You just walked into your kitchen or bathroom only to discover an unidentifiable (and horrible) smell. If you can’t find the odor source, it is most likely a drain odor. That’s right. Drains can smell bad.
If your drains smell foul, don’t fret. There are several different DIY steps to rid your home of drain odor. However, before we get into the specific ways to eliminate smelly drains, we should first discuss just what causes them in the first place. After all, the better you understand your enemy, the better off you’ll be when it comes time to face them. So, without further ado, let’s get started.
What Causes Drain Odor in the First Place?
The most common source of foul-smelling drains are clogs and odor-causing bacteria. To make things even worse, the best breeding ground for odor-causing bacteria is the smelly clogs themselves. The two primary sources of drain odor feed each other like some twisted ouroboros of stink. However, bacteria and clogs aren’t the only sources of foul-smelling drains. Some other familiar sources of drain odor include:
- Sewage As sewage decomposes, it releases noxious fumes and gases. These gases are unpleasant and smell like old sewage. Sewer gases can permeate through your drains when there are empty drain traps. Usually, sewer smells occur in irregularly used drains.
- Mold and Mildew Mold and mildew smells are directly attributed to the existence of mold or mildew near your drains. Usually, mold and mildew smell occur in drains when a leak in the gutter or pipes connect to it.
- Plumber Error Plumbers, like everyone else, aren’t perfect. Sometimes they make mistakes. Simple errors — like forgetting to install drain traps or sewage vents — can cause severe drain odors.
How to Get Rid of Smelly Drains on Your Own
One obvious and easy solution to drain odor is to contact us at Pann Home Services & Remodeling. However, taking care of drain odor is entirely doable for almost every home and business owner. Moreover, taking care of your drain odor problems means you don’t have to wait for us to get to your place to free yourself from the stink.
Some wildly successful DIY drain odor reduction procedures include:
- Pour Some Bleach in It: Bleach, like other disinfectants, kills almost every species of odor-causing bacteria commonly found in drains and sewer lines. So, an easy DIY step to reduce drain odor is to use bleach. To use bleach to clean your drain, fill the sink with hot water, and add a cup of bleach. Then let the sink and the bleach drain. Repeat until the odor is gone.
- Use Boiling Water: Another easy DIY step to reduce drain smells is to pour boiling water down the smelly drain. If you decide to use boiling water, please be careful and do so a little bit at a time. Then, repeat the process until your drains smell like new.
- Try Some Vinegar and Baking Soda: Using vinegar and baking soda is Yet another thing you can do on your own to solve your smelly drain problem. To do so, pour a little dry baking soda into the affected drain. Then, slowly add vinegar until all the baking soda reacts. Keep running small amounts of vinegar into the drain until you don’t hear any bubbling and your drains smell fresh and clean.
- Use a Drain Snake: A drain snake is a plumbing tool that helps break up and remove clogs from obstructed drains. Since the clogs themselves are often the culprit behind your drain odor problems, removing them should help reduce the odor.
- Pour Some Mineral Oil in There: First of all, don’t pour mineral oil into your house’s smelly drains. That can cause a clog. However, mineral oil is a significant barrier between your nose and the sewer gasses that can escape from empty drain lines for drains that don’t see much use. So, if you have a relatively new drain in your home or business that has started to stink, try pouring a little mineral oil down the trap to see if it clears up the problem.