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  • Writer's pictureMatt Winch

Banishing Unpleasant Odours - Tips for Cleaning Smelly Drains in Your Bathroom

Updated: Jan 3

Owning or renting a home comes with its joys, but maintenance and cleaning chores are inevitable, including the less pleasant task of dealing with smelly drains. Whether it's your sink or toilet, when blockages occur and odours linger, the situation can quickly escalate.

While not necessarily a plumbing emergency, smelly drains can transform into a more severe problem if left unattended. Here are some valuable tips for cleaning drains and eliminating odours, with a focus on bathrooms, the primary culprit!

cleaning sink

What Causes Smelly Drains?

Three common culprits contribute to unpleasant drain odours:

Bacterial Growth: Bacteria thrive in drains, feeding on food particles, grease, and other residues, emitting bad smells. This often coincides with the presence of drain flies, tiny moth-like insects that breed in stinky sink drains.

Blocked Drains: Water pooling in blocked drains leads to stagnant smells. While attempting a DIY unblocking is an option, persistent or recurring blockages call for professional blocked drain plumbers equipped with the right tools.

Airlock Effect: Infrequently used bathroom and kitchen sinks can release gases from drain pipes. The "P" shaped pipe, or P-trap, loses its airlock effect as water evaporates, allowing drain smells to permeate the sink.

Tips for Cleaning Smelly Drains:

DIY Solution: To prevent blockages, avoid flushing food scraps or pouring oil down the drain. Ensure a substantial amount of water accompanies soap to facilitate proper drainage. Additionally, run clean water through bathrooms and fixtures not used regularly to prevent water from becoming stagnant.

Comprehensive Bathroom Cleaning: For well-used bathrooms, the odour and dirt can penetrate walls, tiles, grout, rugs, and sinks. Disinfect fixtures, walls, and ceiling using bleach or ammonia. Ensure proper ventilation during the cleaning process.

Smelly Toilet Drain?


Regularly clean the toilet bowl. For a deeper clean, use a cleaning agent, scrub with a brush, let it sit, and then flush. If your toilet isn't flushing or drains slowly, a potential blockage may exist. Attempt a plunger or use a chemical solution cautiously.

Seeking Professional Assistance

Identifying the cause is crucial when dealing with smelly drains. Whether it's a blockage, dirt accumulation, or P-trap issues, addressing the root cause is key. If standard DIY solutions prove insufficient, don't hesitate to reach out to Innovation Plumbing and Design, your trusted Brisbane plumbing company. Say farewell to unpleasant smells in your kitchen and bathroom!

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