How to freshen a smelly sink

  • By: Bee
  • Date: May 6, 2022
  • Time to read: 3 min.

Have you ever entered the kitchen and been met by an unpleasant smell coming from your sink? Cooking or preparing food while the aroma is hanging in the air is an unwelcome distraction. There are several ways you can eliminate those nasty smells.

It is also a good idea to determine what initially caused the stink in the sink. That way, you could avoid running into the same problem in the future.

Smelly Sink Causes

It’s all good and well, eliminating the current smell coming from your sink. But unless you get to the bottom of why it occurred in the first place, you will likely encounter the same issues later on.

The most common cause of smelly sinks is a build-up of food or debris in the sink’s drainpipe. How many times have you used to finger to break up food remnants sitting in the plughole of your sink and helped it along its way with a blast of water from the tap? 

The majority of the food will disperse along with the water. Unfortunately, some of it may cling to the sides of the pipe or lodge itself in the U-bend. The longer the food sits there, the likelihood of bacteria causing it to decay increases. Resulting in an unpleasant stench.

The whiff coming from your sink may also result from smells coming up the pipes from the sewer. This can happen when no water is in the U-bend due to a leak or evaporation. This will allow gases from the sewers to drift up the pipes and into the sink.

Eliminating the Nasty Smells From Your Sink

Once you have determined the cause of the nasty smells, you can begin to freshen it up, allowing you to carry on cooking in a kitchen free of foul odors. You can put the yellow pages aside and keep your money safely in your pocket. Using these methods means you won’t be needing a plumber.

Boiling Water

The most straightforward way of ridding your sink of nasty smells is to tip boiling water down the plughole. Make sure you put it slowly and a bit at a time to avoid splashing yourself. 

Once you’ve finished with the water, wait five to ten minutes before turning on the cold-water tap. The blast of cold water will hopefully force any remaining food remnants and grease to flush away.

A Natural Cleaning Marvel

White vinegar. This natural, non-toxic bacteria-killing machine can be used for numerous jobs around the house-including freshening up smelly sinks. Typically, when using the liquid to clean surfaces around the house, you’d mix it with five parts water. In this instance, there is no need.

Simply tip a small amount of vinegar down the sink and wait thirty minutes. Once the time has elapsed, pour hot water down the plughole. That’s it. The vinegar should have done the trick while the water helps flush away what remains.

Twice the Power

White vinegar is a powerful tool in the fight against certain bacteria and viruses. Used alongside baking soda, it becomes an even more powerful weapon in your cleaning arsenal.

Baking soda’s effectiveness is due to its ability to dissolve dirt and grease when used in conjunction with certain other liquids such as white vinegar.

Using the combination of vinegar and baking soda to clean your sink couldn’t be simpler. Measure one cup of baking soda and vinegar and pour the powder, followed by the vinegar, down the sink and wait a few hours before flushing the solution away with boiling water.

Some people choose to wait fifteen minutes or so before dispersing the vinegar down the sink. You can try both methods to see what suits your circumstances best.

Coarse Salt

Sea salt and kosher salt grains are larger than regular table salt, making them ideal abrasion tools. Their abrasive capabilities help remove food and debris that cling onto the inside of pipes. 

Measure around half a cup of course salt and mix with boiling water. Pour the solution down the sink and leave it-voila! The liquid mix should have dispersed any unwanted food or debris causing those unpleasant stenches.


All the above methods work. Which one you choose to use will be determined by the severity of your problem. You’ll likely need to carry out one or more of the procedures more than once as you’re never going to avoid food going down your sink entirely.

Previous Post

What causes dust and how to reduce it

Next Post

How to clean a tiled floor