How to Clean a Smelly Drain In Bathroom Sink

How to Clean a Smelly Drain In Bathroom Sink?

Have you ever walked into your bathroom and been hit by a bad smell coming from the sink? It’s really annoying and can be tricky to fix. Stick with me, and I’ll show you how to clean a smelly drain in the bathroom sink. It’s easier than you might think!

Why Does the Drain Smell?

First, let’s understand why your bathroom sink drain smells. The bad smell usually comes from bacteria and gunk stuck in the pipes. Things like hair, soap, and toothpaste can build up and create the perfect place for bacteria to grow especially in areas that require regular bathroom cleaning. These bacteria produce gases that cause the bad smell.

Common Causes of Smelly Drains

  • Bacterial Growth: When organic stuff builds up, bacteria have food to grow.
  • Clogged Pipes: Hair, soap, and other debris can clog the drain, leading to water sitting and smelling bad.
  • Biofilm Formation: A slimy layer of bacteria and gunk can form on the pipe walls.
  • Dry P-Trap: If the P-trap (the U-shaped pipe under the sink) dries out, sewer gases can escape.

Easy Ways to Clean the Drain

The Vinegar and Baking Soda Method

One of the best ways to clean a smelly drain is by using vinegar and baking soda. This natural solution is powerful and eco-friendly.

Step-by-Step Guide

  • Remove Visible Debris: Start by pulling out any hair or gunk from the drain opening.
  • Boil Water: Boil a kettle of water and pour it down the drain to loosen debris.
  • Add Baking Soda: Pour half a cup of baking soda into the drain.
  • Pour Vinegar: Follow with a cup of white vinegar. The mixture will fizz and bubble, breaking down the buildup.
  • Wait and Rinse: Let the mixture sit for 15 minutes, then rinse with another kettle of boiling water.

Using Lemon Juice for a Fresh Scent

Lemon juice is great because it breaks down gunk and leaves a fresh, clean scent.

Step-by-Step Guide

  • Remove Debris: Clear out any visible debris from the drain.
  • Boil Water: Pour boiling water down the drain.
  • Add Lemon Juice: Pour half a cup of lemon juice into the drain.
  • Wait and Rinse: Let it sit for 10 minutes, then rinse with boiling water.

Using a Drain Snake

For really stubborn clogs, a drain snake can help.

Step-by-Step Guide

  • Insert the Drain Snake: Push the snake into the drain and twist it to grab onto clogs.
  • Remove Debris: Pull the snake out slowly, removing debris as you go.
  • Rinse with Hot Water: Flush the drain with boiling water.

Preventing Future Smells

Keeping the drain clean can stop bad smells from coming back.

Regular Maintenance

  • Weekly Hot Water Rinse: Pour boiling water down the drain weekly to prevent buildup.
  • Monthly Baking Soda and Vinegar Treatment: Use the vinegar and baking soda method monthly.
  • Use a Drain Cover: Install a drain cover to catch hair and larger debris.
FeatureVinegar & Baking SodaLemon JuiceDrain Snake
Ease of UseEasyEasyModerate
Environmental ImpactLowLowModerate


Based on my experience, I recommend using the vinegar and baking soda method regularly to keep your drains clean. If you encounter a stubborn clog, a drain snake is a great tool to have on hand. Lemon juice is excellent for maintaining a fresh scent in your bathroom.


Cleaning a smelly drain in your bathroom sink doesn’t have to be hard. By understanding the causes of the odor and using effective cleaning methods like vinegar and baking soda, lemon juice, and drain snakes, you can keep your bathroom smelling fresh.

Regular maintenance is key to preventing future smells. Remember, if the problem persists, don’t hesitate to call a professional. Now that you know how to clean a smelly drain in a bathroom sink, you can tackle this common issue with confidence.

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