How to Clean A Smelly Drain In Bathroom Sink

How to Clean A Smelly Drain In Bathroom Sink?

Cleaning the sink isn’t a challenging task. However, it might be a little tricky at times, especially when we talk about getting rid of stink from sinks.

So, it becomes necessary to learn how to clean a smelly drain in bathroom sink. Here, I’m not talking about using any random stuff.

Also, I’m not talking about taking help from expert plumbers as it’s a simple DIY project that you can perform even without spending extra dollars! So, are you ready to be a part-time plumber just for a single day?

Jokes apart, you should collect some specific things before you start cleaning, from hot water and baking soda to the metal hanger and gloves made of rubber.

Keep in mind, if you don’t know what the common reasons behind a smelly drain are, then it’ll be just a pipe dream to get an odor-free bathroom sink!

Let me ask you – are you well-prepared to earn proper knowledge about cleaning a smelly drain? Let’s dive in!

Several Reasons for Smelly Drain


Indeed, there is more than one reason why the smell occurs, and you have to discover all the sources if you want to get rid of it. These are as follows:

The dirt inside the sink

The primary reason for the smell is the trapped dirt or gunk-type hair, soap particles, grease materials inside the sink. These clogs gather a lot of bacteria, which later develops a musty odor in the drain.

Mildew Growth

As your bathroom drains come in contact with water every day, the mold and mildew get the chance to grow and cause a bad smell.

Due to dry p-trap

Most of you probably aren’t familiar with the p-trap as they are placed under your sinks. In addition, the p-trap successfully prevents the entry of sewer gas to the home. But, when it dries out completely, the debris releases the odors that were locked inside.

Sewer problems

If the p-trap gets full of debris, they fail to stop the clog formation in the lower section of the plumbing system. As a result, the sewer line gets blocked, and thus, causes a bad smell.

Venting Pipes

The sewer gas runs through the pipes of your roof. So, the outside debris (snow, leaves, or birds’ nests) forms clogs, and so the sewer gas gets pushed down to the drains. You never imagined your roof could be related to the drains, right?

Plumbing issues

If you have architectural or structural problems like rotting pipes, water leakage, missing traps, or old pipes, there is a huge possibility of ending up with a foul odor in your sink.

Things to Consider Before Cleaning


When you’re done figuring out the problems with your bathroom sink, you may think about how to clean it, right? Well, no worries since I’ve got you covered. All you need to do is collect some necessary materials before you start cleaning.

  • Hot Water
  • Vinegar / Lemon Juice / essential oils
  • Baking Soda
  • Petroleum Jelly
  • Bucket
  • Plunger
  • Wrench
  • Hose
  • Metal Hanger or Snake Hose Auger
  • Rubber Gloves

Cleaning Methods:


Depending on the problems, there are several ways or methods to clean the smelly drain of your bathroom sink effectively. Check them all to see which one is more convenient for you.

How to Clean A Smelly Drain In Bathroom Sink

Method-1: Pouring Warm Water

Warm or hot water works great to remove the clogs from the drain. So, if you’re dealing with the clogs, pour the hot boiling water directly down the drain as it flushes down the smaller clogs easily.

To remove the smell instantly, you can use additional solutions of lemon juice or other essential oils.

Mix them with warm water before pouring. Though the larger clogs might not get down completely, I hope they’ll get a bit smaller, and the odors will be gone.

Method-2: Using Baking Soda

Grab the baking soda along with some vinegar from your kitchen. Pour down some baking soda and follow it up with some vinegar to make a chemical reaction inside your bathroom sink.

The clogs will break down and create bubbles. Finally, put an end to the job by pouring out the warm water as it’ll flush all of the clogs thoroughly.

Method-3: Using Plunger and Snake Hose Auger

Thankfully, you can now rely on the plunger to deal with the clogs as they can be helpful not only for the bathroom but also for the entire home in general. After filling your sink with a small amount of water, plunge it for at least twenty seconds.

While lifting the plunger, let the water go through the pipes as it’ll push the clogs down. But, don’t involve any air pockets.

Talking about the snake hose auger, you can insert it into the drains and push the clogs to get rid of the smell. You can also use any metal wire or metal hanger instead of the drain snake as an alternative. Perform the task slowly; otherwise, you may unexpectedly damage the pipes.

Method-4: P-Trap Cleaning

Lastly, you can start cleaning the p-trap by disengaging the curvy part of the sink with the help of a wrench. Put on the rubber gloves before you do the task or anything like this.

After that, remove the trapped gunk, water and rinse the outer parts of the p-trap with a garden hose. Once the cleaning is done, reassemble all the parts of the p-trap.

Frequently Asked Questions:


1. Why is there a foul smell coming from my bathroom sink?

Foul odors are caused by having trapped clogs inside the sink drain for a long time. Also, if you notice any structural problems in your house, it may create bad smells.

Otherwise, if there is a dry p-trap in your home, which is actually a result of infrequent usage of the bathroom, it can also cause bad odors.

In simple words, if you don’t use your bathroom more often, then the p-trap under the sink may dry out to cause the odors in your bathroom sink.

2. How do you deodorize a sink drain?

Needless to say, you can get rid of the stink by deodorizing it. For instant deodorization, you can use lemon juice or an essential oil mixture with warm water. Afterward, pour it down to the sink drain right away.

As a permanent solution, using baking soda with some vinegar will be a better idea. By doing so, you can kill all the bacteria to get an odorless sink.

Wrapping up!


Cleaning becomes your first and most important duty when we talk about keeping your sink out of bad odor. That’s why my article on how to clean a smelly drain in bathroom sink loads all the essential information needed to get the job done!

Baking soda and boiled water are the two basic things that everyone can utilize to clean the sink thoroughly and making it odorless. Although you can use other available things, these were always my go-to for sink cleaning. What’s yours now? 

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