Table Of Contents

Removing Bad Smells From Bathroom Drains

Do you have smelly bathroom drains on your property? The smelly drains can be overwhelming, unsanitary, and a sign of a more severe plumbing issue in your property. The smelly drains generally make your residential or commercial property uncomfortable. Therefore, as a result, it is always important to ensure that you get rid of smelly drains immediately after you recognise them.

It is essential to know that getting rid of smelly drains is not as difficult as you probably think. The most important thing is to ensure that you use the correct method to prevent the problem from occurring again on your property. Continue reading this article to understand how to get rid of a bathroom drains smell effectively.

Causes Of Smelly Drains In Your Bathroom

There are various causes of smelly bathroom drains in your residential or commercial property. Here are some of these causes.

Bacteria Build-Up in the Shower Drain

There is a lot of debris that goes down your drains day after day. Some of the stuff includes shaving cream, toothpaste, soapy water, and dead skin cells, among others. These materials can get into your bathroom drains when flushed down into the pipes. The pipes offer a conducive environment that bacteria can grow and thrive in. With time, the bacteria build-up can lead to biofilm. This is black and nasty gunk that can lead to a fairly unpleasant smell.

You can quickly determine if the smell is from biofilm in the bathroom drain. To do so, simply disconnect the drain stopper, pull it out, and check if the underside has a black film cover. If there is a biofilm, then it is an indication that the bathroom drains have the same. Luckily, the biofilm smell is easy to remove.

Issues with Your Sewer Lines

If the smell is awful, like sewage, then the problem emanates from the sewage lines. The sewer smell can indicate a deeper issue with your plumbing system. Some of these issues can include rising sewer gas through your bathroom drain. Note that all the stuff from your bathroom goes to the same place. This means that somewhere down the line, your bathroom drains connect with the line from your toilet. Thus, if you notice smelly drains, it can be a problem with the P-trap or vent.

Problems with the Vent

Your property plumbing system features vents. The vents can allow the nasty sewer gas to escape into your home instead of getting trapped. If there is a sewer gas smell coming from your bathroom drain, this can signify that the ventilation system has a clog.

Dry P-trap

The smell from your bathroom drain can be a result of a problem with the P-trap. The P-trap is a U-shaped part of the pipe that you find under the bathroom sink. The P-trap helps hold a protective barrier of water that keeps sewer gases from wafting up through the drains into your bathroom.

If the water in the P-trap is no longer there, the barrier protecting the sewer gases from entering your property is no longer there. This can be unpleasant and also unhealthy. A dry P-tap problem mainly occurs in the guest bathroom or the one in the bathroom that is rarely used.

Drain Flies

Drain flies, also commonly referred to as moth flies, can lead to smelly bathroom drains. This mainly occurs if they are present in large numbers. These flies usually decompose the organic matter that they lay their eggs in. Their favorite places to breed in are bathroom drains.

Effectively Removing Smelly Bathroom Drains

Now that you know what may be the cause of the smelly bathroom drains, it is time to remove the odour. There are several procedures that you can apply to keep your bathroom drains smelling fresh at all times.

Clear Any Build-Up in Your Bathroom Drains

As mentioned above, one of the major causes of smelly bathroom drains is the build-up of gunk. It is easy to get rid of smelly drains resulting from this problem. You just need to detach the stopper, pull it out and find out if there is any build-up of the nasty gunk at its bottom. If there is material build-up, you should clean the sink thoroughly to get rid of the bacterial build-up that may be causing the foul smell. To clean the build-up in your bathroom drain, you can buy the recommended cleaning products specifically made to clean bathroom drains.

The other effective way to do so includes using bicarb and vinegar. However, you should never mix vinegar with bleach because it can produce toxic fumes if you do so. Once you have used your preferred cleaning method, you should pour several cups of boiling water down the drain. You can also allow the hot water to run for two minutes. This helps break down and eliminate any bacteria.

If the bacteria build-up is severe, the above methods may not be enough. In this case, you should close the water source, take apart the plumbing system under the bathroom sink, and clean every pipe. You can easily do this using a paper towel to clean inside every pipe or drain. Then, rinse the drains using an outdoor hose or faucet. After that, reassemble the plumbing.

Add Water to the P-Trap

If the cause of the smelly drains is a dry P-trap, it is easy to get rid of the odour. All you should do is run water through the shower drain for a few minutes. This allows the P-trap to regain the protective moisture barrier. If this method fails to work, then this is a sign that you might have misdiagnosed the issue. The problem could also be more complicated, so you should get help from a reliable plumber.

Fix Your Bathroom’s Ventilation

The smell could also be a result of a dysfunctional ventilation system in your bathroom. Faulty ventilation can allow sewer gases to be trapped into your home or waft out through the bathroom drain. This is a more complicated issue that could necessitate advanced repairs to your home’s entire plumbing system. Therefore, a trustworthy plumber is better placed to diagnose the problem and offer a more long-lasting solution.

Check Out the Overflow Pipe

The small hole situated at the top of your sink is referred to as the overflow. The overflow ensures that your bathroom sink does not overflow. If the water level rises, the water drains through the hole instead of spilling out onto the floor. This small hole usually holds soap scum and other build-ups. With time, you will notice some odour emanating from the small hole. You can clean the overflow using baking soda and vinegar or any other recommended bleach by pouring it down the hole.

Remove Build-Up from the Bathroom Pipes

Smelly bathroom drains can result from the accumulation of gunk in the pipes. It is possible to have grease, hairballs, scum, and other stuff build up in the pipes. Besides boiling water and vinegar, you can clean smelly drains and remove the odour with a mixture of baking soda and vinegar. This mixture usually produces a reaction that helps dislodge the build-up and unclog the drain, thus effectively getting rid of the smell.

Clean-Up Your Bathroom Sink Basin

Do not overlook the possibility of the smelly drains emanating from build-up in your bathroom sink’s basin and not deep down the drains. A simple bathroom sink drain cleaning can help eliminate all the debris from the sink and restore its pleasant smell. All you need to do is close the drain, add some soap, and fill the basin using hot water. Allow it to sit for some minutes and let out the water as you clean the basin by scrubbing.

Use a Drain Snake

The smelly drain may be caused by a clog in the bathroom drains. You can efficiently deal with this by using a drain snake. A drain snake is also referred to as a drain auger. To deal with the smelly drain, follow the steps below:

Step One: Put the drain snake into the drain

Push the snake end into the opening of the bathroom drain. Then, turn the handle of the drum containing the coiled-up snake.

Step Two: Push the drain snake or auger down the drain

The auger begins its journey down the bathroom drain. Push the snake into the bathroom drain until you get some resistance. Apply some pressure as you crank the handle to allow it to bend around the tight curves in the trap under the sink. After you turn the curve, the drain snake slides until it hits the clog.

Step Three: Rotate the drain snake/auger

Rotate the drain snake against the blockage until you feel it feed freely into the drain pipes. The rotating allows the tip of the snake to attach to the clog and spin it away. If the clog is solid, the head of the auger will entangle the object.

If you stop feeling the snake breaking through and the twisting gets simpler, you should pull the auger out of the bathroom drain. You are likely going to pull the clog out with the snake drain. At times the clog may flush down the bathroom drain or come out attached to the drain snake.

Step Four: Run hot water

Now run water with full force for some minutes to ensure that the bathroom drain is fully unclogged.

How To Prevent Smelly Bathroom Drains

As with most other commercial or residential property issues, prevention is always better than cure. To prevent smelly bathroom drains, you need to carry out regular cleaning and plumbing maintenance. Every week, boil water and pour it into all your bathroom drains twice. After doing that, run cold water for one or two minutes.

You should also apply baking soda, vinegar, and boiling water routinely every month and plug up the sink overnight. Remove the plug and allow a constant flow of hot water in the morning. This makes your bathroom drains smell fresh and clean at all times.

Why Hire A Professional Plumbing Company?

If you have got an ongoing problem with smelly pipes or you cannot do the job yourself, you need to hire a professional plumber to help. Plumbers use special tools and are highly knowledgeable on how to get rid of smelly bathroom drains. They can help clean your bathroom drains effectively, efficiently, and safely. With professional plumbers, you can expect long-lasting solutions to your smelly bathroom drains.

Blueline Plumbers are your local specialist for all domestic plumbing and gas fitting needs.

Get in touch for a free quote or speak with a qualified plumbing specialist. We will help you find a solution for your emergency plumbing or plumbing repair needs.
We are experts in Canberra hot water systems, providing plumbing and gas fitting solutions for all plumbing issues.