Solving and preventing drain smells

When you own or rent a property, you must figure out how to maintain it either for yourself or your landlord. As much as cleaning may seem unappealing to you, from time to time you might find yourself dealing with a smelly drain (or multiple smelly drains).

You’ll quickly learn that when plumbing blocks and backs up, the emitting odour can quickly turn foul.

Want to know how to solve and prevent less than impressive drain smells?

Read more from the Perth plumbers at Superior Plumbing to find out.


Why do my drains smell?

To solve, dissolve and prevent drain smells you need to start at the source – finding out why they smell in the first place.


There’s three main causes for drain smells:

  • Bacteria

Bacteria growth results from the presence of food particles, grease and/or other dirt build up. From here, drain flies, small but unhygienic moth-like flies, can breed.

  • A blocked drain

With a blocked drain comes water that pools up in pipes or sinks (or both) resulting in stagnant, reeking odours. You can try use a plunger for a quick-fix or call a qualified plumber for stubborn or unknown blockages.

  • Ineffective P trap

The “P” shaped pipe (known as a P trap) under your sinks stop the release of gases from your drainpipes. However, due to infrequent use of the bathroom or kitchen sinks – the essential water in your P trap will evaporate, letting those gassy smells waft up and out from the sink.

To know what causes the putrid smells is a smart tool in preventing them. From putting all food particles and cooking grease into the bin and not the kitchen sink, as well as regularly using all sinks in the house is essential to stopping smelly drains.

How can I clean my drains?

There’s a handful of at-home hacks that can help you solve and prevent drain smells.

  • Ingredients found in your kitchen cupboard

Use a combination of 1 litre of boiling water, 1 cup of white vinegar and 2 cups of baking soda. First pour the baking soda down the drain, followed closely by the boiling water to dissolve it. Finally pour the vinegar down and put the plug in. You’ll hear foaming and fizzing sounds, but that’s just the reaction and breakdown of all grease and grime build-ups.

  • Disinfect

For bathrooms that haven’t seen much use over the years – the smells resulting from underuse (remember what we mentioned about P traps earlier?) can get into and onto the walls, tiles, bathroom linen and sink. So, if it’s been a while, disinfect everything with diluted bleach and ammonia ensuring sufficient ventilation to keep you safe.

  • Keep your toilet bowl clean

Nobody likes to clean toilets, but they do need to be cleaned regularly to keep any foul smells at bay. Use a plunger if you suspect a toilet blockage or call your plumber for professional assistance.


I need more help

Are you having trouble identifying the source of the drain smell? Have you tried the above and the smell is still not going away?

Superior Plumbing will can professionally diagnose, solve and prevent future plumbing problems.


Need a professional, reliable plumber in Perth? Contact Superior Plumbing today for superior plumbing services for residential and commercial properties.