How To Get Rid of Bad Smell Under Kitchen Sink?

Think about your kitchen sink. It’s where you wash dishes and cook delicious meals. But sometimes, a bad smell can come from it, and that’s not nice at all.

Imagine trying to make dinner with a yucky smell in the air. It’s not fun, right? If you’re wondering why your kitchen sink smells bad, you’re in the right place.

Bad smells in the sink happen when tiny bits of food, grease, and other icky stuff get stuck in the pipes. After a while, these leftovers can make your sink stink. But don’t worry, here are some easy ways to get rid of the bad smell under the kitchen sink and make your kitchen sink smell fresh and clean again. So, let’s say goodbye to that stinky sink and hello to a kitchen that smells nice and clean.

What Causes Bad Smell Under Kitchen Sink?

A foul odor emanating from beneath the kitchen sink can be quite bothersome. Understanding the root causes of these unpleasant smells under the kitchen sink is essential for effective troubleshooting. Here are 7 common reasons behind the bad odor in your kitchen sink drain.

Food Debris In The Sink Pipe

This is the main reason for the sink smell. Whenever we wash dishes the food debris goes into the sink but sometimes food debris sticks on the side of the sink pipe. Slowly with time, bacteria decay, and the end result, is sink smells.

Over time food debris on the sink pipes becomes hardened and other food wastes stick on them creating a thick layer of debris that causes blockage in the drain and smells like a rotten egg.

Food Debris In The Sink Pipe

Excess of Bacteria

In the sink drain pipe, bacteria are found. Bacteria are normal in the sink drain and doesn’t cause any problem when they are in the limit.

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However, when the quantity of bacteria surpasses acceptable levels or the wrong types accumulate, they emit foul odors reminiscent of a sewer. Even with regular cleaning, bacteria can flourish within the sink pipe.

bad smell under kitchen sink due to excess of bacteria

Garbage Disposal

Garbage disposal is placed under the sink and collects solid food and then it chops food into small pieces. For proper working garbage disposal needs water. if water is less in the garbage disposal then it won’t remove all the food from it and result in a bad smell from the sink.

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There are several factors for garbage disposal not working properly. The garbage disposal is old and needs replacement. You are dumping food more than its capacity. It is not getting enough water to clear waste inside it.

bad smell under kitchen sink

Clogged Vent

The clogged vent is another reason of kitchen sink and faucet smell dirty. Dirty water and waste come out through the vent but when the vent is clogged then it won’t drain properly.

The vent also helps fresh air to come inside the drain so water smoothly moves into the pipes. When the vent is clogged water and air won’t rotate properly and it is trapped inside the pipes. Trapped gas causes sink smell problems.

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clogged vent in the kitchen sink


In some areas, water contains sulfate more than required. Excess sulfate is not good for health and washing work. It damages clothes and the shine of utensils fades due to sulfate.

Sulfate creates a layer of minerals on the sink pipe and with time hole in the pipe through which water passes becomes narrow. So, all debris won’t come out and stick inside the pipe and produce a smell like rotten eggs from the sink.

Grease in Drain

Some people use grease to remove stuck debris from the sink but it is not a good idea. When grease and oil come into contact with each other, they gradually decompose and create the smell of a rotten egg. Grease can also create blockage in the sink pipe.

Left Over Drain

If you are buying an old house then its drain pipe has been not used for a while. In the sink, there is a trap. The trap is used to block swear water and smell from getting inside the kitchen.

If the drain is not in use then its trap won’t work properly and it will let enter swear smell into the kitchen.

bad smell under kitchen sink

How To Get Rid of Bad Smell Under Kitchen Sink?

How To Get Rid of Bad Smell Under Kitchen Sink?

Use Baking Soda With Vinegar and Hot Water

This method is widely known for effectively eliminating sink odors. It’s a tried-and-true approach that consistently yields excellent results in clearing sluggish and grimy kitchen sink drains.

Here’s what you’ll need: one cup of baking soda and two cups of vinegar. Follow these simple steps:

  1. Combine the baking soda and vinegar, pouring them directly into the sink.
  2. Allow the mixture to sit for a brief period. You’ll notice bubbling as the baking soda and vinegar react.
  3. While the reaction occurs, heat some water. After approximately 15 minutes, carefully pour the hot water down the drain.

The combination of vinegar and soda will dislodge and remove debris from the sink pipe, while the hot water will thoroughly clean the pipe, ensuring no more unpleasant odors emanating from your sink.

baking soda and vinegar

Use Ice, Salt, and Lemon Pills

If you have a garbage disposal beneath your kitchen sink, this odor-eradicating method can be especially effective. Here’s a simple step-by-step guide:

  1. Start by switching off the garbage disposal unit.
  2. Grab some common salt and a handful of ice cubes, and carefully place them inside the disposal.
  3. Turn on the disposal. As it operates, the ice cubes and salt will circulate, effectively cleaning the disposal blades and dislodging sticky food residues.
  4. After a few minutes, introduce some lemon peels into the disposal. This will not only enhance the freshness but also eliminate any lingering odors from the sink.
get rid of bad smell under kitchen sink

Use Baking Soda, Lemon Juice, and Boiling Water

Here’s another effective method to combat sink odors, utilizing the power of baking soda and lemon juice. Lemon juice, like vinegar, interacts with baking soda to create a bubbling reaction.

Though slightly more expensive than using vinegar, lemon juice adds a pleasant aroma to the process.

  1. Begin by extracting fresh lemon juice.
  2. Combine one cup of baking soda with one cup of lemon juice, then pour this mixture into the sink.
  3. Allow it to sit for a few minutes, allowing the lemon juice and baking soda to interact effectively.
  4. After approximately 15 minutes, carefully pour hot water down the sink.

By using lemon juice instead of vinegar, you’ll not only tackle the odor but also leave your sink smelling much more pleasant.

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Use Hot Water and Soap

This method is particularly effective for sinks with mild odors, and it’s even suitable for new sinks that may have a faint odor.

Fill the sink with hot water. Add a generous amount of soap to the hot water and stir until you see bubbles forming. Once the mixture is well combined, open the sink drain to allow all the soapy water to flow through the sink pipe.

For optimal results, consider repeating this method 3-4 times. The mild odors in your sink should dissipate after the first attempt, leaving your sink smelling fresh and clean.

hot water to clean sink

Use Bio-Enzyme Drain Cleaner

Bio-enzyme drain cleaner offers a gentler approach to tackling sink odors. Unlike harsh chemical cleaners, bio-enzyme cleaners are designed to preserve the integrity of your sink’s inner components. These cleaners utilize enzymes that effectively break down and consume debris within the sink pipe, all while safeguarding the pipe itself.

drain cleaner

Use Vinegar and Lemon Ice Cubes

This cleaning process not only freshens up your kitchen but also saves you time and effort. It is easy to use and budget-friendly.

Begin by slicing a lemon into small, quarter-sized wedges. These wedges will be the key to infusing your disposal with a refreshing citrus scent. Next, grab some muffin cups or ice cube trays. These will be the molds for your magic cleaning cubes.

Pour distilled white vinegar into the muffin cups or ice cube trays. White vinegar is a versatile cleaning agent known for its ability to break down odors and stains.

Allow the lemon wedges and vinegar to meld together in the freezer overnight. As they freeze, the lemon and vinegar create powerful, odor-fighting ice cubes. Carefully remove the cubes from the trays once they’re fully frozen. These lemon-infused vinegar cubes are now your secret weapons against kitchen odors.

Drop a few cubes into your garbage disposal. Their abrasive texture will help dislodge grime and debris while the lemon and vinegar work their magic on stubborn odors.

Turn on a low stream of water in the sink and flip the disposal switch. The combination of water, ice cubes, and the natural cleaning power of lemon and vinegar will leave your disposal smelling fresh and clean.

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FAQ About Bad Smell Under Kitchen Sink

Can I Pour Bleach Down into The Sink?

Bleach is a reactive chemical. When you pour down bleach into the sink, it reacts with other chemicals and creates toxic gases. It is not a good idea to pour bleach into the sink. Don’t do this ever.

Why Does Kitchen Sink Smell Like Rotten Eggs?

The kitchen sink smells like rotten eggs due to bad smells. In kitchen sink pipes, food debris gets stuck, and when it comes into contact with chemicals it produces a rotten eggs smell.

What Is Good To Pour Down a Smelly Drain?

Baking soda, vinegar, and hot water are a good combination to pour down in a smelly drain. They are not harmful to drain pipes. You may use other chemicals but they damage the inner part of the part and make it weak.

Does Coke Unclog Drain Pipes?

You can use Coke to unclog drain pipes. It is not effective as other drain cleaners but it will definitely clean some of the debris from the pipe.


Now you know the reasons for the bad smell under the kitchen sink and also their solutions. It is not hard to get rid of the kitchen sink smell. A smelly kitchen sink is not good especially when you are working around it. Try our methods to get rid of the kitchen sink smell. These all methods are safe and use no chemicals. Don’t use harsh chemicals to clean the sink.

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