Remove ‘rotten egg smells’ from sink and drain with ‘magic’ item

Home Depot expert explains how to unclog a bath drain

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A smelly sink is usually caused by bacteria build up from grease, fat and food which have been flushed down the drain in kitchens. These will then get stuck in the pipes causing the familiar “rotten egg smell”, explained Tom Drake, DIY expert at Drench. In bathrooms, a smelly sink can often be caused by stray hairs that become lodged in soap scum that starts to line the drain. To stop a sink smelling, households will need to clear any blockages which are causing the smell.

Boiling water

One of the first methods, the expert recommends using is boiling water. Boil the kettle then pour some boiling hot water down the drain. Wait for five minutes then pour an equal amount of cold water down. 

Tom said: “This should force any remaining grease to congeal and hopefully clear the blockage and the smell.”


Using a plunger can also help “clear a smelly drain”, claimed the pro. He recommended: “Simply place the plunger cup over the basin drain and pump vigorously up and down for at least a minute to remove any small blockages. 

“Finally, repeat the boiling water flush to remove any remaining congealed build up. Be sure to have your plunger handy just in case.” For those who don’t have a plunger, there are a few other methods to try.

White vinegar 

Another simple way to clear a sink drain is with a small amount of white vinegar. 

Tom instructed: “Pour a cup of white vinegar down the drain, let it stand for 30 minutes, then rinse with hot water.”

This will keep any blockages from getting too severe and causing more permanent or expensive issues.

Caustic soda 

According to Tom, caustic soda, (sodium hydroxide), is “very effective” for unblocking sinks and plug holes. 

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He said: “This substance has fantastic degreasing properties meaning it can break down grease and fat, which are the most common cause of a blocked drain.”

To unblock a sink using caustic soda, he recommends using a solution of around 10 percent. To create a 10 percent solution of caustic soda, simply dissolve 100g of the crystals into one litre of water. 

The expert said: “Simply pour the 10 percent solution down the drain and let it get to work, it is recommended to leave caustic soda to work its magic for around half an hour to break down any deposits in the sink. 

“When five minutes has passed, slowly run some water into the sink, increasing the water pressure.”

If the drain isn’t clear, repeat the process of creating a solution and pouring it down the sink until the drain appears to be clear. Tom added: “Caustic soda can also be used to effectively unblock plug holes, outdoor drains and toilets.”

Check the U-bend

If the following methods do not resolve the issue, it may be that there is a blockage in the U-Bend of the sink. 

U-bend traps, also known as waste pipes, are found underneath the plug hole of bathroom basins and baths. 

A U-Bend waste tube is usually filled with water to prevent drain odours from escaping. 

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To said: “The easiest way to clear an obstructed U-Bend is to remove any blockages from it. This can be done by carefully removing the u-bend pipe using a wrench and emptying the containing water. 

“With the aid of a wire brush and a flush of warm water any remaining residue can be easily swept away.”

How to prevent a drain smelling

Dom Lees-Bell, bathroom expert at Drench advised: “To avoid a blocked sink the rule of thumb is to be careful as to what you put down your drain, and take regular action to clear any deposits that might form. 

“Ensure that you don’t pour grease down your drain, and we recommend opting for a waste with hair catching properties to prevent hair, soap scum and other solids from making their way into the drain.”

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