How to Get Rid of Smelly Drains in the Bathroom

Blocked drain

Is there an unpleasant odour lingering in your bathroom that seems to originate from the drains? If so, you’re not alone. Smelly drains in the bathroom are a common and bothersome issue for many homeowners.

However, there’s no need to worry. With the right knowledge and a few simple steps, you can banish those foul odours and restore freshness to your bathroom.

In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the causes of smelly drains, explore effective methods to eliminate the odours, and provide valuable tips for preventing them from returning. Whether you’re dealing with a mild or pungent smell, our aim is to help you regain a clean and pleasant bathroom environment.

A Step-By-Step Look

First, we’ll uncover the reasons behind those unpleasant drain odours. From trapped hair and soap scum to bacteria buildup, there are several factors that contribute to the stench emanating from your drains. Understanding the root cause is essential in finding the most suitable solution.

Next, we’ll outline a range of tried-and-tested techniques to combat smelly drains. From simple home remedies involving ingredients found in your pantry to specialised commercial products, we’ll provide step-by-step instructions for each method, ensuring you have the information you need to make an informed choice.

Then there are occasions when DIY methods don’t work, meaning you’ll need to call a qualified plumber to remedy the situation.

Lastly, we’ll share proactive measures to prevent future smelly drains. By incorporating a few preventive habits into your routine, you can maintain a fresh-smelling bathroom and avoid the hassle of dealing with persistent odours.

Understanding the Causes of Smelly Drains

bathroom sink

Smelly drains in the bathroom can be a nuisance, but knowing the root causes can help you tackle the issue effectively.

Hair, soap scum, and other debris often accumulate in drains, creating a breeding ground for bacteria. These bacteria release unpleasant odours, which can permeate your bathroom.

Additionally, blocked or clogged drains trap stagnant water, leading to further bacterial growth and foul smells. By identifying these culprits, you can put targeted solutions in place to eliminate the source of the stench and prevent its recurrence.

With a clear understanding of the causes, you’re on your way to a fresh-smelling bathroom once again.

Regular Cleaning and Maintenance

Keeping your bathroom drains clean and well maintained is crucial for preventing unwanted odours. Start by removing any visible debris, such as hair, from the drain using a drain snake or tweezers.

Then, pour a mixture of hot water and vinegar down the drain to dissolve soap scum and bacteria. Follow up with a baking soda and hot water solution to further eliminate smells.

Regularly flushing the drains with boiling water can also help dislodge buildup and keep them smelling fresh. If you’ve got a stubborn drain blockage, don’t be afraid to use the old reliable plunger in an attempt to clear it.

Additionally, consider using drain covers or strainers to catch hair (particularly in the shower) and prevent the pipes from clogging.

Homemade Drain Cleaners and Fresheners

Here’s a guide to some homemade remedies for those persistent smelly drains:

  • Baking soda and vinegar: Pour baking soda down the drain, followed by vinegar. Let it fizz for a few minutes, then rinse with hot water.
  • Lemon juice and hot water: Mix lemon juice with hot water and pour it down the drain to freshen it up.
  • Boiling water and salt: Regularly flush the drains with a mixture of boiling water and salt to break down grease and eliminate odours.
  • Baking soda and lemon: Sprinkle baking soda into the drain, then squeeze fresh lemon juice over it. Let it sit for a while before rinsing with hot water.
  • Vinegar ice cubes: Freeze vinegar in an ice cube tray and run a few cubes down the drain, followed by hot water, to remove buildup and odours.
  • Essential oils: Add a few drops of essential oils, such as tea tree or lavender, to a mixture of baking soda and water. Pour it down the drain and rinse for a pleasant aroma.

These homemade remedies offer natural and affordable ways to clean and freshen your bathroom drains, leaving them odour-free and inviting.

When You Need to Call a Professional

blocked bathroom sink

While DIY methods are effective for most smelly drain issues, there are instances when it’s best to enlist the help of a professional plumber. Consider calling a plumber if:

  1. The odour persists despite your efforts to clean and freshen the drains.
  2. You notice slow drainage or complete blockage.
  3. Unusual gurgling sounds come from the drain.
  4. There is a foul smell throughout the bathroom, indicating a more complex plumbing problem.
  5. You’re unsure about handling the issue yourself or have concerns about damaging the pipes.

A professional plumber has the expertise and specialised tools to diagnose and resolve underlying plumbing issues causing the smell. Don’t hesitate to seek professional assistance when needed to ensure a thorough and long-lasting solution to your smelly drain problem.

Preventive Measures

Taking preventive steps can help you avoid smelly drains in the future. Here are some effective measures to consider:

  • Use drain covers or strainers to catch hair and debris before they enter the drain.
  • Regularly clean and remove any visible buildup from the drain.
  • Avoid pouring grease, oil, or harsh chemicals down the drain, as they can cause clogs and unpleasant odours.
  • Flush the drains with hot water at least once a week to clear away any potential blockages.
  • Consider using enzyme drain cleaners periodically to break down organic matter and prevent odour-causing bacteria.
  • Maintain a proper ventilation system in the bathroom to minimise moisture and mould growth.

By implementing these preventive measures, you can keep your bathroom drains clean and odour-free, ensuring a fresh and hygienic environment for years to come.

Revitalise Your Bathroom

Smelly drains in the bathroom can be a frustrating issue, but with the right strategies, you can overcome it and enjoy a fresh-smelling bathroom once again. By understanding the causes of the odours and implementing regular cleaning and maintenance practices, you can prevent buildup and bacteria growth.

Homemade drain cleaners and fresheners offer cost-effective and natural solutions. However, when the problem persists or becomes more complex, don’t hesitate to call a professional plumber.

By taking preventive measures and addressing persistent odours promptly, you can keep your bathroom drains odour-free and maintain a pleasant and hygienic environment. Say goodbye to smelly drains and hello to a revitalised bathroom experience.

Please note: This information is provided for advice purposes only. Regulations differ from state to state, so please consult your local authorities or an industry professional before proceeding with any work. See our Terms & Conditions here.

Last Edited on: 18th September 2023

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