JUL 26, 2018

If you notice a stinky smell in your house, the first thing you should do is identify where the smell is coming from. If you identify the smell is coming from drains such as your bathroom sink, shower, kitchen sink or garbage disposal there are some simple steps you can take to fix it yourself.


A potential cause may be a dry P-trap. The P-trap is the U-shaped drain pipe under the sink that traps water to keep sewage gases from creeping back through the pipes into your house. Another possible cause of a stinky drain could be bits of debris left behind and bacteria buildup. Garbage disposals chop up food and wash away the crumbs, however, some pieces are left behind and cause bacteria buildup in your drain creating a very foul smell. A third possible reason for having a smelly drain is from mold growing inside.

To be able to identify the problem, you can do so by identifying the type of stinky smell. If your p-trap is dry or there is bacteria buildup, there will be a rotten egg smell. If there is mold growing inside your drains, you will notice a musty smell coming from the drain.


Fixing smelly drains can be quite simple and can be done with items in your house.

If you suspect you have a dry P-trap, first you should shine a flashlight down the drain. If you see water at the bottom, you do not have a dry P-trap and you should contact a professional. If the P-trap is dry, pour a couple cups of water down the drain and wait an hour. If the water is still there, you no longer have a dry P-trap. If the water is gone after an hour, you need to get the drain repaired. If the drain is not used often, pour about 4 oz of mineral or cooking oil down the drain. This causes evaporation to slow and keeps water in the drain longer.

If you suspect bacteria buildup in a garbage disposal, the first step is to pour a cup of baking soda and a cup of white vinegar down the disposal. Let the mixture bubble for up to 10 minutes. Then boil a pot of hot water and pour the water down the drain to flush out the baking soda and vinegar. Next, fill the drain with 2 cups of ice and one cup of salt. Turn on the cold water and run the garbage disposal until all of the ice is gone. This process removes any gunk off of the blades causing the kitchen sink smell.

If there is a musty smell coming from a drain, you need to get rid of the mold growing inside to remove the smell. First, mix equal parts baking soda and water to create a paste. Use a toothbrush to apply the paste over the drain. Wait about 10 minutes, then use the toothbrush to scrub the entire drain thoroughly. Repeat this process as many times as needed to loosen all the mold around or under the drain. Next, boil 10 quarts of water, wait for it to cool, and slowly pour it down the drain. If you have PVC piping, boiling water (212 degrees Fahrenheit) can damage it. Water that is 140-150 degrees should be hot enough to kill the mold. Lastly you should slowly pour a cup of vinegar down the drain and then pour half a cup of baking soda.

If these solutions do not fix the smelly drain, call your local Comfort Hero at Donley Service Center. Other reasons to call a professional are for sewage backups or if you do not have a P-trap.