Three smelly sink remedies without using harsh chemicals

A kitchen should smell like sweet potato pie baking or a pot roast simmering in the slow cooker--not...

A kitchen should smell like sweet potato pie baking or a pot roast simmering in the slow cooker--not stale garbage. If you have a smelly sink, it's time to clean the drain. When you have a garbage disposal, it's not uncommon for the kitchen sink to get a little stinky. Here's how to clean it up.

1. Vinegar cleanser
Remove everything from the sink. Pour 1 cup of baking soda directly into the sink drain. Now add 2 cups of white vinegar to the drain. The mixture will foam and clean the inside of the drain of lingering, odor-causing dirt. The vinegar sanitizes the pipes and breaks apart food particles. The baking soda neutralizes odors. Let the cleanser sit for 10 minutes. Finish by rinsing the drain with a steady stream of cold water for one full minute.

2. Using citrus fruits
Never throw away orange peels or lemon peels after making a pitcher of flavored sweet tea. Save all citrus peels to use as a natural freshener for sink drains attached to a garbage disposal. Add small pieces of lemon, lime, orange or grapefruit peels to the drain. Run the cold water and turn on the disposal. As the blades grind the peels, a refreshing citrus scent is released.

3. Snaking the drain
If you've tried cleaning the drain and you still have a smelly sink, you may have a clog. A scoop of last week's seasoned greens can get pretty ripe and smelly when stuck in the curve of a drain pipe. Use a hand-held plumber's snake to remove the rotting food.

Does your sink still have a lingering odor? It's time to call a professional. An Atlanta-area plumber can quickly diagnose the cause of your smelly sink and offer solutions.

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