Home Improvement

Why does my kitchen sink smell?



It’s one of those questions that everyone seems to ask at some point: why does my kitchen sink smell? It’s only natural that the kitchen sink will smell bad from time to time.

The sink is where we dump a lot of our food waste (and other waste), and it can be easy for food to get stuck in the pipes and drain, especially if you have a double kitchen sink where there are two separate bowls which are connected by a central pipe. 

The issue can arise if you have a garbage disposal. Over time, food particles can build up in the unit, causing a foul odor whenever you turn it on. Luckily, there are several ways to deodorize your kitchen sink, as well as prevent bad odors from coming back. 

H2: Common Causes of Kitchen Skin Smell

Several different things can cause a foul smell to emanate from your kitchen sink. The most common is rotten food waste. Kitchen sinks can accumulate many scraps of food that go down the drain after each meal. If your kitchen sinks do not have garbage disposals, this food will sit at the bottom of the drain and begin to rot, creating an unpleasant smell. Even if you have a garbage disposal, some types of food will still become lodged in the pipes and cause a similar problem.

That smell is caused by hydrogen sulfide gas and it’s a common problem, especially for kitchens with garbage disposals. The gas can be emitted from the drain itself, or it can come from the water. The cause depends on where the sink is located in relation to your home’s sewer vent, which exits through your roof and allows sewer gasses to escape.

Most people have experienced the unpleasant smell that emanates from a kitchen sink whenever they do the dishes or drain a pot of pasta. If not cleaned regularly, the pipes underneath the sink can trap rotting food particles and other organic matter, which can cause an unpleasant odor to develop.

If your kitchen sink is located close to the vent — within 10 feet — then the smell is likely coming directly from the drain. If it’s farther away, it could be coming from your water supply. Many homes have disposals, but you should know that the U-shaped pipe underneath your sink is particularly susceptible to harboring odors. 

P-traps are a common source of foul odors in kitchens and bathrooms alike. P-traps are U-shaped sections of pipe that connect bathroom sinks and toilets to larger waste lines in order to prevent bad odors from escaping back up into the rooms where they are located. 

Luckily, there are ways to keep the odor at bay. Some are simple and quick, while others require a bit more work. Whatever method you choose, it’s important to be consistent in your cleaning routine to keep it from coming back. Here are some tips for eliminating kitchen sink smells:


  • Run water when you use it. Make sure your disposal has enough water flowing through it when you turn it on. Your disposal works by chopping up food particles into tiny pieces, then flushing them down the drain with water. If you don’t have enough water flowing through it, food particles will stick in the corners and create an unpleasant smell after some time (or immediately if they’re wet).


  • Use citrus peels. When you’re done cutting up limes or oranges for a recipe, throw the peels into your disposal instead of the trash can. The sharp blades will cut them up into tiny pieces and leave behind a fresh citrus scent as they wash down the drain.


  • Try the vinegar and baking soda trick. Pour baking soda into the drain and then pour the vinegar shortly after. The result obtained from this mixture will give the sink a fresh scent while cleaning the drain effectively.


H2: Eliminating Kitchen Sink Smell In Double Sinks

There are a couple of reasons why kitchen sinks smell and fortunately there are a couple of ways to fix it. This also happens when you have a double sink that is not connected and there is a backflow into both sides. The easiest way to prevent your drain from smelling is to pour bleach down your drain every time you wash dishes. 

If you’re noticing that your drain smells bad on a regular basis, there’s likely something wrong with it that needs to be fixed. If you have a double kitchen sink, take advantage of it and soak one side with hot water and bleach. The sink should be running during this time so that the bleach will run through the pipes. Once you’ve let it sit, run clean water through the pipes to flush out the smell. 


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