. A cracked or damaged sewer line can cause sewage to leak into the soil around your home, which can create a strong odor. You may also notice other signs of a sewer line problem, such as slow drains, gurgling toilets, or sewage backups. If you suspect a sewer line problem, it’s essential to contact a professional plumber to diagnose and fix the issue.

5. Mold and Mildew Growth

Mold and mildew can grow in damp, dark places, making your sink drain an ideal breeding ground. The mold and mildew can cause a musty smell that can be difficult to eliminate. To get rid of the odor, you can use a mixture of bleach and water to clean the sink drain. However, be careful not to mix bleach with other cleaning products, as it can create toxic fumes. You can also use a commercial mold and mildew cleaner to eliminate the odor and prevent future growth.


We hope this article proves to be useful when it comes to helping you figure out how to deal with issues with your sink. It’s essential to identify the underlying cause of the odor to eliminate it and prevent future problems. By following the above solutions, you can keep your sink drain smelling fresh and clean. However, if you’re unsure of the cause or can’t eliminate the odor, it’s always best to contact a professional plumber for assistance.

If you are looking for the best plumber in Shelby County, AL, you have come to the right place. Professor Plumb has been providing quality plumbing services to the community for over 20 years. From leaky pipes to clogged drains, our team of experts can quickly identify and resolve any plumbing issues you may have, so contact us today!

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