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8 Hacks to Rid Your Kitchen of Funky Sink Odors


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The kitchen is sparkling clean, but underneath the pristine surface, an ominous odor is on the rise. Lurking in the dark, the source remains hidden. Sniffing your way around the kitchen, you realize it must be the trash and toss it. Yet the odor still remains. You ponder, "How can that be when the kitchen looks like the final product of a Mr. Clean commercial?" Then, it hits you. That unpleasant odor is coming from the kitchen sink.

What Causes Kitchen Sink Odors?

Quite possibly the dirtiest place in the house, the kitchen sink is often neglected when it comes to deep cleaning. Food particles get trapped, causing an unpleasant odor to rise up through the drain. That stinky, rotten egg or moldy smell could also be coming from fat or grease buildup in the drain that has occurred over time. The smell is unpleasant and definitely something you want to eliminate from the kitchen as soon as possible.

Because the buildup of food particles and fat is so insidious, it can happen over time without you even noticing. Even if you consistently wipe down the counter and sink and keep your kitchen clean overall, it might not be enough to keep your sink from eventually getting smelly.

Fortunately, there are several easy ways to combat that foul smell, most of them using things you likely already have in your kitchen. Try one of these DIY, odor-free sink hacks to leave your kitchen smelling so fresh and clean.

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1. Start Simple, Use Boiling Water

Water Boiling on a Gas Stove, stainless pot.

Getty Images/RyersonClark

Sometimes, a good hot flush is all the sink really needs. Pour a small pot of boiling water down the kitchen drain to flush out any leftover food or gunk that may be stuck to rot in the drain and clog it up.

The hotter the water, the more bacteria it will knock out as it cycles through your kitchen sink drain. This is the easiest step to combating kitchen sink smells, one that we would suggest doing weekly.

2. Baking Soda

baking soda for kitchen sink odors

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A box of baking soda stuffed inside a packed fridge helps keep it fresh. A heaping can do the same for the kitchen sink odor because baking soda readily absorbs terrible smells.

Dump a cup down the sink then flush out with boiling hot water. As the baking soda is flushed out, it will take those pesky drain smells with it and revitalize your smelly sink.

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3. Citrus Rinds

Don't toss out your citrus rinds! Citrus does wonders for eliminating bad odors. Toss orange, lime or lemon peels down the sink and turn on the faucet. Flip the garbage disposal switch and grind your way to a better smelling sink.

This is one of the more effective natural remedies for deodorizing and works with most kitchen odors without making you resort to using harsh chemicals that often come with their own stench.

4. Distilled White Vinegar

It cleans the stove, it makes food taste better, it gets pesky sticker adhesive off the back bumper, and it even rids the sink of foul odor.

White vinegar is a mildly acidic, natural cleaning agent. The scent of white vinegar will overpower whatever is causing the bad smell while leaving a fresh clean.

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5. Baking Soda and Vinegar

baking soda and vinegar

Getty Images/Helin Loik-Tomson

When you were a kid, did you ever conduct a mini volcanic science experiment of mixing baking soda and vinegar? When the two come into contact, an amazing chemical reaction occurs.

This reaction can do wonders for the kitchen sink. Pour about half a cup of baking soda down the drain and chase with white vinegar. Let the two do their thing for 20 minutes, then flush with hot water.

6. Baking Soda and Lemon Juice

baking soda and lemons

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The fresh, citrusy scent of lemon leaves any kitchen smelling like a spring breeze. The odor trapping qualities of baking soda mixed with the antibacterial properties of lemon juice can defunk a stinky sink.

Sprinkle baking soda down the drain with the juice of one lemon to freshen up the drain.

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7. Borax

Borax can solve the toughest cleaning jobs. Blend 3 tablespoons of borax and ice cubes in the garbage disposal to disinfect the drain.

Let the borax rest, then pour some lemon juice down the drain for the ultimate clean.

8. Ice and salt

If you have a garbage disposal, a combination of ice cubes and salt can knock out that questionable stench. Just like a blender, ice will clean the blades while the salt acts as an abrasive scrub. Salt is also a natural disinfectant that will clean out bacteria leftover from food gunk.

Do yourself a favor and periodically clean out the kitchen sink. It will prevent that questionable odor from sneaking its way back into the kitchen.

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READ MORE:17 Household Uses for Lemons to Save Money on Cleaning Products

This post was originally published on December 19, 2019. 

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