HomeBathroomHow To Clean A Smelly Drain In Bathroom Sink

How To Clean A Smelly Drain In Bathroom Sink

Everyone wants to have a clean bathroom that smells good at the same time. However, that is not the case with many bathrooms that most people deal with. 

There are times when a sewer odor appears in the bathroom, and this can become so unpleasant that using an air freshener or even ventilation does not help the situation. 

The stench is mainly felt when it finishes using the toilet. You will also notice that the same happens when you have a pile of laundry that is not washed. 

The sewer smell inside your bathroom means that you are having a problem with the drains of your bathroom that need to be taken care of as soon as possible.

Why Does Your Bathroom Smell Like The Sewage?

There are several reasons why your bathroom may be smelling like sewage. 

After performing a thorough check-in in your bathroom, you may end up finding the problem in the shower drain in your bathroom. 

It can be due to pipes that have clogged or wax ring that has formed around the toilet. 

To discover the source of the foul odor, you try using your nose for that. After cleaning the bathroom, check out all the corners and drains above the bathtub and the floor. 

You have to determine the art of the bathroom where the smell is the strongest, which will help you discover the source of the scent. 

After you have been able to identify where the smell is coming from, you will be able to get rid of it. Most of the time, the smell will be coming from the part of the sewers where organic waste, hair, and soap have accumulated to form a biofilm. 

Bacteria can even develop in such cases, causing smells inside the bathroom.

Causes Of A Smelly Drain In Bathroom Sink

The Smell From The Shower Drain

When you bathe daily, it leads to the formation of sediment, which comes from dead skin cells, shower gels, and hair. 

As time goes on, these deposits eventually clog the drain, causing slow water leaks and foul odor. If you notice that your feet remain in the water after you have had your shower, then you should know that it is possibly time for you to clean your drains. 

The good news is that cleaning the drains is something you can do by yourself, and you do not need to call a plumber for this kind of work. However, getting rid of the sediments that have formed inside the drain can be awful as well. 

So if you want to avoid doing such dirty work, you can pick up the phone and call the nearest professional plumber in your neighborhood to take a look at your sewers and clean it out for you. Still, if for some reason you want to do it yourself, you can read through to know how to clean a smelly drain in the bathroom sink.

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Dangerous Sewage Gasses

The mere attack of the odor on your nose is mostly not the worst effect of smell in the bathroom, irrespective of how to smell the scent from the pipes. 

An example is a place that is full of gases like methane. Methane is a highly hazardous gas, which can hurt your health when you come into contact with it. Methane can cause you to suffer from headaches, nausea, dizziness, vomiting, and suffocation. 

It can be highly flammable when it accumulates in a particular area, and this is one of the reasons why seeking out the source of the sewer smell is very important for you and your home. 

Dry P-Trap

This is also one of the biggest causes of bad-smelling odor in the bathroom. The p-trap is pipe-shaped in a ‘U’ and is located under the sink. 

There is usually a small amount of water that you can find inside the p-trap, and this prevents the gasses in the sewer from reaching the bathroom. However, if some of your taps get dry because you do not use them, the p-trap will eventually dry out over time. 

When this happens, the barrier that prevents the spread of the gasses from the sewer vanishes, allowing the gasses to come into the bathroom, and you will begin to smell. 

However, there is not much to worry about. You can solve this problem quite quickly. To return water into the p-trap, open the tap that you have not been using and allow the water to flow for about ten minutes. 

Pour a small amount of baking soda into the sink as a precaution. If the smell persists after doing this, you will have to call your professional plumber over for him to look at what may be going on. 

The smell still staying even after the p-trap has been filled with water again shows that the problem was not coming from the p-trap. So the plumber will look to find the actual cause of the smell and then solve the problem. 

Wax Ring Problem

You can find the wax ring at the bottom of your toilet, and it is essential because it forms a seal between the toilet bowl and the drain pipe. Like all things, the wax can get damaged as time goes on if the toilet bowl is not fixed correctly. 

This will cause the toilet to start leaking, and you begin to see water on the bathroom floor constantly. This is usually accompanied by a horrible sewer smell inside the bathroom. 

So what you have to do is to replace the wax ring. Remember that the toilet bowl needs to be emptied before you can begin replacing the wax ring. 

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If the damage done to the wax ring is very severe, you will have to scrape it off the floor. Before doing this, make sure that you wear rubber gloves and have some cleaning products. 

You will use the cleaning products to remove any traces of the wax ring on the floor. After you are done, set the new wax ring and put the toilet bowl back to where it was before. 

Sink Odors

There are some times too when the sewer smell will be coming from the sink in the bathroom. 

This typically happens when clogging in the pipe leads to a p-trap that has become dry. Most sinks have a hole at the bottom that allows you to drain it quickly when the sink is filled with water. 

If you have not been using the sink regularly, there is a possibility that grime and mildew have grown up inside there, causing the bad odor that you are smelling in the bathroom. 

You can get rid of this problem by scrubbing the inside of the sink. You will use a toothbrush for this job, so check around to see if any toothbrush is not in use anymore. 

After scrubbing the inside of the sink with the toothbrush, pour hydrochloric acid or any commercial cleaning agent into the sinkhole and then leave it to work for some time. After that, you rinse the sinkhole by allowing water to flow down it.

Water Heater Problem

This one is not a common source of sewer smell in the bathroom, and however, it can still be a source of lousy sewer odor in your bathroom. 

The water heater may be why the odor in the bathroom is smelly. When the water heater is not commonly used, bacteria colonies may begin to form in it. 

The lousy odor typically comes from the water heater smells like rotten eggs, making it easier for you to identify the problem quickly. You can solve this problem by heating the water to the highest point possible. 

After heating it out to the maximum, you flush it out to remove all the bacteria.

Do this several times for some time. If you notice that the smell is still in there, maybe it is time to get yourself a new water heater.

Water Smell

Most people will not think straight away that source of the smell could be inside the water. There are some regions where the water has a strange sulfur odor. 

This is because of the hydrogen sulfide that is in the water. You should be careful if that is why your bathroom smells because hydrogen sulfide is a compound that is very dangerous and can be harmful to your health and your family’s health. 

Even if you notice that the smell comes and then goes away, that does not mean that the problem has been solved on its own, and it means that the level of hydrogen sulfide in the water varies. So what you have to do is take a sample of the water to a lab to get it tested. 

Also Read:  How To Install A Bathroom Sink Drain

Even if hydrogen sulfide is present in small quantities in the water, it can still be harmful to you or your pets.

Symptoms will be loss of appetite, headaches, bronchitis, fainting, and pneumonia. 

Another reason why this computer is dangerous is that as time goes on, it becomes less sensitive, making you believe that the bad smell has disappeared, not knowing that harmful substances are still inside the water.

So this issue needs to be solved as soon as you come across it.

Tools Needed When Cleaning A Smelly Drain In The Bathroom 

  • Wrench
  • Hose
  • Vinegar
  • Gloves
  • Baking Soda
  • Bucket
  • Ladder

How To Clean Smelly Drain In Bathroom Sink 

  1. The first thing you will have to do is remove the shower drain cover. You can do this by using a screwdriver. 
  2. After that, grab the mixture of boiled water and white vinegar that you have prepared. 
  3. Pour the hot water down the drain slowly in a continuous stream.
  4. You will have to pour about two cups of baking soda into the drain and allow it to sit for about 2 hours. You then pour more boiling water into the drain once again. 
  5. The baking soda and the vinegar will destroy the deposits that have been made down there. After this, you can now use a drain brush to rid the biofilm leftovers. 
  6. Allow the water to run for some minutes into the drain and then cover it with the drain cover. It is advisable to develop a habit of combing your hair before you shower so that you do not leave any hair in the drain. 

It would help if you also tried to clean your drain once every week with a combination of baking soda and vinegar so that you can avoid any future smell problems in your bathroom and your reign.

Calling A Professional Plumber

If you think that you cannot do any of these on your own, your best bet will be to call the plumber to handle it.

Calling the plumber is good because he will show up with all the necessary tools to make the completion without many worries. 

Sometimes, you will certainly need a plumber because the problem is too severe for you to handle alone. 

So when you feel like the whole thing is too much for you, call a plumber in the area and leave everything to him.


It would help if you never tried to avoid sewer smells in your bathroom. Aside from being uncomfortable, the sewer odor can also harm your health. 

You can work on a clogged sink quite efficiently by removing debris and other things. 

You can also now replace the wax ring at the bottom of the toilet by yourself.

Do not forget to call the plumber if you cannot handle the work.

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Christopher Nolanhttps://housetuts.com
Born in the USA, Christopher Nolan, is a home improvement expert, author, and blogger. He has over 10 years of experience in the home improvement industry, working in interior design, exterior, and marketing.

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