6 Best Ways To Get Rid Of Smelly Drains

If you’re being bothered with the unpleasant odour of smelly drains at home or work, don’t worry, in this post we share 6 ways you can permanently get rid of the bad smells. You’ve spent the whole day wiping every inch of your kitchen and bathroom. 

But even after your kitchen and bathroom shine like a mirror, still, an unpleasant aroma catches your attention. Most of the households forgot to clear up the sinks counting me also.  A smelly drain in a kitchen or bathroom can occur, no matter how much water or cleaning solution is poured down. 

It’s a common scenario in all houses. Odours coming from the drain are typical plumbing issues, but fortunately, they aren’t necessarily challenging to resolve.

In order to know how to get rid of the smelly drain, first you should find the causes of the arising problem, solutions to prevent it, and when to call a pro. In this article, we have come up with all the ideas, tips, and techniques to help you make your task easy.

If you are looking for an easy fix, you may simply contact Zebra Plumbing. We’ll get you a quote and look into solving the problem right away!

What Causes Your Drains to Smell Bad?

When it comes to stinking drains, various factors may be at play:

Stuck Grease or Grime

A common cause for awful smells may be stuck hair, soap, toothpaste, grease, and food waste in your kitchen or bathroom sink. 

Over time, the trap and the pipes will collect these organic leftovers. This organic buildup is the leading cause of slow or wholly clogged drains.

Dry or Empty P-Trap

The curved section of the pipes under a sink is known as the P-trap or sewer gas trap. Its main task is to store water. Moreover, it prevents gas from leaking from the pipe and into your home. You can easily spot it because of the U-shaped dip at the bottom of the pipe where water is accumulating.

However, it can block with dirt and grime over time, developing unpleasant odours. In addition, clogs will cause sewage gases to rise back up your drains and into your home. The P-trap can leak, which causes the wet floor surrounding the sink or drain.

Odour-Causing Bacteria

If the pipes aren’t frequently cleaned, bacteria may grow in the drains and prey on the trash accumulated there. These bacteria produce hydrogen sulfide, which has the distinct odor of rotten eggs.

Mould Growth

In most cases, mold is to blame for a musty odor. Due to their affinity for damp environments, molds frequently overrun drains, producing odoriferous gas.

Sewer Line Issues

The sewage line connects your house to the city’s sewerage system. If you experience foul odours, gurgling sounds, and clogged drains, there is a problem with the sewage line.

Clogged Vent Pipes

Venting pipes and p-traps prevent sewage gas from entering homes. However, water pools in the sink, creating a stagnant environment that emits unpleasant odors when they become blocked with garbage. In addition, clogs will cause sewage gases to rise back up your drains and into your home. Pretty dangerous, too!

Stink from the Sump

An awful odor is wafting up from your basement. Is that your case? Then check to see if you’ve diverted wastewater there instead of to the main sewage drain line. It’s not uncommon for households to connect their washing machines directly to the sump pump, which can lead to a musty odor.

As you can see, to fix a smelly drain problem, you must first find out what is causing it. Now, it’s time to take action! Since it is not always easy to fix these problems, you may ask a plumber in Melbourne to help!

Cleaning a Smelly Drain: Tips and Tricks 

Before calling a professional for assistance, you may try to solve the issue by following these steps and get rid of your smelly drains. However, we strongly recommend to ask a professional to fix it.

1. Rinse with Vinegar and Baking Soda

Mix one cup of hot water with white vinegar in a large bowl to wash the drain. Then, pour baking soda into the sink.

Wait about 20 minutes, block the sink drain and let the combination work. Then drop two cups of hot water in the drain. This mixture will remove all the waste and clean your P-trap. 

2. Use Hot Water or Vinegar

Take water or vinegar in a pot to boil them. Then, slowly pour half into the drain. After 5 minutes, you can pour some cold water to solidify any residual grime, then again wash it away with the leftover hot water or vinegar. Be careful as this hot process may damage your PVC pipe.

3. Clean with Plunger 

You can use a plunger to clean your shower drain. First, put some petroleum jelly over the plunger’s edge since this will improve the seal. Then, cover the drain with the plunger and set it in place. After that, fill the drain with hot water to immerse the plunger, then plunge aggressively until the drain is unclogged.

4. Clean the P-Trap 

First, cover your hand with gloves, and remove anything from under the sink. Now put the bucket under the curved drainage pipe to capture water and debris. Next, take a wrench to lose the P-trap. 

You may wash the P-trap with water from another sink or clean it outside with a hose pipe. You may use vinegar, baking soda, soap, and hot water to rinse it. Again, be extra careful with the pipes! 

Finally, reattach the pipe settings. You may get a professional to do it if you’re afraid of cleaning the p-trap.

5. Remove dirt with an Auger

You can use an auger to remove dirt from your drain. It is a flexible metal tube. Simply drop it down the drain, then hold the plastic tube firmly and spin the flexible tube’s other grip while you push it down the drain. It flushes the whole drain! Then, sanitize the pipe before storing it.

6. Remove Air Vent Blockages

With a sturdy ladder, check the roof for any signs of blockage to the drain air vent, and clear out any leaves or other material you find. Again, this may be risky, so perhaps at this point finding a local plumber in Melbourne is a better idea.

Methods for Preventing Smelly Drains

Cleaning your drain doesn’t mean that your drain can’t create awful odors again. In order to prevent your drain gets smelly, here are some tips:

  • Keep grease, oil, and fat away from the sink.
  • If you want to keep your sinks and tubs smelling fresh, boil a potful of water once a week and pour it down.
  • A weekly application of baking soda to the bathroom sink and shower drain will keep your drain smelling fresh.
  • Put all leftover food in the trash, don’t pour them into the sink.
  • Be sure to clear out the trash can regularly.
  • Use your faucets regularly to keep the p-trap from drying out.
  • Plunging the drain regularly and then snaking it with a hair catcher will help keep a shower smelling fresh.
  • Run your kitchen garbage disposal for some time to put food down the drain.
  • Slices and peels of lemons may be used to freshen up smelly disposals.
  • Use dish soap to rinse the drain daily.
  • Ensure your P-trap pipe arrange correctly. 
  • You can deodorize your bathroom or kitchen eliminates without perfume.

What Can You Do If Your Drains Still Smell?

If you’ve tried everything, but nothing has worked, it may be time to call in the pros. For that, our expert drain plumbers will find the source of the drain odour and repair it using tools like industrial water jetters, snake augers, and pipe camera systems.


Smelly drains indicate pipe issues. After reading this, we hope you understand how to clean your smelly drain. Still, if the smells don’t seem to go away, simply call us: we are a team of local plumbers in Melbourne, specialising in clogged drains. You’ll find our plumbers in Hawthorn, Richmond, Kew, and Camberwell among many other neighbourhoods around the city. We’ll make the odours go away for good!

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