Why Does My Bathroom Sink Smell

Living in a bustling family home with a well used bathroom can often conjure up a few interesting smells. Fortunately, a sink that smells like rotten eggs can be easy to resolve. Here are a few simple tips to show you how this can be done. 

Why does my sink smell?

A smelly sink is usually caused by bacteria buildup from grease, fat, and food flushed down the drain. These will then get stuck in the pipes causing the familiar rotten egg smell. In bathrooms, a smelly sink can often be caused by stray hairs lodged in soap scum that starts to line the drain.

How to stop your sink drain from smelling

To stop your sink from stinking, remove any obstructions producing the odor. The ways we recommend for cleaning the drain and getting rid of that horrible rotten egg smell are listed below.

  • Using boiling water
  • Using a plunger
  • Using white vinegar
  • Using caustic soda
  • Checking the U-bend

Using boiling water

Boil the kettle, then pour some boiling hot water down the drain. Wait for five minutes, then pour an equal amount of cold water down. This should force any remaining grease to congeal and clear the blockage and the smell.

Using a plunger

A plunger may also be used to unclog a stinky drain. Insert the plunger cup over the basin drain and rapidly pump up and down for at least a minute to clear any minor obstructions. Finally, flush with hot water to eliminate any excess congealed buildup. Keep your plunger on hand, just in case!


Using white vinegar

Another simple way to clear your sink drain is with a small amount of white vinegar. Pour a cup of white vinegar down the drain, let it stand for 30 minutes, then rinse with hot water.

Using caustic soda

Caustic Soda (Sodium Hydroxide) is also very effective for unblocking sinks and plug holes. This substance has fantastic degreasing properties meaning it can break down grease and fat, the most common cause of a blocked drain. To unblock a sink using Caustic Soda, we recommend using a solution of around 10%. To create a 10% solution of Caustic Soda, dissolve 100g of (Caustic Sosa) Sodium Hydroxide crystals into 1 liter of water.

Pour the 10% solution down the drain and let it work; it is recommended to leave caustic Soda to work its magic for around half an hour to break down any deposits in the sink. When 5 minutes have passed, slowly run some water into the sink, increasing the water pressure. If it isn’t clear, repeat the process of creating a solution and pouring it down the sink until the drain appears clear.

Caustic Soda can also effectively unblock plug holes, outdoor drains, and toilets. Caustic Soda is a dangerous material that may irritate the sink and eyes after close contact. If you use this procedure, wear gloves and eye protection to avoid injury, or try another way if you’re concerned about the hazards.

Check the U-bend

If these methods do not resolve the issue, there may be a blockage in the U-Bend of your sink. U-bend traps, or waste pipes, are found underneath the plug hole of bathroom basins and baths. A U-Bend waste tube is usually filled with water to prevent drain odors from escaping. The easiest way to clear an obstructed U-Bend is to remove any blockages.

This can be done by carefully removing the u-bend pipe using a wrench and emptying the water. Any remaining residue can be easily swept away with a wire brush and a flush of warm water.


How to prevent your sink smelling

Dom Lees-Bell, a bathroom expert at Drench, advises, To avoid a blocked sink, the rule of thumb is to be careful as to what you put down your drain and take regular action to clear any deposits that might form. Ensure that you don’t pour grease down your drain, and we recommend opting for waste with hair-catching properties to prevent hair, soap scum, and other solids from making their way into the drain.

Using the procedures outlined above once or twice a week should keep your home’s drains free of filthy residue that may thicken and emit an unpleasant odor. If a stinky drain is a recurring problem, it may be worth obtaining expert guidance from a plumber since it might be caused by an exterior problem rather than an internal one.

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