Have you ever walked into your bathroom or kitchen only to be insulted by a strong, unpleasant, and seemingly unidentifiable stink? Well, if you can’t find the source of the smell, then you’re most likely dealing with a drain odor situation. That’s right! Your drains can stink, bad. Like, bad. But don’t fret! There are several things you can do yourself to get your drain odor problems under control.
However, before we get into the DIY steps to kick your stinky drains to the curb, we should probably discuss what causes the stink in the first place. So, without further ado, let’s get going!
What Causes Drain Odor?
The two primary culprits behind unpleasant drain odor are clogs and the several species of odor-causing bacteria that like to breed on them. In addition to harboring odor-causing bacteria, clogs are generally made up of things that smell bad all on their own.
Unfortunately, clogs and their bacteria friends are not the only sources of unpleasant drain odor. Other culprits behind your stinky drains might include:
- Sewer Gasses: When waste and other forms of organic matter decompose, they release noxious fumes known as sewer gasses. If you have underused drains in your home or business, then their associated drain traps are most likely dry. Unfortunately, dry drain traps provide sewer gasses with the perfect escape route. Generally, you’ll know you have a sewer gas problem when your kitchen or bathroom stinks of old, decaying sewage.
- Mold and Mildew: If you have a leak somewhere along your drain line, then there is a chance that mold or mildew will make their home near that new water source. If you have mold or mildew near your drains, then their odor can easily permeate through your drain line.
- Plumber Error: Like anyone else, plumbers make mistakes. Sometimes, those mistakes can lead to some quite unfortunate consequences. If a plumber, at one point or another, forgot to do something like installing a drain trap or sewage vent, then drain odor is right around the corner.
How To Eliminate Drain Odor Caused by Clogs and Odor-Causing Bacteria
If you’re facing a drain odor problem caused by clogs and bacteria, then you have a few DIY solutions to try. Let’s break them down in a little detail:
Try Bleach: Bleach kills the majority of odor-causing bacteria. It also helps break apart the very drain clogs that harbor those stinky bacteria species. To use bleach to clean your drains, simply fill the affected sink with hot water. Then add a cup of bleach to the water and allow the sink to drain completely. Repeat the process until your drains smell normal again.
Use a Little Boiling Water: Like bleach, boiling water kills several species of odor-causing bacteria and can help break apart clogs. However, it can also severely burn you as well as damage your plumbing. So, if you choose to use boiling water, make sure to be careful to avoid burning yourself or hurting your pipes. Use a little bit at a time (around a half of a cup), and don’t use more than a gallon of boiling water total. If you still have stinky drains after trying a gallon of boiling water, contact one of our plumbing professionals.
Vinegar and Baking Soda Might Do the Trick: Vinegar and baking soda can help eliminate clogs and odor-causing bacteria. To use them to clean your drains, pour a generous helping of dry baking soda into the affected drain. Then, add vinegar, a little at a time, until it reacts with all of the baking soda. You’ll know you’re done when you can’t hear any more bubbles after pouring more vinegar into your drain. Once you’re done, flush the drain with hot water for fifteen minutes to get rid of the vinegar smell.
Snake the Drain: Using a drain snake is a great way to break apart and remove clogs from your drain lines. To use a snake to clean your drains, insert the drain snake and remove it slowly from the affected drain. Repeat until nothing comes back up with the snake and then flush your drain with hot water for around fifteen minutes. You can purchase a drain snake at your local hardware store for approximately $15.
DIY Steps for Eliminating Drain Odor Caused by Escaping Sewer Gasses
When sewer gasses escape through drains, it is most often through the drains in your home or business that haven’t been used in a while. Underused drains, usually, lack a water barrier in the drain traps that help prevent sewer gasses from escaping into living spaces.
Unfortunately, as far as sewer gasses are concerned, the only thing you can do to help eliminate the problem is to pour water or a mineral oil down the drain. If doing so doesn’t stop the gasses from escaping, then you’ll need the help of a professional plumber. Besides dry drain traps, there are several reasons that sewer gasses might escape your drains, and none of them are particularly pleasant.
Still Have Stinky Drains? Contact Easy Flow Trenchless Sewer
Here at Easy Flow Trenchless Sewer, we employ a team of professional plumbers that are always willing to help you with any of your drain odor problems. So, if you still have stinky drains after trying one (or several) of the previously mentioned DIY tactics, then don’t hesitate to contact us for help!