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How to Clean a Stinky Sink Drain

And Stop Nasty Sewer Smells

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by Jeff Patterson in Bathroom Plumbing
Clean Stinky Sink Drains1

No matter how much you clean your bathroom sometimes the sink drain just flat out STINKS!!!

A few weeks back our friend asked me how to get rid of the sewer smell coming from a bathroom sink.

I have a pretty darn good method for this problem and figured I’d share it with you.

Hey, I’m not ashamed to say that our drains get downright disgusting.

Shaving cream, toothpaste, soap and skin cells collect in drains. This turns into a biofilm stew that would make raccoons squeamish.

I’m stoked to show you my amazingly easy and effective way to eliminate stinky drain odors. Let’s get started 🙂

Here’s your supply list

Today you’ll learn how to clean a stinky sink drain and stop sewer smells in your bathroom.

Everyone loves cleaning suggestions, this much I’ve learned.

The great part about my tips is that they’re simple and don’t require any special tools.

In about 1 hour you’ll have a fresher smelling bathroom. Cool stuff.

 

What’s the difference between a booby trap and p-trap: water!!

If you’ve seen Goonies the movie you know booby traps are obstacles that cause headaches for the good guys.

Your p-trap can be a super bad booby trap if there’s no water in it.

Water at the bottom of p-traps prevents sewer gas from entering your home.

Your bathroom will stink worse than the elephant cage at the zoo if the p-trap dries out.

FYI, your toilet also has a p-trap in the bowl. This smell is worse than the one from your sink because your toilet is sitting directly over the main sewer stack.

No matter what, always make sure there’s water in all your p-traps to prevent sewer gas from permeating your bathroom.

P-Traps need water

If for some reason you don’t have a p-trap make sure you add one under your sink.

A second reason you might have a foul smell coming from your bathroom sink is the growth of biofilm in the pipes.

Don’t be alarmed, we all have this issue.

Shaving cream, toothpaste, soap, old skin cells all contribute to biofilm. Yes, it’s disgusting but totally not a a big deal.

You’ll need to remove the sink’s p-trap, goose neck, pivot rod, and pop-up drain stopper.

Start with the p-trap by placing your container under it and unscrewing the two nuts that hold it to the drain and goose neck.

Remove P-Trap

Chances are good that you’ll see a gray or black residue on the p-trap. This is biofilm.

Next, loosen the nut that holds the pivot rod to the sink drain. Remove the pivot rod from the drain and set it aside.

Remove pivot rod

Now you can pull the pop-up stopper from the drain.

Pull pop-up stopper

I’ll warn you, it will be filthy and if you have a strong gag reflex maybe have a spouse or friend do this.

The last part is to unscrew the goose neck that connects to the wall drain. Turn the nut counterclockwise with your hand or a set of channel locks (in case the last installer was the Incredible Hulk).

Unscrew goose neck

See all that black stuff in the above picture? It’s biofilm. Just nasty!!!!!

Oh, I almost forgot.

A great tip at this point is to take a long skinny spoon and scrape any sediment from the wall drain into your container. Yes, this is vulgar, too. But helps with the cleaning process.

Scrape sediment from wall drain

Okay, let’s clean the stinky pipes and sink parts that we just removed.

 

Attention Mr. Clean: take some notes because you’re about to get schooled

Nothing against Mr. Clean, he’s a good guy.

But there’s more to just tossing chemicals down the drain.

You need to get all the biofilm off your pipes. After all, that’s what’s causing the stinky smell.

Take a paper towel and roll it up like you would do to a magazine when trying to kill a fly (if you’re a PETA member, I only kill flies when necessary).

Push the paper towel down the sink drain.

Push paper towel down drain

Then use an appliance brush to push the paper towel through the end of the sink drain. This is way cool because the abrasive action of the towel and the brush thoroughly clean the sides of the sink drain.

Chase towel with brush

Do this 2 to 3 times and you’ll be amazed at all the gunk that comes out of the drain.

Place your container under the drain to catch the towels and biofilm.

Use the same paper towel method on the p-trap and goose neck.

Clean p-trap and goose neck with towels

Then take them into the kitchen along with the pivot rod & pop-up stopper.

Fill up your kitchen sink with enough warm water to cover the sink parts then add about 1/4 cup of bleach.

Soak parts in warm water and bleach

This is the only use of chemicals aside from one other tip I mention in the video.

Let the sink parts soak for 10 minutes then remove them from the water.

 

The last step: boiling water is biofilm’s worst nightmare

Before you start to take your bathroom sink drain apart, place a pot of water on the stove.

Allow it to heat up enough so that it boils.

Heat water on stove

This takes about 10-15 minutes which is enough time for you to put all the sink parts back together.

Start by placing the goose neck into the wall drain. Tighten the slip nut so that the goose neck is locked in place.

The nice part is that if you don’t move the plastic washer on the goose neck you won’t need to guess how far to push the goose neck into the wall.

Reattach all sink parts

Place the short end of the p-trap up against the goose neck and the longer end up onto the sink drain.

This is super important: make the end of the goose neck sit flush with the p-trap then tighten the slip nut by hand.

If you don’t make these fittings flush and snug YOU WILL HAVE A LEAK.

This isn’t a big deal but a pain in the butt.

Do the same thing with the end of the p-trap that slips onto the drain only this time ensure the slip nut washer sits flush with the top of the p-trap.

Again, tighten the slip nut by hand and use channel locks to ratchet down by 1/4 turn.

Put the pivot rod back into the drain and tighten it’s nut. Reattach the pivot rod to the clevis (strap with holes in it) using the metal clip.

Run the water in the sink and check for any leaks.

Run water and check for leaks

If you’re vanity base is bone dry you’re ready for the boiling water.

Pour it down the sink in 2 cup increments.

Pour hot water down drain

The boiling water will do two things: further disinfect the sink drain and move any remaining grime down into the main sewer stack.

You might be asking “BUT won’t the boiling water ruin my plastic pipes??????”

If you’ve got ABS or PVC pipes you need not worry. All the fittings glued together are very strong and can withstand hot water.

I’ve done this several times and plumbers actually recommend this technique.

But, if you’re really worried about the boiling water causing problems then I have a second option for you. I mention it in the video and it has to do with Wet N Forget Indoor.

Click on the video below to see all the juicy details.

The last step is to put your sink’s pop-up stopper back into place.

Nice and clean sink drain

WOO-HOO!!!!!

Your sink no longer smells like the swamp thing.

However, your bathroom might have a wonky scent for a few hours from the cleaning process.

So be prepared to get a little grief from family members or roommates but the  pungent odor will disappear.

 

What’s Next

Hope you liked this tutorial.

If you’re struggling with a clog in your kitchen we have another tutorial that might be helpful. I used a few different tools on that project but all worked out well in the end.

Also, if you’re doing a DIY bathroom remodel grab our free guide – it shares how to remodel a bathroom in 10 days or less

Get Our Guide

Thanks as always for reading, watching, and being part of our awesome community.

Ask your questions below and we’d be happy to help.

Cheers,

Jeff Patterson

 

 

 

 

P.S. Our online store has great supplies for homeowners doing a bathroom remodel. You’ll find shower systems, tiling tools, and more.

87 Comments
  1. Hi Jeff:

    Great video and pictures and text. You are model for DIYers everywhere.

    1. Thanks Dan, I really appreciate that. But I’m just a normal guy.

      Okay, maybe I where a cape sometimes but that’s only when I mow the lawn. LOL.

      Let me know what video I should make next and I’ll add it to my list 🙂

  2. Jennifer says:

    Love your humor and your step by step pictures!!

    Now, my washing machine stinks! I hope I don’t have to remove the drum to clean. Ha ha

    1. LOL, thanks Jennifer.

      Keep me posted on your dishwasher and maybe I can do a tutorial on that 😉

      1. Ed says:

        Hi Jeff, Just watched your video on cleaning the pipes below the sink. Great video.
        Just wanted to add that the area in the bottom of the sink where the overflow drains into the drain also collects a lot of gunk. It’s not that much more trouble to clean that area also.
        You’ll just need to add a can of plumbers putty to your list of things you’ll need. I believe this extra step can be worth the effort.
        Ed

        1. Thanks Ed for your tip.

          One question on the Plumber’s putty. Where are you using it? Thanks.

        2. Kim says:

          Hi, Jeff. I have an odor in the overflow drain as well as the sink.

          What’s the procedure to clean the overflow drain?

          1. Noah Laws says:

            Overflow is typically just the appliance brush portion of this. I typically use white vinegar instead of bleach for cleaning this stuff up as it helps with hard water deposits. You would typically do the overflow while the P-Trap is off. If you need to let some vinegar soak in there, you’ll need to close off the down pipe from the sink bowl (or stuff a rag in there). The rag method will slow the drainage from the overflow path, but won’t stop it completely, but it beats holding your hand on the down spout for 10 minutes. Just run a brush through there to clear our the rest of the gunk and rinse with hot water. For load testing after I put everything back together I usually let the sink bowl fill all the way up (with the stopper/plunger down) and let the overflow take in water for a couple of minutes. This seems to be a better option for one that isn’t cleaned regularly, though you could just use a syringe or a baster to run vinegar/water through there.

    2. Alison says:

      A hot bleach soak and wash really helped my stinky washing machine.

  3. ROSEMARY OSORIO says:

    Hi Jeff!
    Thank you for all your help.
    I like to know if you can tell me how to fix a broken Refrigerator…
    The repair guy said we need a new one because the condensador is broken…
    Can you help?
    Thank you so much.
    Have a good day.
    Rosemary.

    1. Oh boy Rosemary. I’ve gotta say that appliances aren’t my strong suit. I wish I could help but this is out of my league. Sorry to hear about your problem.

      If you search on YouTube for your specific brand and the problem you may be able to find a video that explains how to fix it. Let me know how it turns out.

  4. Jimmy says:

    Concerning the pop up thing. My will not pop up and down any more. Does it connect to anything or does some bladder type mechanism push it up and down?

    1. Your pop up likely connects to a pivot rod Jimmy. The rod is connected to the drain under your sink. Either the pivot rod needs to be adjusted so that it fits in the slot of your pop up or maybe the rod needs to be replaced all together.

      Let me know what you find and we’ll get this fixed together.

    2. Noah Laws says:

      Some kits are also a closed-assembly situation, where what would normally be a pivot rod that slides out of the down spout, You just have a gear assembly that screws on to the back and engages another gear in the down spout (this is the way mine are). These seem prone to working their way loose over time and stop engaging the gear so they have to be re-tightened. If they’re tight and the gears still aren’t meshing, then the gears are probably stripped out and the assembly needs replaced. If possible, I recommend replacing with an actual lever type, rather than the gears. They tend to hold up better over time without problems.

  5. Hazel says:

    I found a way, after many days and test, to get Dawn dish soap out of the rinse aid cup. The last thing I tried is to lower door to fill rinse aid place then lift door and drain out that amount of soap and keep doing that until indicated says empty. I did a quick rinse to wash away then cancel cycle to remove water and soap. But what I thought after I was through is to catch soap with a towel instead of filling ma home. Any way it worked after a few tries.

  6. Janet says:

    I live in an apartment. Foul sewer smell under the bathroom sink. Learned that the bathtub drain does not have a p-trap…as far down the wall that I can see. The tub drain is right next to under my sink. Hmmmm

    Love your website and the video. Thanks

    1. Thanks Janet, I bet that’s the source of your foul smell. You should ask your landlord to add a p-trap to stop the smell. It shouldn’t be too hard and might even be required by code (it is here).

      Hope they take care of you 🙂

      Keep me posted.

  7. dirtielaundry says:

    Hey Jeff, thanks for the tips, I had no idea what the smell in my bathroom was coming from and mistakenly thought it was the toilet. I couldn’t tell what that smell was but it resembled that Neutrogena T-gel, that really strong stuff for dandruff and my fiancee thought it smelled like old man. I thought I’d share since it’s a pretty specific smell and I had a hard time telling what it was for a couple months.
    Unfortunately I couldn’t get the gooseneck part off since the edge of the cabinet won’t let me have access to what screws it into the wall. Since I live in an apartment I can’t exactly saw around it; so I think if it still smells tomorrow, I’ll have to get an appliance brush in there or something. I didn’t have one so I used the stick at the end of one of the cats’ toys to go down the drain. I hope they won’t be too mad about that…
    Anyway, thanks for the help! My nose is pretty sensitive and that smell was driving me crazy.

    1. LOL, smelled like old man. I know that smell and hope to never make to that point in my life. Yuck!!!

      Don’t worry about your cats. They’re probably equally sensitive to the odor. You could buy a dryer lint brush and try to clean out an muck, too.

      Keep me posted. Hope you get your bathroom smelling better than T-Gel or Old Man scent. I’m sure it’s not that bad though 😀

  8. LeAnn says:

    Thanks for the practical techniques to be able to truly do this yourself! Many times other sites are beyond my female capabilities. Lol. I know my hubby could handle but I enjoy being able to “fix” things too. 🙂

    1. Glad you liked the tutorial LeAnn. Always feel free to add your own tips, too. I’m sure you have some ideas that would help others in our cool DIY community over here at Home Repair Tutor 🙂

  9. Dan says:

    I watched your video but after further research on the web, I thought I could cure the smell with the salt/ vinegar/baking soda thing (less work). I ended up clogging the drain completely. I then had to use a bucket to catch the water when I loosened the P-trap. What a mess. I should have listened to you.
    I ended up taking everything apart just as you showed in your video, Found all the gunk you showed also. Everything is clean now and no smell, Thanks.

    1. Sorry to hear about your adventure Dan.

      Don’t worry, I’ve been in the same predicament. It’s no fun trying to drain a sink from below, especially when the water is stinky!!

      Great job getting the sink all cleaned out and smelling better 😀

      If you ever get stuck with something you can always shoot me an email.

    2. Noah Laws says:

      Just a note: Using vinegar/baking soda is actually an easy monthly-ish maintenance thing. I do it on mine to prevent me having to deal with disassembling everything because..well, I’ll be frank, I hate plumbing. Unfortunately most people don’t do maintenance or anything to their plumbing until there’s a problem. The vinegar and boiling water will definitely help with maintenance, but it’s not going to do much against years of crud gunked up in the pipes.

  10. chris ives says:

    Hi Jeff,

    I used your procedures for cleaning stinky drains and it worked great for about two months, then the stink returned. Why is this happening? I never remember having to do this in other houses before, as a kid or other ones I’ve owned. We have new sinks and p-traps etc from a new bathroom remodel. I don’t want to have to do this every couple of months….help!

    Chris

    1. Did you notice a lot of black film when you cleaned your p-trap and pipes Chris? If so, that’s biofilm and could be a result of the shaving cream being used. I’ve noticed that if you don’t use gel shaving cream the biofilm doesn’t show up as often. My theory is that the gel sticks to the sides of the pipe and allows the biofilm to develop.

      Let me know if this helps. If not, I’ll explore other causes 😀

  11. Normison says:

    Great straight-forward, no nonsense tutorial. You’re a good teacher, Jeff! School teacher here, so that’s a good thing!

  12. Whitney ikemire says:

    Hi. One question. My sink doesn’t have the pop up stopper. It has what looks like a shower drain (just a metal plate with holes in it). Anyway since that can not be removed, what can I do get the smell out of my sink?

  13. Affinity Mesteek says:

    Hi there Jeff,
    Love your site & your explanation for cleaning my stinky sinks. I do use a bottle brush with chemicals. (Will try your way next).
    I needed to add that when my cousin did pull out those pipes (because of a clog in moms home) I was standing there to watch and learn. Some of the gunk from inside the pipes splattered and where it touched me I got “RINGWORMS!”
    So after that when ever I stuck that brush down the drain I would wrap a paper towel around the area going into the sink against the brush . . . so that I would not get any splatters.
    I never knew about cleaning the pipes because there were never odors.
    After seeing what was inside that pipe . . . I have always cleaned the pipes with the bottle brush and do come up with black stuff. Think most of the glob comes from toothpaste.
    Why is it that in all the houses there were never any order and now after that learning episode, I always smell the sinks about a couple of months after cleaning? LOL
    I’m a woman with a really good sniffer.
    Again, thanks for your web site.

  14. sandy R says:

    Jeff ..

    My question is how exactly do I know where this god awful sewer stench is coming from ? Because my entire house wreaks .. I’m assuming it may be the kitchen sink as this drain also smells god awful when the dishwasher runs ???? Good god please help me …. Smells as if someone signed up for a farting contest !! Lol can I get a plumber to fix it, so he can deal with the stench … Thank you .. Stench in Phoenix

    1. Noah Laws says:

      Your dishwasher may be the source of all your problems. From my understanding, there’s supposed to be what’s called an air gap in the drain line from the dishwasher under the sink, but a lot of times it’s not done properly. This is essentially like not having a P-Trap under a sink or other drain. The drain for the dishwasher hooks in to the drain line for the kitchen sink, but after the sink’s own P-Trap (so on the sewer gas side of the drain system). If it’s not air gapped, then there’s nothing prevent sewer smell from coming back in through the dishwasher’s drain. When you run the dish washer, you’re just adding hot steamy goodness to the situation, much akin to farting in the shower which just makes every noxious smell that much worse. and because your dishwasher is actively pressuring its inside to the outside, ta-daa! Your house smells. Check out air gapping for dishwashers and make sure yours is good to go.

  15. Morgan says:

    This is GREAT idea! I am very excited to remove the pungent odor from my sink!

  16. Lessel says:

    Jeff, my problem is in my upstairs bathroom. There’s a bad odor in my bathroom it comes and goes it last a few weeks and goes away for a few weeks, but it keep coming back it has been ongoing for about two years. Could this be my drains or something else?

  17. Michelle says:

    Hi Jeff,
    Thank you so much for your tutorial! I have this problem as well but it is coming from my bathtub. The bathtub is used daily but could it still be the P-Trap?
    Thank you!!

  18. Sue Beilke says:

    Loud noise. In drain when smell started. Is that normal for dry p trap.?

    1. Hmmm, sounds fishy Sue. Any other issues with the drain?

  19. Monica says:

    Hi! I am just wondering and forgive me if this is a silly question, but it’s my first time doing this and I wasn’t able to watch the video. You said to remove the pivot Rod and then you can remove the pop-up stopper and then to put back together, reattach the pivot Rod and then put the stopper back in. I wondered if I’m supposed to put the stopper back in first and then reattach the pivot Rod…? Or does it matter? Thanks for the instructions!

    1. Noah Laws says:

      Put the pivot rod first. drain stopper comes out first, goes in last.

  20. Grannie Annie says:

    I followed your instructions to a T and cleaned out some truly gross poopy looking crud. Yuk. I have repeated this method twice with limited success. Anyway all was well for a few days and now the moldy smell is back again. Help! Is it time to call a plumber?

  21. nms says:

    Someone commented about never having smelly drains before but now they do even after having their bathroom remodeled with new sinks, p-traps etc. I’m wondering if the bathroom remodel is causing the smell. Did something not get installed correctly or missed? Our house was built in 1992 and we never had smelly drains. In 2013 we had the master bathroom remodeled. After the work was done, I heard loud noises coming from the pipes after taking a shower or running lots of water in the sink. I mentioned this to the company who did the remodel but they said it was nothing. I also notice that there is often a sewage smell in the shower and in the two sinks that were replaced during the remodel. There are six other drains in the house and none of them smell. It seems odd that things begin to smell after a remodel. Any thoughts on that?

    1. Peyton says:

      Perhaps they messed up the connection to the vent stack. This is the pipe that sticks out of the roof, generally right above the bathroom(s). Its purpose is to keep the proper air pressure in the drain system. If it is clogged or otherwise ineffective you will get noises and bad smells from time to time. (Note: I am not a plumber, nor do I play one on TV. Check with a real plumber.)

  22. Peter says:

    I tried all of the sink stuff. Nothing worked. I remembered that bacteria like dark, wet, and warm. We kept leaving hot water in the drain because we thought it was killing the germs. I guess the ones that survived were the really bad ones and they multiplied. Anyway, just leaving cold water in the drain after using the sink has fixed the problem for almost a year now after having the problem for 20 years. Anything else just temporarily fixes it if at all.

    1. 20 years is a long time, glad to hear your fixed the issue Peter. You could also try pouring vinegar down the overflow hole and see if that helps. It’s mildly acidic and safe, so worth a shot if the problem comes back.

  23. Brent says:

    Hi Jeff.

    I cleaned the drain yesterday. All steps were followed and the smell went away for about 5 hours. Now, it’s back with a vengeance. This particular sink is the only place in the whole house that stinks. Any suggestions?

    Brent

  24. John says:

    Thanks for the guide. I cleaned my sink this morning. Took about an hour and it was absolutely disgusting… haha! But now it’s all clean. Thanks! =)

  25. Wayne says:

    Good morning Jeff,
    I used your cleaning tips and it worked like charm on my half bath sink. I had some issues with leaks at first coming from the goose neck, but once I replaced the old plastic seal with a new one it was as good as new!!

    1. Great job Wayne, good idea to replace the seal.

      Sink plumbing can be a real chore

  26. Sonny says:

    Absolutely awesome instructions & video demonstration. My spouse loves it.
    Thank you so much.

    1. Awesome Sonny, glad you both liked it.

      Let me know if you have any questions, I’d be happy to help.

  27. Kitty says:

    Thanks for taking your time and energy to post this very helpful post! Thank YOU

    1. Thank you Kitty, appreciate your kind words…hope the tutorial helped you 😉

  28. Nse says:

    Hi Jeff,
    Great work here! I could actually see your passion for Diy in this write-up. My issue is slightly different. Just moved into a new house, the guest toilet hasn’t ever been used, everything is brand new but the sink stinks and makes the whole house stink. My plumber is clueless. What do I do?

  29. G says:

    THANK YOU. I moved into a new house and the bathrooms stank like hell even though they were brand new. I checked the pipes under the sinks and THERE WERE NO P-TRAPS. They have those flexible pipes that fold like an accordion, so I moved them around to make p-traps and now the stench is gone. I can’t believe it was so simple. I am SO happy. Thank you.

    1. Wow, great job Gabriela!!!

      Can’t believe they used those flexible pipes in a new bathroom. Any time you have a question about something let me know 🙂

      I’d be happy to help.

  30. Leah Chana Twersky says:

    Great video. Thanks for the advice. Do you know how to get the stench out from a trench drain in a wheel chair accessible drain?

  31. Ted Smith says:

    Dumped a pot of boiling water into the sink. A few seconds later, “POP”. The sink cracked in half.

    Thanks!

    1. Sorry to hear that Ted. What kind of sink?

  32. Martha Q. says:

    Hi Jeff as everyone else I also have a bathroom sink with a disgusting smell coming out of it. I am about to do what you suggest but I have One problem my sink does’nt have a p-trap because it’s a pedestal sink. Is that normal or do I need to install a p-trap?

    1. Yes, regardless of the type of sink in a bathroom you should have a p-trap Martha. That way the sewer gas won’t get into the bathroom. It’s the water in the p-trap that prevents the gas from entering via the sewage pipes 😉

  33. MsFD911 says:

    Hi Jeff! Absolutely LOVE your tutorial and appreciate how you make it stupid-proof!
    Before I embark on this little task, I wanted to ask you a question… Is this the proper method to use when I only smell the awful odor while the water is running in my bathroom sink?
    Btw, I do have a p-trap
    Thanks much!

    1. Noah Laws says:

      If it’s only one sink or faucet that has that issue, it sounds more like a problem with your supply lines or the faucet. Outside of hiring a plumber to potentially replace the actual copper water pipes feeding that sink. You can replace the (outside the wall) supply lines (older houses will be copper tubing, newer stuff will be a braided flexible line, either metal mesh or just reinforced poly line). Those are fairly easy to replace. Removing and taking apart the fixture itself can be an absolute pain in the butt for not much ROI. That being said, there’s never any harm to cleaning out the external drain pipes (the stuff outside of the wall). They probably need it anyways.

      Try cleaning everything first to determine whether you need a plumber after that.

  34. Tasha says:

    Thanks for making this super easy! I cleaned out so much gross gunk out of our sinks. I had tried vinegar and baking soda, but it only worked for a day.

    I can’t believe how easy it was!

    1. Awesome Tasha, glad the tips helped 🙂

  35. chehawk says:

    Hi Jeff, the most important and should be on top of your supply list is rubber gloves.
    That stuff is nasty and it smell like old lady to me. thanks for the video

  36. Very nice post. I simply stumbled upon your weblog and wished to mention that I’ve truly loved browsing your
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    to your feed and I am hoping you write again soon!

  37. Kevin says:

    I found an easy way to clean the “overspill” part of a bathroom sink. This is typically a hole near the top and inside the front of a bathroom sink. It is an integrated tube that leads to the main drain of the sink but is hidden. This typically gets mold build up over time. I use one of those spray bottles, the kind you can buy at HD or Lowes. Unscrew the pump sprayer, fill it with hot water, and put it over the hole at the top of the sink. Quickly squeeze the water out forcefully into the overfill hole. Be careful not to force too much too fast as it may make a mess. Use common sense and practice. The force of the water will dislodge mold and gunk and send it all down thru the tube and into the sink drain. Simply pouring water into this hole will NOT clean it thoroughly. Using the squeeze bottle and a sufficient quantity of water and force WILL dislodge most of the gunk. Do this a couple times. Typically I finish with a touch of bleach which I let sit a while. Then a final rinse. Quick and easy.

  38. Kevin says:

    Awesome video! Took the smell away completely.

  39. Colby says:

    Enjoyed your video. Boiling water makes my drain pipes smell worse. Suggestions? Thank you.

    1. Hmm, have you tried to snake the drain? Sounds like there could be a hair clog or a leak at one of the pipes causing the sewer smell?

  40. Cynthia says:

    Thank you!

  41. Kat Jones says:

    Hi! Thanks for the tips! I just wanted to mention that every time, and I mean EVERY time I use Comet to scrub my sinks, then wash it down, within a day my sinks smell HORRIBLE. You’d think the chlorine would prevent the smell but it doesn’t. I wouldn’t blame Comet but it happens every time I use it. Just an FYI 🙂

  42. Srena says:

    I KNEW I needed to disconnect the pipes and clean them out! I’ve been doing the vinegar, baking soda and hot water but that only helped temporarily.

    Biolfilm, as a pet owner I knew this could happen within their food bowls. I personally don’t use chemicals nor did I want to use it on my pricey, but worth it, lead free dog food bowl and water bowl. Instead I use my steam mop hose attachment for non-toxic cleaning {since most water will not get hot enough straight out of the faucet}.

    My point is for those of us who would like to try a healthier option, I’m going to try my steam mop on the pieces you put in the sink and/or water with some rosemary essential oil since it kills mold and is a disinfectant!

    Thank you this great tutorial and making it a fun read. I actually laughed a few times!

  43. Paul says:

    I have a gross smell coming from under the sink (in the cabinet) and none from the sink drain or overflow. I cleaned the p-trap and all that stuff regardless, but it’s still smelling. Pretty pungent! Any thoughts what that could be or where it’s coming from? No leaks on any pipes either. Thanks!

    1. Thanks Paul for your great question. Have you tried pouring vinegar down the sink overflow hole? Sometimes this can be the culprit as it doesn’t get used all that often but is exposed to water.

  44. Don Fred says:

    I wanted to tell you my experience – I replaced my 30 year old faucets with new Pfister faucets recently and since the replacement had fought a very unpleasant order in one bathroom. I never noticed any odor before but it was very strong after replacing the faucets each morning when I first ran water. There was no odor until I ran water. I ended up having to remove the drain stem again and check the area where the overflow feeds into the stem. The design of the cultured marble sink allowed for a huge amount of material to reside around the stem that could not be removed except by removing the drain stem and cleaning it by hand. After cleaning the smell is gone.

  45. Christofer Plumber says:

    Be careful with boiling-hot water in the sink, the chrome-plated plastic parts can crack from it – not the drainpipes, the decorative portions.

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