How To Remove Bad Sink Smells Sustainably

June 14, 2024 • Jamie Dorman

Is your kitchen sink emitting unpleasant odors that make you cringe every time you get too close? Many homeowners struggle with smelly sink drain issues, but the good news is that there are eco-friendly ways to tackle this common problem. The more you understand about different ways to keep your sink drains smelling fresher, the easier it is to combat offensive odors.

The Causes of Sink Odors

Treating a stinky sink drain effectively starts with understanding the origins of those odors. Knowing what causes those smells will help you choose specific, targeted treatments for the best possible results.

Food Particles

As you rinse dishes and prepare meals, small bits of food can accumulate in your sink’s drain. As those food particles break down, they create unpleasant odors that can linger around the sink.

Grease Build-Up

Grease and oil from cooking can cling to the walls of your drains. This leads to a sticky residue that traps food particles and contributes to bad smells. Not only will the food particle residue create a smelly sink drain, but the fat and oil residue will turn rancid over time and can create foul odors as well.

Sewer Gas

In some cases, the odor may be coming from your plumbing system itself. If you have an issue with your vent stack or the P-trap is dry, that can allow sewer gases to seep into your home through the sink drains. You might notice foul, sulfur-based odors in this case.

How to Get Rid of Sink Smell Issues Sustainably

When you are ready to combat those troublesome sink drain smells, you should consider the sustainable cleaning hack that’s making waves on TikTok. 

Start with a cup or two of the Sheets Laundry Club sustainable kitchen scrub. Add two tablespoons of dish detergent and mix thoroughly to distribute it evenly. Then, mix in a few drops of lemon essential oil. Drop that mixture by spoonfuls onto a sheet of wax paper. Let it dry overnight and store the pucks in an airtight container to keep them dry.

Drop a puck in the disposal or down the drain periodically to help combat odors. This is an effective and environmentally friendly solution. The combination of the dish detergent and sustainable kitchen scrub helps to break down grease and grime in the drains while the lemon essential oil adds a fresh, naturally clean scent.

Additional Sustainable Practices for a Fresh-Smelling Sink

There are a few other solutions that will help you combat smelly sink drain issues.

Baking Soda and Vinegar

A baking soda and vinegar solution helps deodorize drains, break down minor clogs, and eliminate some residue from inside the pipes. Sprinkle baking soda down the drain, then follow it with a cup of white vinegar. Allow the mixture to sit for half an hour before you flush the drains with hot water.

Enzyme Cleaner

Enzyme cleaners are a powerful, eco-friendly option for breaking down organic matter and eliminating the odors that they cause. Look for a natural enzyme cleaner specifically designed for drains. Alternatively, you can make your own by mixing equal parts brown sugar, warm water, and fresh lemon juice. Pour the mixture down the drain and let it sit overnight. Flush the drain with hot water in the morning. The natural enzymes in the mixture will help break down any gunk and neutralize odors. This is an ideal solution for a smelly bathroom sink as well, where skin oils, hair, and other debris can accumulate and cause odors.

Garbage Disposal Maintenance

Garbage disposals are common culprits for smelly sink drains. Run citrus peels, such as lemon or orange, through the disposal weekly. The abrasive nature of the peels will help clean the disposal and they will leave behind citrus oils that create a pleasant, bright scent.

Manage Waste Carefully

The waste that goes down your drains is the biggest contributor to odors. Avoid putting large food particles, grease, or oil down the drain. Dispose of them in the trash or compost bin to prevent clogs and odors. You can also add strainers over the sink drains to help catch debris and make cleaning easier.

Forming Good Sustainable Cleaning Habits

Incorporating sustainable practices into your regular cleaning routine helps you maintain a consistently fresh-smelling sink. Opting for eco-friendly solutions, including the Sheets Laundry Club’s sustainable kitchen drain cleaner, will help you prevent smelly sink drains without damage to the environment. Being mindful of what goes down your drain and prioritizing routine eco-friendly cleaning practices can help you combat lingering odors and create a more pleasant-smelling home.