Woman plugging nose due to bad smell coming from the sink drain

Causes of a Smelly Sink Drain & How You Can Fix It

While your home’s looks are important and should be a priority if you want to have a presentable home, there are also other things that you have to consider when it comes to maintaining your house. One thing that can quickly ruin your home’s ambiance is a foul odour that assaults your senses.

Your sink can be particularly susceptible to this issue due to odour-causing bacteria that accumulate in the plumbing. Now, it can be quite daunting when something like this happens to you as not everyone is knowledgeable in fixing plumbing issues. But do not fret as we’re here to help you out. We’ve prepared a brief guide talking about the common causes of a smelly sink drain and what you can do to fix it.

What’s Causing the Smell?

As mentioned, bacteria is the likely culprit when it comes to a smelly sink drain. However, there are a multitude of other reasons for the presence of bacteria.

Particles tend to get stuck in the plumbing whenever the sink is used. This is especially common in kitchen sinks as rotting food can get stuck in the garbage disposal. While only a bit of food gets stuck in your plumbing system, this can accumulate over time and cause the foul odour to radiate from the sink drain.

Now, another factor that may be causing the smell is a dry p-trap, which is what prevents clogged drains. The p-trap is installed under all sinks to prevent debris or particles that go down your sink from clogging your plumbing system. When it gets dry, the trapped particles’ odour tends to make it back to the surface.

Mold or mildew can also be the cause of the foul odour in your sink drain. Due to the moisture, your sink actually encourages mold growth. In fact, it can cause a musty and unpleasant smell, as mold spores decompose organic material in your sink drain. This is why you’ll want to be wary of any visible mold surrounding your sink drain!

How to Fix a Smelly Sink Drain

Baking soda that will be used to clean a smelly sink drain
Common kitchen items such as baking soda and white vinegar are a more natural and environmentally friendly way to clean your smelly sink.

You might be surprised that it can be quite easy to fix this issue. For the most part, cleaning your drain should almost immediately get rid of the smell. So, how should you clean your drain?

Well, there are two ways you can go about doing this. The first method involves using commercial cleaning agents and pouring them down your drain. Now, if you don’t like this method and are looking for more natural solutions, then we’ve got just the thing for you. All you have to do is to pour a cup of baking soda down the drain and let it stay there for around 15 minutes. After that, you’ll need to pour a kettle of hot water mixed with a cup of white vinegar down the drain. This will cause a reaction that cleans out your drain and should get rid of the smell. If the smell still persists, you can repeat this method until you are satisfied with the results.

In case of dry p-traps, what you’ll want to do is to pour water down the sink. This only occurs when sinks are left unused for long periods, so just make sure to routinely pour water down the sinks in your home to prevent the p-traps from drying up.

When to Call In the Professionals

If the problem with your sink drain stems from mold buildup, then it’s best that you call a professional plumber service. Other than the fact that attempting to fix such issues could be hazardous for your health, the mold may have already contaminated your plumbing system. In cases like this, leave it to the professionals to make sure that your plumbing stays safe to use in the long run!


Hopefully, this article will prove to be useful when it comes to helping you address your smelly sink drain problem. Remember, don’t try to do everything yourself as you may just end up making things worse. Stick to the simple fixes and leave the more complicated issues to the professionals!

If you’re looking for a reliable plumber services in Abbotsford, BC, we here at Bromac Mechanical have got you covered. We specialize in plumbing solutions and are ready to go above and beyond to help you with any of your home repair needs. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our services!

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An Update From Bromac
Regarding COVID-19

We understand that times are tough and as an essential service, we will be staying open for all emergency and non-emergency calls.

Materials may start to run dry but we have done our best to order trucks filled with water heaters, furnaces, pipe and other materials to prep for potential shortages.

If there are any jobs you know you need done in the next while, please book with us ASAP so we can consider further material orders. For unexpected/less common emergency calls, we will do our best to stock less common parts to be able to assist in such cases. For all drain cleaning jobs, our machines are ready for the task.

As per normal we will be accepting credit as we know times like this could put a financial strain on many.

Times like these can unite us as a community. We look forward to assisting wherever and whoever is in need during the coming weeks and months.

*All of our techs are being screened and will not be working if feeling at all under-the-weather*