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The Home Depot

Why Does My Kitchen Sink Smell?

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Plumbing > Why Does My Kitchen Sink Smell?
Why Does My Kitchen Sink Smell?

A smelly kitchen sink can indicate the presence of dangerous bacteria in your kitchen. Even if it is harmless, it is unpleasant for anyone to cook and eat in a kitchen with a smelly sink. Additionally, it is very difficult to make even a cup of tea without using the kitchen sink, so this problem has to be rectified as soon as possible. The kitchen sink can become smelly because it is accumulates food particles that can get clogged in the drain or garbage disposal and form a sludge that prevent the free flow of water.

  1. 1.Bacteria

    One reason for a smelly kitchen sink can be the presence of bacteria in the drain pipe. The bacteria thrive on food particles, water, and the warmth of the kitchen. To get rid of the bacteria you can either use baking soda, vinegar, or a commercial drain cleaner or bleach. Any of these products will kill the bacteria and ensure that your kitchen sink no longer smells. If you are using baking soda, you need to pour hot water over it. When using a commercial disinfectant, you should follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Also, make sure that the disinfectant is safe for use in the kitchen to avoid cases of food contamination.

  2. 2.Garbage Disposal

    A garbage disposal is supposed to get rid of the food particles in the kitchen drain by grinding them down. However, greasy food particles can sometimes stick to the teeth of the grinder and decompose there leading to a smelly kitchen sink. This problem can be solved by pouring hot water down the garbage disposal to dislodge the grease. You can also use baking soda, vinegar, or a commercial cleaner or bleach to clean the garbage disposal.


    For this, first plug the kitchen sink and fill it for three to four inches with water and the cleaner you plan to use. Now remove the plug and run the garbage disposal unit. You can also use ice and kosher salt in the garbage disposal to clean it as the crushed ice and salt will help dislodge the greasy food particles. Finally, grind a few lemon rinds or orange peel pieces in the garbage disposal to freshen it up. If you cannot find any, then go to the store and buy some oranges for example. You can make a smoothie or some orange juice if you want or just eat the oranges naturally. You need to have fruit every day anyway for a balanced diet, right?

  3. 3.Vent Problem

    If the drain from the kitchen sink is clear and the garbage disposal is cleaned and yet your kitchen sink smells it could be an indication that the vent from the sink to the roof is clogged. This can be cleaned by using a plumber’s snake. Climb onto the roof and introduce the plumber’s snake from the top of the vent and push until the block is cleared. You can also try pouring hot water down the vent to clear it.

  4. 4.Solutions

    A smelly kitchen sink can be a major inconvenience as well as a health hazard because it could indicate the presence of bacteria or rotting food. In most cases, the smell can be cleared by pouring hot water down the drain or garbage disposal. If the smell is mild, it can be tackled by using home solutions such as baking soda and vinegar. However, if the smell persists, you need to use commercial cleaners or bleach after ensuring that they are safe to use in the kitchen. The bacteria may be stubborn and disenchanting but it is not going to stand a chance against these liquids when employed. Baking soda with hot water, vinegar, or bleach for example will not make the bacteria very happy at all.


    It will be a fantastic and satisfying feeling to eradicate the source of this smell because this decaying food will certainly affect your kitchen morale!

  5. 5.Get Your Sink Fixed With Pro Referral

    If you are ready for a sink repair project, contact Pro Referral to find a quality sink repair pro in your area to discuss the job. All our pros have been background checked and our in-house staff has verified their credentials and insurance coverage. Hiring a trusted pro with Pro Referral will give you the assurance the job will be done right, every step of the way.

While a smelly kitchen sink can be a major source of inconvenience, you can easily get it fixed by either identifying the cause and rectifying it yourself or relying on a skilled plumber to do the work for you. If you plan on retaining a plumber, you can save time and effort by registering your needs with Pro Referral. This will enable you to focus on your other priorities even as the kitchen sink is fixed efficiently and properly. A clean kitchen and a gleaming kitchen sink that does not smell will help you to whip up meals quickly again. Additionally, you will be able to use the kitchen for breakfast, family meals, and all the other activities that usually happen in the kitchen in your home.


Whether you have a compact kitchen that is used only for cooking quick meals, or a large kitchen that is the center of the family home, a kitchen sink that does not smell is essential for your comfort. You can reclaim the kitchen for cooking, homework, and crafts as your family gathers around the dining table. A pleasant smelling kitchen sink will also make the kitchen an easier place to use for every family member.


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