Why Kitchen Sink Smells? How to Safely Get Rid of the Odor

*This post may contain affiliate links which implies that I may receive commission if you purchase through the links that I have provided (this happens at no extra cost to you). Here is my full affiliate disclosure.

why kitchen sink smellsToday, why kitchen sink smells is a question asked in many homes. You need to understand why kitchen sink smells to enable you to quickly remedy the effect.

Does your sink drain smell in your house? Does kitchen sink smell like rotten eggs? Odour under the kitchen sink? Have you wondered why kitchen sink smells yet you try to keep your kitchen clean? Your aim is to keep a fresh environment inside your kitchen area.

In the past, you might have tried to sniff around the kitchen with an aim to find the source of the odour, but since this was of less concern to you, you didn’t complete the investigation. At some point, you must have thought it was trash and then decided to toss it. Irrespective of all that you have done, the area still has an odour.

People do all forms of cleaning in their homes, but they forget some very important areas that need clean-up as well. They have never thought of doing the cleaning in some areas within the kitchen and this has seen it start developing an unpleasant smell. Why kitchen sink smells is a question that needs to be answered in this case.


Bacteria Action along the Sink Drain  

Given that you have done the cleaning in all the other areas and your kitchen sink area is still having an unpleasant smell, it is time to find out what could be the issue. It must be odour under the kitchen sink.

Of course, if the issue is around the kitchen sink, you want to understand the particular component of this sink that emits such an odour. Probably, it might be the odour under the kitchen sink. The point here is that food particles are customarily trapped in the sink system. Thus, foul smell will have to be emitted along the drain area. That is why you will wonder why drain smells in your house. Having a garbage disposal is not the surest way to avoid such smells from the kitchen sink.

Also, people think of having a sink strainer to avoid the scenario of the food particles going down the sink drain. But this again is never a sure way to avoid having food particles moving down the sink drain. The finest food particles will still go down the sink drain. Nevertheless, you are still wondering why kitchen sink smells.

Now that you are aware of the food particles moving down the drain, you are in the next phase of knowing how the smell builds up. The reality is that the debris in the sink drain allows the bacteria action around the area. Due to the bacteria action in this food debris, this leads to the evolution of a foul whiff in the kitchen sink.

Finding Out Why Kitchen Sink Smells

In some instances, it is not easy to precisely identify the source of the foul smell in the kitchen sink area. The reason is that smelly kitchen sink could have this attributable to a number of factors. I know you are focused on knowing how to cure the smelly kitchen sink.

However, this cannot just come out before you understand the possible source of that odour. Why kitchen sink smells is a question that needs to be answered based on where the smell emanates. As indicated in this post, How to Make Stinky Drains Smell Sweet Again, you have to identify the source of the stinky smell.

Probably, you have heard in the past that the kitchen sink domain is prone to emitting the foul smells due to debris that accumulates in this area. Now you have a partial response as to why kitchen sink smells. But how will you know that the smell is coming from the sink drain?

Sometimes, the unpleasant smell could be coming from under the kitchen sink. You can understand whether the smell is coming from the drain or under the sink by use of a simple method. Have a stopper at its position and fill the sink halfway. Doing this will prevent the tense evolution of gas from the sink drain. At this moment, smell around the area and find whether there is any change.

If the odour is still the same, then the reason why kitchen sink smells is not the drain. Most likely, the issue is under the kitchen sink. Having realized that the origin of the smell is under the sink, you want to understand the exact reason why kitchen sink smells.

Perhaps, it is due to a dead reptile, or dirt in the area underneath. In such situations, bacteria acts on the decaying material and this causes an odour. On the other hand, why kitchen sink smells could be attributable to the sink drain issues. If that is the case, you need to inspect the piping system and the waste line.

Sometimes, it could be due to an erroneous connection in the pipes joining the drain or carrying the sewer. Some of these pipes could have been connected a long time ago and the corrosion effect could be hitting on them. If this is the case, there will be a leak of a foul smell around the area.

Also, the garbage disposal could be the source of this foul smell. Vent pipes connecting to the disposal garbage could be draining some waste. In the case that these vent pipes are not working well, there is a possibility of draining out some unwanted waste which will spoil the fresh breath around the kitchen sink area.

Possible Sources of the Odor in the Sink Drain

If the problem why kitchen sink smells is around the drain, the issue could be due to some factors.

First, there might be a problem with the garbage disposal due to a dirt buildup that needs to be cleaned.

Second, there might be a problem in the waste line which has led to the buildup of bacteria. Bacteria actions around the areas are responsible for the foul smell.

In fact, this might be the reason why your drain is making water to flow slower than usual. The same is the reason why kitchen sink smells and you need to work around the problem.

In the most probable cases, your waste line was not installed correctly. Therefore, the p-trap might not be in a position to hold the water well which could in turn help to thwart the sewer gas from being evolved.

Inspect the P-trap to Determine Why Kitchen Sink Smells

Since you want to find out whether your p-trap might be the reason why kitchen sink smells, you will have to inspect it.

You want to cure any problem that emanates from the p-trap. You want to find out whether your p-trap can hold water tightly without any instances of spillage. To accomplish this, put a bucket under the sink directly below the p-trap.

After that, remove the nut that connects the sink waste line to the p-trap. When this is done, some water is supposed to come out of the p-trap. The significance of this water is that it helps to prevent sewer gas from coming out to the kitchen. In some cases, you might find that this water is available.

In such a case, you expect not to be having a smelly kitchen around the sink area. However, you might still be surprised to get the odour. Then you will remain worried why kitchen sink smells? Stop! If you see some bubbling or see some water being forced out of the kitchen sink drain, there is a problem.

Yes, there is a waste line vent issue. In some cases, it is possible that water is getting forced into your sink from upper apartments or home if you are located below them. If this water has nowhere to go, it will find its way to your kitchen sink area. For you to find a solution alone on such an issue, it might be problematic.

In such a case, I would advise that you seek the services of a plumber in your area. They will try to find out any problem regarding how your plumbing was done. The most probable way to solve such a problem is by installing a one-way check valve since this helps to prevent any backflows. Water coming from other apartments or homes won’t enter through the piping connected to your waste line.

Inspect the Waste line to Find out Why Kitchen Sink Smells

Since the waste line faces a lot of problems that could be why kitchen sink smells, you have to investigate it. Once you have detached the p-trap, it is very easy to inspect the waste line.

You will have to shine some light into the area to detect whether there is any amount of bacteria buildup in the waste line. If you detect any buildup, this is the reason why kitchen sink smells. You need to remove it and this can be done with the use of a variety of tools. Use a screwdriver and a rag to force the buildup out of the area. While doing this, you don’t need to wear your best clothes since it is incredibly dirty work.

How to Get Rid of Odor in the Kitchen Sink    

There are several available ways you can use to get rid of the smell in your kitchen sink. After determining why kitchen sink smells, there are various remedies to the problem.

Use of boiling water

You will need to boil some water and pour it down the sink drain. This will help to drive out some rotten foods along the sink drain. In particular, it will help to kill the bacteria that build up along the sink drain. Then this explains the reason you will need the water to be very hot to enable the killing of the bacteria.

I would suggest that you apply this trick weekly to avoid a huge buildup of bacteria along the sink drain. It is the easiest way since there are no costs involved and it is faster compared to other means. Sometimes, you can do this unplanned since it is easy to do. If you had boiled some water for tea, don’t just let the remnant to cool, just pour it down the sink drain and this will be effective if done almost daily.

Use baking soda

One thing you need to know about baking soda is that it absorbs smells with ease. Some people even use it to maintain a cool odour in their fridges. All that you need to do is to dump several spoons of baking soda down the sink.

After that, flush it with some hot water. This will make the baking soda to remove the pesky smell in the drain. Now, you can’t keep your kitchen sink drain with the foul smell. All you need to do is to repeat this procedure every week. Even when you are headed out for a trip, sprinkle some baking soda before you leave.

At the time you will make a return trip, you won’t be worried about the possibility of finding a smelly kitchen sink. Even after washing the dishes, you can decide to sprinkle some baking soda and this will be good to eliminate the possibility of smell completely.

Use vinegar, baking soda, and boiling water

You need the bubbling of baking soda and vinegar down the kitchen sink drain. This will have to be followed by boiling water. To achieve the right effect, measure a cup of baking soda followed by two cups of vinegar.

Start by pouring baking soda down the drain then let this to be followed by the two cups of vinegar. Allow some minutes for the reaction to take place and then pour some boiling water. The hot water will help to kill the bacteria while the reaction of baking soda and vinegar will help to remove any blockage in the kitchen sink drain. You can see how to unblock a kitchen sink here Unblock a Kitchen Sink Since it is also important in this regard. 

Since a lot of the work regarding getting rid of the odour in the kitchen sink involves unclogging a kitchen sink, the video below can guide you.


To sum it up, many people ask themselves why kitchen sink smells, but I am glad that today, you have got the answer and the solution to the concern. You will need to apply these simple techniques to get rid of a kitchen sink smell. Make more people understand why the kitchen sink smells by sharing this material. Your action will help many people to get rid of kitchen sink smell.

Why Kitchen Sink Smells? How to Safely Get Rid of the Odor was last modified: by