5 Simple Ways to Deal With Foul Plumbing Odors
November 3, 2022
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You already know how awful plumbing odors can be if you've ever had to deal with them. They are not just a nuisance; they may also be a symptom of a more serious problem. Bad odors might affect your family's health if they are not handled.

Don't fret. There are easy ways to deal with foul plumbing odors. You can get rid of foul odors for good by taking some simple steps. Keep reading to learn some easy ways to deal with foul plumbing odors!

What Causes Foul Plumbing Odors

Foul odors coming from your plumbing can be a sign of a serious problem. If you're dealing with this issue, don't panic! There are easy ways to deal with foul plumbing odors.

Clogs and germs that produce odors are the most frequent causes of drains that smell bad. Even worse, the stinky clogs are the ideal environment for microorganisms producing the odors. Like a tangled ouroboros of stink, the two main causes of sewer odor feed one another. However, blockages and bacteria aren't the only things to blame for drains that smell bad. Other well-known causes of drain stink include:


As sewage breaks down, poisonous gases and vapors are released. These gases have an offensive sewage-like odor. When drain traps are empty, sewer gases may seep through your drains. Sewer odors typically appear in drains that aren't utilized frequently.

Mold and Mildew

The presence of mold or mildew close to your drains is the primary cause of mold and mildew odors. Drains typically smell like mold and mildew when there is a leak in the gutter or pipes connecting to it.

An error by the Plumber

Like everyone else, plumbers could be better. They err from time to time. Severe drain odors can be caused by small mistakes, such as failing to install drain traps or sewage outlets. It can be mitigated by having regular plumbing system checks. We could not emphasize enough the importance of HVAC inspection.

Simple Solution to Eliminate Foul Odors

The initial step to solving the problem is to figure out where the odor is coming from. Is it coming from your drains? Or is it coming from your water heater? When you have an idea of the source of the problem, you can take steps to fix it.

If the odor comes from your drains, it could be due to a buildup of hair, soap scum, or grease. You can use a natural drain cleaner or a plunger to clear the obstruction to fix this issue.

If the odor comes from your water heater, it could be due to a buildup of minerals in the water. You can flush your water heater to remove the minerals to fix this problem.

No matter the source, there are easy ways to deal with foul plumbing odors. With a little investigation and a few simple steps, you can eliminate the foul odors in your home.

Here are some simple DIY solutions to eliminate the nasty plumbing odors:

#1. Pour some bleach

Like other disinfectants, bleach eliminates practically all of the odor-causing bacterial species that are typically found in drains and sewage pipes. So, using bleach is a simple do-it-yourself method to reduce drain stink. Fill the sink with hot water, then add a cup of bleach to clean the drain. After that, let the bleach and sink drain. Continue until the smell is gone.

#2. Pour boiling water

Pouring boiling water down the smelly drain is another simple do-it-yourself method for reducing drain odors. If you use boiling water, be cautious and pour a small amount at a time. Continue doing this until your drains no longer smell.

#3. Sprinkle some baking soda

You may get rid of bad odors by occasionally pouring baking soda down the drain. Did you know that? It is also a great technique to keep the smell out of your drains. Instead of allowing the scent to permeate your home, baking soda left to sit in the drain will completely absorb and eliminate it.

When should baking soda be sprinkled? It can be done immediately following dishwashing at least once each week. Pouring some baking soda into the sink before you leave is a good idea if you're going on vacation.

#4. Pour hot vinegar

Do you have any prior knowledge of the use of hot vinegar? Most of us are aware of using white vinegar to combat unpleasant odors, but what about hot vinegar? Using hot vinegar to keep your drains clean is a terrific idea. It works wonders to clean your coffee maker.

Put water and white vinegar in the water pot of your coffeemaker in equal amounts, and then let it brew for half the time before shutting it off. Complete the brew cycle after an hour. Pour that hot vinegar down the drain instead of throwing it away to eliminate the stale smell coming from your drains. You can mix vinegar and baking soda for even more odor-suppressing effectiveness!

#5. Pour some mineral oil

First and foremost, refrain from pouring mineral oil down your home's foul drains. That can lead to a clog. On the other hand, mineral oil acts as a significant protective layer between your nose and the sewage vapors that can escape from unused drains. Therefore, if a relatively new drain in your house has started to smell, consider pouring a little mineral liquid down the drain to see if it solves the issue.

Bonus Tip: Preventing Smells from the Garbage Disposal

The garbage disposal starts to smell when food is allowed to sit in the pipes. After using the garbage disposal in the sink, run hot water for 30 seconds to rinse the unit. It will significantly reduce the occurrence of foul garbage disposal odor.

Spend some time cleaning your garbage disposal to avoid problems later. Pour some dish soap and hot water into your disposal, plug it with the stopper, and run the disposal for a brief period for milder cleaning. Next, take out the stopper and clean the flaps at the bottom.

Adding salt and ice to your disposal is another excellent way to keep it clean and prevent odors. Running your disposal with these two aids in breaking up and removing filth, buildup, and food residue from your system, as they are abrasive.

Final Word of Advice

Consider calling a professional to check your system and schedule a drain cleaning service if the smell from your drains doesn't go away despite regular cleaning and preventive maintenance. They'll get your property functioning (and smelling) at its best, using everything from expert drain snaking to more intensive drain cleaning techniques like hydro jetting.

About the author

Shelby Bartz is the new Content Editor of Precision Air & Plumbing, a full-service HVAC, plumbing and home performance contractor operating in Chandler, Arizona. Shelby is a devoted bookworm but when she isn’t reading, you’ll find her cruising around town with her beloved ginger husky, Maxxy.

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