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My Kitchen Sink Smells Terrible: What Are Some Causes and Fixes?

Water flowing down a drainDo you have horrible smells coming from your kitchen sink? There are many reasons your kitchen sink smells awful, and most are easy to fix without having to call in a professional.

What Are the Major Causes of a Smelly Sink?

A buildup of soap scum, grease, food particles or rotting food can all contribute to bad odor issues in your kitchen sink. Here are some steps to take in determining the problem:

  • First, find out where the smell is coming from – is it coming from the drain or from under the sink?
  • Then, use a stopper and fill the sink with a few inches of water. Is the odor still thereafter it has had time to air out?
  • If it is, then you may need to check underneath the sink for the cause of the smell. Remove all contents from under your sink.
  • Sometimes sponges can grow bacteria, or the remains of a dead animal could cause nasty odors.

If you still haven’t found the odor, and your sink is still full of water, there are other things to check – do you have a garbage disposal or dishwasher? The water from your dishwasher is usually processed through your garbage disposal and sink waste lines. If there is a problem with any of the waste lines, or even if dirty water is sitting in the dishwasher, nasty odors can develop. Here are some things to consider:

  • Garbage disposal probably has a buildup that needs to be cleaned. Normally, food and bacteria buildup in your garbage disposal is caused by not using enough water while running the disposal. Throughout the years, food and grease build-up, no matter how well you clean and make proper use of disposal.
  • Sewer gas also can smell bad. If any of your waste lines have bad connections or are corroded, a smell can develop. If this is a problem, it might be time to bring in a professional.

What Can I Do to Take Care of the Smell?

If you have a garbage disposal, grind up some ice cubes in it. This will help clean the blades and grinding chamber. Some people also will grind up an apple. Flushing the drain lines with a bleach-and-water solution can help, as well.

What Are the Best Products on the Market for Kitchen Sink Odors?

There are drain “maintenance” products available that are biodegradable, enzyme-based solutions designed to help prevent buildup in the drains if used regularly. Many of them have a citrus odor. Cleaning your kitchen drain often will help keep the smells away.

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