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How to Get Rid Of Nasty Kitchen Sink Smells

How to Get Rid Of Nasty Kitchen Sink Smells - Proline Range Hoods

Is your kitchen starting to smell? Your sink drain might be the culprit. Food can get stuck in the drain and start to stink up the whole kitchen!

Luckily, dealing with these pesky smells is not hard. We’ll show you 12 easy ways you can eliminate nasty kitchen sink smells.

And if none of these options solve the odor problem, scroll to the end. We’ll give you some advice on the next steps to take so your kitchen can smell fresh again.

Before pouring anything down your sink drain...

Scrub the black flaps on your sink drain with a scrub brush or sponge.

As you use your sink, the black flaps on the drain will accumulate food. Chances are high this part of your sink hasn’t been cleaned in a while. So it doesn’t hurt to grab a sponge, some dish soap, and give it a quick scrub.

Clean your sink.

The outside of your sink can also gather food debris over time. Any dishes that you wash or food that you dump down the drain may contribute to the strong unpleasant odor. Soak your sink in some hot water and soap and give it a good scrubbing. I like to use Scrubbing Bubbles or Comet but exercise caution. These products contain bleach so they are not for use on stainless steel surfaces.

Check out Scrubbing Bubbles on Amazon here or Comet at this link.

For undermount sinks, clean the seam where your sink attaches to your countertop. Take a look at the video below for more information.

Remove food debris and other obstructions from the garbage disposal.

You could also have food particles stuck down in the garbage disposal (see also 'How To Install A Garbage Disposal'). Start by removing any large food debris. CAUTION: Unplug the garbage disposal before you put your hand down inside the sink. If your disposal has no plug, flip the breaker connected to your disposal before removing any food particles. DO NOT put your hand down the drain otherwise.

Your breaker box is probably downstairs. It might take some trial and error to find out which breaker is connected to the garbage disposal (see also 'How To Install A Garbage Disposal (The Easy Way)').

After you’ve cleaned up your sink a bit, if the smell persists, try the simple solutions below.

Simple Solutions to Kitchen Sink Odor

Hot water

An easy solution to break up some of the food particles in your sink is to use hot water. Boil a medium-size pot of hot water and pour it down your sink. This is easily repeatable. You can just boil a second pot of water and dump it down your drain if needed.

Exercise caution when pouring boiling water down your drain. You should not use boiling water if you have a PVC duct. It will wear down the plastic which may need repair over time. It’s a major headache if your PVC duct gets damaged.

Porcelain sinks may crack if boiling water comes into contact with its surface. So just be extra careful when pouring it into your sink drain.

Baking soda

Sometimes all it takes is one tablespoon of baking soda. Just turn on your water and pour one tablespoon of baking soda down the drain. To keep your sink smelling fresh, do this once a week.


Borax, or sodium borate, is a common household cleaner used on floors, in dishwashers, and other surfaces or appliances.

Ok, it’s not as common as baking soda. But if you have some lying around your house, you can use it to eliminate kitchen sink odor.

Just turn on the water in your sink and pour three to four tablespoons down the drain. That’s it!

Half a lemon or orange

Citrus fruits are a great way to deodorize your kitchen sink. Turn your water on. Then slice a lemon in half and toss it down your garbage disposal. Then turn on the garbage disposal for a few seconds while the water is running. This will help clean the sides of the disposal and hopefully your kitchen will smell clean and fresh.

You can also use a quarter of an orange or half of a small orange. Any citrus fruit will work well. Just don’t shove a full fruit down the drain because you could ruin your garbage disposal!

If those odor-eliminating solutions don’t work, try...

Hot water and dish soap

  1. Place a stopper in the sink.
  2. Put a few squirts of dish soap into your sink.
  3. Fill the sink about halfway with hot water.
  4. Remove the stopper and turn on your garbage disposal.
  5. When the water gets low, turn off the garbage disposal.

The hot water and soap should flush your garbage disposal of food debris and eliminate all kitchen sink odors. The best part is you only need hot water and dish soap for this solution. Anyone can use it!

Hot water, baking soda, and vinegar

  1. Boil a medium-size pot of hot water.
  2. Prepare one cup of baking soda and two cups of vinegar.
  3. Pour the water down your drain, then the baking soda and vinegar.
  4. Plug your drain and let the combo work its magic for a few minutes.
  5. After the bubbling has finished, pour a few cups of hot water into the drain to flush it.

Ice cubes, salt, and half a lemon

This combination will help break down the food on your garbage disposal blades. All you need to do is pour one to two cups of ice cubes down the garbage disposal along with a tablespoon of salt. Run your garbage disposal to clean it thoroughly. Then, drop half a lemon down the disposal to ensure it smells fresh for months!

Borax, ice cubes, and half a lemon

If Borax alone doesn’t tackle the nasty sink odors, combine it with ice cubes and lemon peels. Start by pouring three tablespoons of Borax and two cups of ice cubes down the drain. Then drop half a lemon down the disposal.

Squeeze a few drops of essential oil down your garbage disposal for a pleasant scent.

You can squeeze a few drops of essential oil down the drain after using any of the above techniques to tackle kitchen sink smells. This will give your sink a pleasant smell. Popular essential oils include lemon, lavender, and peppermint.

If all else fails…

If your sink still smells after trying these techniques, the problem is likely not rotten food. If you smell sewage, there could be blocked sewer lines. Clogged drains, especially in multiple areas of your home, are a cause for concern too. Call a plumber to investigate the problem.

Other things could clog your kitchen sink, like grease or soap scum, but these techniques should break up that gunk.

That’s all for our article on how to eliminate pesky sink odors. Most people should have some of the cleaning supplies used in this article lying around the house. Cleaning your sink drain should only take a few minutes. It’s not the most fun, but you’ll be glad when you’re done. Good luck!

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