Like the holiday season, my out-of-town guests have come and gone. I enjoyed their company, but now it’s time to get back to “normal.” I started by taking down holiday decorations (sigh) and doing a thorough cleaning of my place.

As much as it pained me, I threw away uneaten treats. I scrubbed, dusted, vacuumed and wiped down nearly everything in sight. I could finally relax, or so I thought. Soon, I found myself asking, “What’s that smell?”


It turned out that smell was coming from my sink. Spotless as it was on the outside, the inside reeked, and the smell was creeping up the drain and into the kitchen. I found out that the problem could be many things. Luckily for me, the solution was simple.

I didn’t consider that the drain needed cleaning, too. I even had a homemade recipe for drain cleaner. I guess my head was still stuck in holiday mode.

All you need for this type of cleaning is baking soda and vinegar. Pour baking soda into the drain. You can use 1 tablespoon or up to a 1/2 cup, depending on the severity of the problem. My sink was extra stinky, so I used 1/2 cup. Next, pour 1/4 cup to 1 cup of vinegar down the drain, depending on how much baking soda you used.


Cover the drain with a stopper. If it’s a double sink, put stoppers in each. Then, let the mixture sit for 15 to 30 minutes. The baking soda and vinegar will react, and the mixture will put force on any blockage inside, which is probably the root of the stench. Finish it off by removing the stoppers and running hot water through the drain. I let my hot water run for about one to two minutes.

The stink is gone, but to keep it from coming back, I’ll have to add drain cleaning to my weekly routine. If this doesn’t work for you, or if the smell comes back too soon, you may have a larger issue. The problem could lie in your P-trap, which is the P-shaped fitting under your sink. It is designed to trap water in order to create a seal, blocking sewer gases from creeping up your sink. Check it to ensure it’s clean and free from debris.

Other problems may lie in your vent, overflow drain or even your faucet. In any case, it is always best to consult a professional for serious problems.