Why does puke smell so bad

Eliminate odors The drain stinks? - How to neutralize drain odor

By Matthias Kemter

If the drain stinks it can be very uncomfortable. Find out everything about the causes and what you can do about bad odors from the drain here in the article.


The problem of odors from the drain is certainly familiar to many. While some smells go away on their own, others remain very persistent.

Causes of odors from the drain

The causes of odors from the drain can be varied. Odors are formed by bacterial decomposition of organic substances. The main culprits are:

A clogged drain

If the drain is clogged, the water will drain less or not at all. Organic substances have then mostly collected and caught in the pipe bends or the siphon (odor trap) of the drain. Such odor traps are usually exposed and can be cleaned easily by yourself.

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Hair and soap scum in the shower

Hair often collects in shower and sink drains. In connection with old soap residues, true breeding grounds for microorganisms are created. Common home remedies can quickly help to get rid of such pollution and thus also the smell associated with it. We've rounded up 5 easy methods for you to get rid of drain odor below.

Grease and leftover food in the kitchen drain

Food residues, in particular, collect in kitchen drains, as this cannot be entirely avoided when washing up. Over time, these residues can also get caught and accumulate unfavorably. Such contamination can usually be prevented well with a simple drainage strainer.

Rarely used drain

Another common cause of stink from drains is when they are infrequently used. The less often a drain is flushed with water, the better germs, bacteria and fungi can multiply in the pipes. This problem can often be easily remedied by regularly running the tap on the hottest setting for a few minutes. Should there be any odors from the drain, the drain should be cleaned as described below.

Weather change

In some residential complexes, some drains may also start to stink when the weather changes. For example, if the water level in the sewage system rises due to rain, odors from the sewage system are pushed outside. In the event of poor pipe ventilation or defective odor traps, such smells can then enter the apartment via the drain. If odors regularly enter the apartment even after the drain has been cleaned due to changes in the weather, a professional should be consulted.

Eliminate drain odor - 5 methods

If the drain stinks, simple home remedies can often help. So you don't have to grab the chemistry club right away. Home remedies for removing odors from drains are not only cheaper, they are also kind to the environment. The following home remedies are particularly suitable for removing stench from drains in showers as well as wash basins and sinks.

Tip: Before using the home remedies, you can leave the tap on the hottest setting for a few minutes. This helps with the first neutralization of odors and the home remedies can work better in the warm pipes.

# 01 - baking soda + vinegar

Add a few tablespoons of baking soda down the stinking drain and rinse straight away with a little vinegar. Let the whole thing work for about 15 minutes and then rinse with warm water. As a result of the reaction with the vinegar, greasy deposits begin to dissolve.

# 02 - salt

Salt can also help loosen incrustations inside the pipes. Put a few tablespoons of salt down the drain and let it sit for half an hour. If you have stubborn odors from the drain, you can repeat this process. After the salt has taken effect, you should then rinse with hot water.

# 03 - baking soda

Soda is a real all-rounder among home remedies. Even if the drain stinks, baking soda is a great help. Let the faucet run on the hottest setting for a few minutes so that the pipes are warm and moist. Next, pour a cup of baking soda down the drain and let it sit for 15 to 30 minutes. You should cover the drain with a damp cloth. After the exposure time, you can rinse the drain with hot water again and the bad smells should be gone.

# 04 - soda

Soda or washing soda can also help remove bad smells from stinking drains. To do this, just add a few tablespoons of soda down the drain and let it sit for 15 minutes. Then rinse with warm water and you're done.

# 05 - dishwasher tabs

If you don't have any of the above home remedies on hand, you can also go a long way with dishwasher tabs and neutralize odors in smelly drains. To do this, dissolve two dishwasher tabs in half a liter of warm water and slowly pour it down the drain. You can also crush the tabs and pour them down the drain as a powder. Let the whole thing work for an hour and then rinse with hot water.

Cleaning the drain - 4 methods

Most odors disappear very well with the above-mentioned home remedies, as these also have a cleaning effect and can remove dirt to a certain extent. In the case of stubborn dirt or if bad smells come back regularly, drains should also be cleaned more intensively. The following methods help to eliminate bad smells caused by stubborn dirt:

# 01 - The Pömpel

The good old Pömpel is an ideal aid that can be used very well during the time the home remedies take effect. By using the pump, the home remedies can be more easily mixed with the standing water in the pipe bends and odor traps and thus distributed better.

# 02 - Clean pipe bends or siphon

Pipe bends (also called siphons) serve as odor traps, as water collects here and thus closes the pipes airtight. This keeps odors out of the sewage system. In addition to water, organic substances and thus microorganisms also tend to collect here, which cause odors on the other side of the drain. Most odor traps are easy to remove and easy to clean. Always place a bucket under the siphon for cleaning. The different methods you can use to clean your siphon can be found here:

Clean the siphon - this is how it works

# 03 - Use the bottom of a plastic bottle as a pump

If you don't have a plunger on hand, you can also use the bottom of a plastic bottle to create a pressure change in the drain by pumping. To do this, cut the bottom of a plastic bottle straight off and lay it upside down on the drain. By applying pressure to the bottom of the bottle, you can now also create pressure in the drain.

# 04 - Clean the drain with the spiral pipe

With pipe spirals, clogged pipes can be freed from dirt cheaply and without chemicals. Cheap models are already available for less than ten euros. These are available with barbs or for turning. To prevent renewed odors from the drain, after cleaning with the spiral pipe, the drain should also be cleaned using one of the methods mentioned above using household remedies.

Preventing odors in the drain - 4 tips

You can prevent bad odors from the drain by paying attention to a few things in everyday life.

  • Run hot water through the drain regularly: especially with drains that are seldom used, it makes sense to let the tap run on the hottest setting for a few minutes every now and then. This minimizes bacteria in the drains and also loosens deposits in the water pipes.
  • Use a drain strainer: Drain strainers provide enormous protection against clogged pipes and odors from the drain. If you have these problems on a regular basis, consider getting a drain strainer.
  • No food leftovers in the drain: Especially if the sink drain regularly clogs or triggers odors, you should make sure that there are no more crumbs or food leftovers on the dishes.
  • Let the sink fill up with warm water: It is best to let the sink fill up with hot water every now and then and mix some washing-up liquid into the water. When you pull the plug, the drain is vigorously flushed. This is a good way of preventing soiling.

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