How Do I Get Rid of The Smell in My Bathroom Sink Drain?

What causes the horrible smells in the bathroom sink drain? This is a common question that plagues homeowners, tenants, and landlords alike. The cause of the smell in your bathroom sink drain is just as bad as the foul odor that comes with it.

When you have a foul smell coming from the drain of your bathroom sink, it can be pretty unpleasant. You can try to do some things to get rid of the smell, but it can be tough to solve the problem unless you know what you are doing.

In this article, you will learn why your bathroom sink drain has a foul odor and how to get rid of that unpleasant smell. It’s simple to get rid of the odor when you figure out what’s causing it.

Let’s get down to business before the smell becomes unbearable.

Why Does My Sink Drain Smell?

Let’s face it. Getting a stinky sink drain is never fun. And when you’re battling to find the cause, it can be frustrating.

Whether that smell is coming from your bathroom or kitchen sink, the reasons are usually pretty the same. It could be an active issue or something that needs to be cleaned up.

Having a smelly sink drain is a prevalent problem among homeowners. Foul smells from the sink drain are no fun and can be hard to remove. The smell may start as a slight annoyance as you’re getting ready in the morning, but over time it will grow into an odor that permeates the whole house and nauseates your guest.

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Drain smells are a common household problem that can be hard to pinpoint. If your sink is making a strange smell, the first step to getting rid of it is to know the source of the smell.

Below are some reasons why your bathroom sink drain may smell:

  • Food and grease buildup: If there is a lot of food and grease buildup on the side of your drain, this can contribute to a foul odor.
  • Dirt: Dirt can block drains and create bacterial odor. Hence, you must ensure you clean your sink drain regularly.
  • Clogged drains: Clogs are another source of sink drain odors. It is caused by food, grease, and other substances held up in your drains.
  • Bacteria: The smell in your sink drain could be caused by billions of bacteria living freely in the pipes of your home. Bacteria in the sink drains produce sulfurous gas, which smells like rotten eggs when they metabolize organic materials. When these bacteria reach a certain height, they start to decompose and create waste. This waste makes up the noxious smell that makes you uncomfortable.
  • Mold or mildew: When mold or mildew starts growing in the sink or tub, the mold will expand and spread out. It will then stick to the walls of your sink and eventually the pipes. It can then make your sink drain smell very badly.

Check: How To Prevent Mold In A Bathroom Without A Window

How Do I Get Rid of The Smell in My Bathroom Sink Drain?

The bathroom is one of the most essential rooms in the house. It functions as a sanctuary for personal grooming, beauty, and health routines.

The smell in your bathroom sink drain can be caused by various reasons such as hair, soap, toothpaste, shampoo residue, and clogs, among others. In the previous section, we discussed a few reasons why your bathroom sink drain may smell. Having known this, the next thing for you to know is how to get rid of that unpleasant smell.

Below are some of the ways to get rid of the smell in your sink drain:

  • Using a Plunger: Plungers are also commonly referred to as Plumber’s snakes. If you want to get rid of the smell in your bathroom sink, you can use a plumber’s snake and an enzyme-based cleaner. This will help loosen up any smelly clogs as well as eliminate bacteria that are causing the odor.
  • Boiling water: If you suspect that your sink drain smells bad because of a clog, you should consider using hot water to clear the clog. This method is effective, especially when dealing with minor clogs. Tougher clogs may require more effort than this.
  • Cleaning the sink drain with Vinegar and Baking Soda mixture: Cleaning your sink drain with vinegar and baking soda mixture can rid you of the smell in your sink drain. Pour the baking soda first, then the vinegar, and pour some water down the drain. This leads to a chemical reaction that dissolves the clog and clears any noxious smell as it passes through it. 
  • Using a Drain Snake: A drain snake is a thin, flexible tool used to clear obstructions in pipes. The drain snake is used to unclog blockages that are too tough to be unclogged with a plunger. It is commonly referred to as a toilet jack. 
  • Using lemon juice: You probably think that lemon juice is useless for this purpose, but the fact is that lemon juice can work just fine to get rid of the smell in your sink drain. Washing the sink drain with lemon juice at least once every week helps get rid of the smell.
  • Hiring a Professional: Hiring a professional in plumbing services to help you get rid of the smell in your sink drain can be expensive. However, if you are too occupied and can’t handle it by yourself, hiring a qualified plumber might be the best option for you.

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Things To Avoid When Cleaning Your Bathroom Sink Drain

We’ve all been there before. You drop something down the sink drain, and it gets stuck, if not clogged. All of a sudden, water won’t go down, and you can’t get to it with the drain snake to clear the blockage.

So, what do you do? You grab anything within your reach and start pouring it down the drain hoping to break up whatever is clogging up.

You shouldn’t do certain things if you want to clean your sink drain properly. If you are not a plumbing expert, it may be a good idea to leave the job for a professional. If you decide to handle this job yourself, please don’t do any of these things!

Below are some things to avoid doing when cleaning your sink drain:

  • Do not pour bleach on the drain to clean it. Bleach will damage the pipes and will not fix the problem. Instead, you should use a pipe-cleaning device that you can buy at a home improvement store or online.
  • Avoid using chemical cleaners to clean your sink drain. Chemical cleaners can damage skin drains and clog them. Chemical cleaners are bad for drains. They are not compatible with the drain, and they are often responsible for creating the foul smell of your drain.
  • Avoid trying to push or pull the sink drain plug to loosen it.
  • Avoid scouring the drain. Scouring will cause all kinds of dirt and debris to stick to your sink drain, which in turn can create a strong odor. So be very careful when using a scourer, and always use warm, soapy water instead.
  • Avoid scrubbing your drain harshly. This is because too much scrubbing can make the problem even worse, which is why you want to take it easy. When cleaning your drain, be sure to do it gently.

How To Prevent The Sink Drain Smell From Happening Again?

A smelly bathroom sink drain can be annoying; it’s like some kind of gas is coming from the drain and then spreading to the rest of the bathroom. What makes it worse is that the smell lingers even after using various methods to get rid of it.

Most people don’t give their drains much thought till something terrible happens. Usually, what happens is a smelly or clogged drain. If left unchecked and unaddressed, a sink drain odor can warrant a huge number of troubles for your bathroom’s functionality.

Sink sinks can catch grease, hair, and other gross particles that come down your drain, so your sink can often become clogged over time. This can create an unpleasant smell in your sink, but there are ways to prevent this from happening and also to solve a clogged drain.

You can do several things to prevent your drain from ever smelling like it does right now. The last thing you want is to be thinking about what to do next after noticing a foul smell when the drain is already clogged.

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There are several options available for homeowners looking to avoid a sink drain odor. Some of them are:

  • Preventive Maintenance of the sink drain
  • Cleaning your sink drain regularly
  • Unclogging your drain
  • Covering up the drain with a stopper


This article has extensively discussed how to get rid of your bathroom sink drain smell and took you through cleaning and maintaining your sink drain. Do you have any further questions? We’d love to hear from you via the comment section below.

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