One of the most common plumbing problems we hear about is having to deal with odors coming from household drains. Even when your kitchen or bathroom looks spotless, annoying foul odors can undo all that hard work by giving the impression that the area is still dirty. To help you out, here are 6 tips to keep those pesky odors at bay and your drains smelling fresh and clean.

1. Lemon Peels and Salt

Most foul odors coming from your kitchen sink are usually related to the cleanliness of the garbage disposal. It’s easy for grease or food particles to become lodged in the blades, which then creates smells that can linger for days. One quick way to eliminate these odors is to cover lemon peels with coarse kosher salt. Then run your hot water, throw in the lemon peels, and let your garbage disposal grind them up. The salt works to scrub the blades, while the lemon peels add acidity to help break down the buildup. As an added bonus, the oils released by the lemon peels add a refreshing citrus scent!

2. Vinegar and Baking Soda

The acidity of white vinegar and the odor absorbency of baking soda make a perfect combination when trying to get rid of drain odors. Combine 1 cup of baking soda and 2 cups of vinegar and mix well. Pour the mixture down the drain and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Note: it will most likely bubble up through the drain. After some time has passed, run the hot water for a few minutes to flush away the buildup.

3. Hot Water

Just simple hot water can often make a big difference when it comes to mild drain odors. The heat kills lingering bacteria that can cause foul smells to creep up from the pipes, while the water flushes out any debris. This is also something you can do anytime to prevent odors from coming back. Whenever you boil water but don’t use all of it, pour the remainder down the drain rather than just allowing it to cool. This will help to keep your sink fresh and free of odor-causing bacteria.

4. Hot Water and Dish Soap

Dish soap is excellent at clearing out stinky grease from a garbage disposal. Start by putting a stopper in the sink and filling the basin with very hot water. Add some dish soap to the water and gently mix. Then turn on your garbage disposal and unplug the drain so the soapy hot water can run through the disposal. This will flush out a lot of grease and food particles that have been lingering on the blades and pipes. Be careful not to add too much dish soap as the mixture will bubble up through the drain as it runs through the disposal.

5. Ice Cubes with Lemon

Ice cubes can help dislodge gunk and food from garbage disposal blades because they remain in the disposal until they are ground up rather than being rinsed down immediately. Add in some lemon and you get a perfect odor-killing combination! Simply cut up some lemon wedges and add to an ice tray. Cover the lemon wedges with water and freeze. Whenever you’re dealing with drain odors, just drop one into the kitchen sink and run your disposal with warm water.

6. Essential Oils

Essential oils are a great way to mask strong odors coming from your drain, although you’ll want to try one of the above tricks to get rid of whatever is causing the odors first. Once you clear the garbage disposal and pipes, try adding a few drops of your favorite essential oils into the drain to create a pleasant aroma without having to spray heavy air fresheners. Some essentials oils that work best for stinky sinks are eucalyptus, peppermint, lemon or other citrus peel, and tea tree oil.

Odors still lingering after trying these tricks? There could be something more serious going on with your garbage disposal or pipes that will need to be repaired by a professional. The trained technicians at Larkin Plumbing in Las Vegas have decades of experience and are ready to help you with all your plumbing needs. If you’re tired of those drain odors that just won’t go away, give us a call to schedule a free evaluation and we’ll get to the bottom of it.