Smelly Drains: Tips and Methods to Get Rid of Smelly Bathroom Drains

Imagine you enter the bathroom thinking of taking a shower to relax after a long and tiring day at work. However, you are welcomed by a strong and foul smell in your bathroom. If you are feeling strong bad smells coming from your bathroom, then there is a possibility that this smell could be coming from the drains of your bathroom.

Smelly drains are a common issue in households. However, this issue can be caused by foul smells in your house. Even if you are a very careful and clean freak homeowner, even then you cannot prevent the clogs in the drains of your house. These clogs eventually cause bad smells. Grease, soap, oil, etc going down the drains can cause clogs and smell. It is suggested that you should handle the drain smell as soon as possible. Do not wait till the matter gets worse.

Bathroom drains are often overlooked during the daily cleaning routine. This becomes the major cause of clogs and smelly drains. However, it is essential to clean the bathroom drains just like the kitchen drains in order to prevent smell, bacterial growth, and clogs etc.

Read Also: How to Unclog a Drain Using Baking Soda

What causes smelly drains in bathroom?

Many things are happening inside your bathroom drains, especially the sink and shower drain. These two drains develop smell and scum with the passage of time. Some of the most common causes of smelly drains are described below.

1- Sewer Gases

A u-shaped pipe under your bathroom sink is called a p-trap. This p-trap is filled with water all the time. If it gets dry due to some fault or reason, the sewer gases make their way towards the trap into your bathroom. These sewer gases not only cause a smell in your bathroom but they are also unhealthy.

2- Bacteria

There are a number of different things that are going inside the bathroom drains. Soap, grease or hair, etc can form scum inside the drains. This scum will eventually give birth to bacteria and foul smells.

3- Blockage of Vents

The plumbing system of your bathroom is designed in a way that it contains vents. These vents are placed to let the sewer gases escape out of the pipes instead of making their way inside your bathroom. If any of these vents get blocked, the gases will start coming into your bathroom instead of going outside. This will become a reason for bad odors inside the bathroom.

Methods to Get Rid of Smelly Drains

We can understand that smelly drains can be a source of great nuisance. We are listing some methods that you can use to get rid of smelly bathroom drains.

1- Boiling Water

However this method is very old and nearly everyone knows about it, but it is very effective. Sometimes simply flushing down hot boiling water into the bathroom drain is all your drain needs. Boiling water is powerful enough to flush away the gunk inside the drains that can be causing the smell. Follow the given steps.

  • Take a pot and fill it with water.
  • Put it on the stove and let it boil till it reaches the boiling point.
  • Pour down half a pot of boiling water into the drain.
  • Wait for a few minutes to let the hot water do its work.
  • After that pour down some cold water to see if it flushes down normally.
  • Again pour the remaining boiling water to rinse away any remaining gunk or scum inside the drains.

2- White Vinegar

This is also a very effective and widely used method to get rid of smelly and clogged drains. Vinegar has always proved to be effective when it comes to cleaning and refreshing drains and pipes. Vinegar has acetic acid which is very helpful in reducing the effect of the odor. This acid has also got properties to cut down grease and it has to disinfect features as well. Follow the given steps.

  • Heat 4 cups of white vinegar in a pan.
  • When the vinegar starts boiling, turn off the flame.
  • Pour down half the vinegar into the drain.
  • After pouring down the vinegar, pour water into the drain and let the water run down the drain for about 60 seconds.
  • Repeat the process with the remaining half vinegar.

3- Baking Soda with Salt

Baking soda is a simple element that is available in nearly every kitchen. However, it is a magical thing for clogged and smelly drains. Baking soda is very helpful in getting rid of smelly and clogged drains. Follow the given steps to perform this method.

  • Pour 1 cup of baking soda into the drain.
  • Pour ½ cup of salt after pouring down the baking soda into the drain.
  • Now leave this mixture of salt and baking soda to rest inside the drains for 8-10 hours (preferably overnight).
  • The next morning, boil some water in a pot.
  • Pour down boiling water into the drain over the baking soda and salt mixture.
  • Baking soda and salt mixture will work overnight to cut down grease, gunk, and scum inside the drain.
  • Boiling water will flush down all the debris and leave the drain fresh, clean, and odor free.

4- Baking Soda and Lemon Juice

Baking soda when mixed with lemon becomes double effective to remove the grease, smell, and clogs from your drains. Lemon has citric acid which is very effective to remove bad smells. Baking soda and lemon mixture react to form a foamy solution that can help to remove clogs and bad smells from your bathroom drains. Steps are given below to implement this method.

  • Pour ½ cup baking soda into the drain.
  • Pour half a cup of lemon juice down the drain.
  • Cover the drain.
  •  Let the baking soda and lemon mixture rest inside the drain for an hour.
  • After one hour, pour down hot water into the drain.
  • Let the running hot water pour down the drain for some time to flush away the gunk and scum inside the drain.

Final Words

Smelly drains are no doubt very disturbing and irritating. They destroy the environment of your bathroom. Try any one of the above methods to get rid of smelly drains in your bathroom.


Can I put bleach down the drain?

Toxic gas is released when bleach and cleaning fluids are mixed together, as a result of the chemical reaction. It is important to remember that bleach and other cleaning agents can contaminate the air in your home if they are poured down the sink drain and mixed together in your plumbing system.

Is Vinegar Safe For My Plumbing?

You will have no problems with your pipes if you use vinegar in small doses, as is recommended in many recipes found on the Internet. You can use any pipe material you like, whether it is pex, pvc, copper, etc. Your pipes won’t be harmed by vinegar.

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Sarah Michelle is a passionate writer and digital strategist interested in the evolving landscape of online content and user experience. Having closely followed the developments in digital marketing and search algorithms, Sarah brings a unique blend of insights into the marketing world and is committed to helping both creators and consumers navigate the digital realm with confidence.

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