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Entering the kitchen to make steaming coffee that jolts you out of sleep, only to find the sink reeking isn’t what most people expect!

But this is, sadly, true. Many people find their kitchen sink smells like sewage but don’t know how to handle it. If you are in the same boat, this guide is just for you!

4 Things That May Make Your Kitchen Sink Smells Like Sewage

1. Clogged Drain

Blocked Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink

A clogged kitchen drain is one of the most common reasons for various plumbing problems like leaks and wastewater backflow, which can emit an unbearable foul odour. And there’s no one reason for a clogged drain.

Anything from debris deposits to old and worn-out pipes can cause this issue. Food, hair and other waste particles entering the drain can block and prevent it from transporting wastewater to the sewage tank. Over time, the accumulated debris and wastewater in the pipe may start smelling.

When the wastewater cannot enter the drain, it accumulates in the sink, making it stink if not addressed immediately.

Likewise, corroded or damaged pipes can restrict wastewater flow, leading to slow or no drainage. Unless the pipe usually functions again, you won’t be able to get rid of the sewage smell.

Note that if too much water is in the sink, you must remove it manually (gross, we know). So, we recommend wearing gloves, an old apron, a face mask and safety glasses to protect yourself from splashes.

That said, there are a few things you can do to clear your clogged drain:

A. Pour Boiling Water

Pouring Boiling Water White Sink

Once you’ve made some space in the sink, carefully pour at least a litre of boiling water slowly near the drain opening and wait for some time. This should help dissolve hair and food particles causing the clog. Repeat this step if needed, and flush the pipe with normal water.

Note- Avoid this method if you have PVC pipes, as the heat can damage them permanently.

B. Mix Baking Soda And Vinegar

Wiping Bench Lemon Salt

Boiling water may be ineffective in eliminating stubborn clogs, meaning you may need something stronger. Thankfully, you will find the ingredients for that in your kitchen cabinet!

Pour a cup of white vinegar near the drain opening and follow it with a cup of baking soda. This will form a bubbling chemical reaction inside the drain to dissolve dirt and debris.

The longer you allow the reaction to work, the more influential the results will be, so we’d advise doing this at night and returning to flush the drain in the morning. Just pour hot water down the sink, and you should see the water draining again.

2. Blocked Sewer Pipe

If the main sewer line is partially or fully clogged, it can cause wastewater to flow back into the outlet drains of your home. As a result, you may see standing water in your kitchen sink drain, which will smell like sewage.

You may use a kitchen drain plunger to break up the clog in the pipe. To create a tight seal, remove the drain stopper and place the plunger head on it to make a tight seal. Then, push and pull the handle continuously until you see the water level going down.

Alternatively, you can manually use a drain snake to remove the clog further down the drain. Start by extending the snake’s cable and slowly inserting it through the drain opening. You know the snake has hit the clog when you feel some resistance.

Now, crank the handle in the anti-clockwise direction to pull the cable and, consequently, the clog. It may take a couple of attempts to clear the clog completely.

However, remember that these methods work only if the clog is deeper in the pipe. If the sewer pipe is blocked up to the outlet drains, call the professionals to clean it.

3. Malfunctioning Sink Trap

Drain Auger Sink

Have you ever noticed a small, curved pipe attached right under your kitchen sink drain? That’s the sink trap preventing toxic sewer gases from entering your home. But it can start malfunctioning due to several reasons.

Firstly, the rubber gasket (securing it to the outlet on the wall, the floor, or the one connecting it to the drain) can wear out. This is a relatively easy problem, as you can replace the gasket.

You can reinforce the seal by applying some plumber’s putty or sealant tape on either end of the sink trap or near the drain cover.

Also, check the condition of the sink trap. If it appears too old or has visible leaky spots, it’s best to replace it, either the DIY way or by availing the service of a professional.

4. Unclean Garbage Disposal

Blocked Garbage Disposal

An unclean garbage disposal can become a breeding ground for bacteria, resulting in foul odour. That’s why it’s important to clean it regularly using household ingredients.

Pour equal parts of baking soda and white vinegar down the disposal - you will hear a bubbling or gurgling sound in the drain. Close it immediately with the rubber drain cap and remove it only once the sound subsides. This will help break down the accumulation of clogs, especially those caused by grease, oil and food particles.

Additionally, we suggest cleaning the rubber drain cap and the flaps with a sponge dipped in a soapy solution to eliminate any food smell. You can also chop up the peel of any citrus fruit and drop it in the disposal to remove unwanted odours from the pipe.

Make Your Kitchen Sink Odour-Free

Cleaning your sink and garbage disposal regularly can effectively keep your sink from emitting foul odours. Also, avoid keeping dirty dishes in the sink for too long, as food scraps can find their way into the drain, causing blockages and smells.

However, some issues, like worn-out pipes and blocks in your sewer line, will need the expertise of professionals. We have a team of licensed plumbers at WP Plumbing who can do everything from cleaning clogs to fixing leaks. Contact our helpline to book an appointment today.

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