So, what gives? Why do your drains stink and what can you do about it?
First of all, don’t panic. If you have stinky drains, then all is not lost. There are several things you can do, on your own, to eliminate your drain odor problems quickly and efficiently. But first, we should probably tell you what causes your drain odor problems in the first place. So, without further ado, let’s get into it!
What Causes Your Drains To Smell Bad?
In most cases, drain odor stems from drain clogs and the odor-causing bacteria they harbor. In addition to providing odor-causing bacteria with a bountiful breeding environment, the clogs themselves can smell bad. However, clogs and their bacteria buddies are not the only two sources of unpleasant drain odor. Other culprits behind your stinky drains may include:
- Escaping Sewer Gasses: As sewage decomposes, it releases noxious fumes and gases. These gases are unpleasant and smell like, well, old sewage. Sewer gases can permeate through your drains when there are empty drain traps. Usually, sewer smells occur in drains that are not regularly used.
- Mold and Mildew: Mold and mildew smell awful and are directly attributed to the existence of mold or mildew in or around your drains. Usually, mold and mildew smells occur in drains when there is a leak in the drain or pipes that connect to it.
- Plumbing Mistake: Plumbers, like everyone else, aren’t perfect. Sometimes they make mistakes. Simple errors — like forgetting to install drain traps or sewage vents — can cause severe drain odors.
DIY SOlutions for Clog-Based Sinky Drains
If you know, for a fact, that your drain odor problems are due to a drain clog, then you have a few options for solutions. Let’s break them down in some detail:
- Try Bleach: Since bleach kills most odor-causing bacteria, it is an ideal chemical for curing your stinky drain problem. To use bleach to clear up a stinky drain, fill the sink attached to the drain with hot water. Then, once the sink is full, add about a cup of bleach to the sink and let all the water drain. Repeat the process as many times as necessary to eliminate the smell.
- Boiling Water May Do The Trick: First of all, be careful using boiling water to kill drain smells. You can burn yourself, and using too much can damage your plumbing. However, if you choose to use boiling water, you can safely do so by pouring a little bit (like less than half a cup) down the drain at a time. Don’t use more than a gallon of boiling water during the process.
- Good Old Vinegar and Baking Soda: Vinegar and baking soda can do wonders for a smelly drain. To use them to clean your drains, simply pour a generous helping of dry baking soda down the affected drain line. Then, slowly pour vinegar down the drain until it has reacted with all of the baking soda. You’ll know you’re done when you don’t hear or see any more bubbles when you pour in more vinegar.
- Snake the Drain: While snaking your drain will do nothing to help kill odor-causing bacteria, the process is excellent at breaking apart and removing clogs. You can purchase a drain snake at your local hardware store for around $15. To use a drain snake to eliminate drain odor, insert the snake into the drain and jiggle it around. Then slowly remove the snake from the drain to pull up the clog. Repeat until the snake comes back up clean, and your drain odor problems are eradicated.
DIY Solutions for Sewer Gas-Related Drain Odor
If you have sewer gas-related drain odor, then your only two DIY solutions are to use either water or mineral oil. Since sewer gasses escape from unused and dry drains, simply pouring a little water or mineral oil down the drain may help block the escaping gasses. If mineral oil and water are not enough to eliminate escaping sewer gasses, then you’ll need to contact our team of plumbing professionals for assistance. There are several reasons sewer gasses may escape from your drains, and none of them are good.
If All Else Fails, Contact GR Sewer + Drain for Help
Here at GR Sewer + Drain, we pride ourselves on being drainage and sewer system experts. So, if you still have stinky drains after trying some of the previously mentioned DIY procedures, then don’t hesitate to give us a call. We’re always standing by to help eliminate your smelly drain problems.