How to Use Bleach to Clean a Smelly Bathroom Sink Drain

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How to Use Bleach to Clean a Smelly Bathroom Sink Drain

If you have a smelly sink drain in your bathroom, it can be both disgusting and worrisome. It can also make using the bathroom very unpleasant, which is why you might consider pouring bleach down the drain for its smell. Before you begin, ensure you know the proper instructions for using bleach to cut through the stink and what to do if the bleach doesn't work. It's important to note that you should not pour bleach down a clogged sink even if it smells. Unclog the stoppage first and then treat the foul odor if necessary.

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Pour Bleach Down a Drain for Its Smell

Begin with running hot water down the drain for a couple of minutes. This running water will loosen any debris in the sink and allow the bleach to go right through. Next, turn off the water completely and let it drain entirely. Slowly pour 1 cup of bleach down the drain a few inches away from the drain itself in a circular motion. This action will allow the bleach to reach the sides of the drain where the smell may be originating.

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Leave the sink alone for about 30 minutes; do not turn on the water. Waiting allows the bleach to fully penetrate without being washed away too quickly. Let the smell of the bleach disappear entirely and then see if the foul odor persists. If it does, try pouring another cup of bleach down the sink in the same manner. You shouldn't repeat this step more than twice, though. If the bad smell is still detectable, the bleach is not enough to get rid of it. It's time to try other steps.

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Try a Drain Deodorizer

If the bleach didn't work, you could try making a drain deodorizer from household substances. Mix 1/2 cup of baking soda and 1/4 cup of table salt. At the same time, gently heat 1 cup of white vinegar over medium heat until it is steaming but not boiling.

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Pour the salt and baking soda mixture down the drain followed by the warmed-up vinegar. Don't be surprised; it's going to bubble and foam up out of the sink. Allow it to sit for about 15 minutes and then flush the drain with warm water for one or two minutes. Let the smell of vinegar disappear before deciding whether the odor has been eliminated.

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You can also buy drain deodorizer products. You can buy them at most household supply stores, such as Target and Walmart; hardware stores, like Home Depot; or online from Amazon and similar retailers.

Treat the Cause of the Stink

If using bleach or a drain deodorizer doesn't work to eliminate the scent, then there is something more going on and you need to find the source of the smell. There may be something lodged in the sink creating the odor even if it isn't causing the sink to clog. You can try using a corrosive drain cleaner, such as Draino. Use it according to the manufacturer's instructions.

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Finally, call a plumber or home repair professional if the foul smell continues to come back. Something is going on, and a professional may need to take apart some of the plumbing to see what it is and to fix it. Unless you really know what you're doing, don't try to do that yourself.

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