When you think about all the stuff we put down our drains, it’s not a surprise that odors can build up inside of them. Food, hair and bacteria are just a few examples of the things that contribute to smelly drains. But just because our drains can get smelly doesn’t mean we can’t do anything about it! Below are some tips for San Francisco area homeowners on how to prevent and control smelly drains your home.

Smelly drains: prevention methods

  • Minimize food down the drain. Food is one of the most common reasons for smelly drains, especially in sinks without garbage disposals. If you don’t have a garbage disposal, minimize the amount of food that goes into your drain by using a stopper when you wash dishes and discarding food scraps into the trash or compost. If you do have a disposal, make sure to always use it with running water to make sure food scraps get all the way down the drain.
  • Use a strainer. Strainers can be installed in your shower and in any sinks in your home for just a few dollars. These allow water to flow down the drain while trapping larger objects like hair and food.

Smelly drains: solutions

  • Ice cubes. If you already have smelly drains in a sink with a garbage disposal, try putting some ice cubes down the drain. Grind them up until you don’t hear a crushing sound anymore and wash it away with water. You can follow this up with a few pieces of lemon.
  • Baking soda. Baking soda is a tried and true substance for controlling odors. You can add baking soda to any of your smelly drains and let it sit for about 20 minutes. Wash it down with a pot of boiling water (be careful!) and see if that gets rid of the problem.
  • Citrus. Citrus fruits like lemons and oranges are very potent, which makes them great for fighting off bad smells in your drains. You can add a few slices to your garbage disposal every couple of weeks to keep your drains smelling fresh. However, be careful not to overdue this method because the acidic content of the fruits can cause damage too your pipes if done too often.

If you have any questions about smelly drains, or if you’d like a plumbing system serviced or installed in your home, contact Cabrillo, your San Francisco plumbing, heating and cooling company.