If your undersink cabinet smells musty, the chances are that mold is growing under there. Not treating it is akin to giving it free rein, and before you know it, it could grow and spread. Besides the fact that it looks pretty disgusting, it can also pose a health hazard. Cleaning it immediately is the best way to keep your home safe. Before you get the mold cleaner ready, you'll need to check first, though, because that bad smell under your sink could be downright dangerous.
Reasons for a Mildew Smell Under a Sink
There are three main reasons for a bad smell under a sink. The moisture from a plumbing water leak could cause mold and mildew to grow, so look for water spots and mold inside the cabinets or on the drywall. There might even be standing water. If the smell is more like sewer water, the issue could be related to problems with your vent or sink trap, which prevents sewer gases from entering your home.
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Does the undersink cabinet smell rotten? There might be some old food in there that fell out of your garbage can, or the garbage disposal could have food particles trapped inside. Try pouring some bleach or lemon peels down the drain if you don't find any old food in the cabinet. If the drain still stinks, an excellent way to eradicate a musty smell from the sink is to pour in 1/2 cup of baking soda. Wait 20 minutes, pour in 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide and flush with water.
If those methods don't work, you could have a buildup or clog of some sort in your disposal or drainpipe. Mold and mildew cause mold smell under the sink. Vent and sink trap problems smell like sewer gas and displaced food smells rotten. If any of these problems are severe, you may need to call a plumber. Eliminating a mold smell under a sink involves killing and removing the mold.
How to Get Rid of Mold
You have to be careful when cleaning up mold. You must wear rubber gloves, long sleeves and pants, eye protection and a breathing mask to avoid inhaling toxic fumes. Don your protective gear and remove everything from the kitchen cabinet. Take anything covered in mold and place it in a sealed bag to dispose of it later. Most kinds of mold are not toxic, but if you see large black or greenish-black mold areas, you will want to contact a trained professional. You can compare how they look to pictures online to ensure that it is not one of the toxic strains.
Use oxygen bleach for stainless steel sinks and regular bleach for other sinks because regular bleach does not play well with stainless steel. Mix four parts water and one part bleach in a bucket and pour it into a spray bottle. If you are sure the mold is not toxic, spray the area with your cleaning solution and let it sit for an hour.
Dip a sponge in warm and soapy water and then scrub off the residue. Keep rinsing off the sponge; otherwise, you will be spreading mold right back onto the surfaces. Dry the area well with old, clean towels and leave the doors open for at least an hour. If you don't want to use bleach, some natural products, like tea tree oil and vinegar, are also effective at killing mold.