Where is that smell coming from? It’s not your toilet or your kids or your trash can. Gasp – it’s your kitchen sink!
Those foul odors are the byproduct of food, crumbs, drinks, and random food items that made they way into your sink basin. They sit in your drain, trap other food particles, and create lovely smells (like rotten food or spoiled milk).
While your teenage boys may find it fascinating, your nose won’t be happy while you wash dishes. Take the time to give your drain a deep clean with natural cleaning products. You’ll be left with nothing but refreshing scents coming out of your kitchen sink!
Method #1: Vinegar and Baking Soda
Let’s travel back in time to your elementary school science fair. Do you remember making volcanoes out of red clay and a soda bottle? Then, when it’s time to show the judges your project, you fill the pit of the volcano (the soda bottle) with baking soda, and slowly pour in the vinegar. Wow, the volcano is erupting!
There is something magical about that chemical reaction, whether your 10 years old or if your age is over 30 and you prefer not to mention the specific number.
Channel your inner kid as your clean your sink drain with vinegar and baking soda. When in doubt, those two ingredients are the best and most natural household cleaners for practically any surface.
The chemical reaction will remove any stuck-on grime or left-behind goo. The vinegar will naturally disinfect that yucky drain while the baking soda will perfectly remove unwelcomed odors.
- 1 cup baking soda
- 1 cup vinegar
- First, rinse out your sink. If you have a disposal, run it for 15 seconds (with the water running).
- Pour 1 cup of baking soda down your sink drain. Allow to sit for one minute. (Do not rinse away!)
- Slowly pour 1 cup of vinegar down the drain (over the baking soda). Watch the chemical reaction occur, and thank those ingredients for doing the dirty work.
- Allow to sit for 5 minutes before washing away with water.
Method #2: Lemons and Ice
- 1 lemon or orange (or other citrus fruit), cut into eight equal slices
- 2 cups of ice, divided into ½ cups
- With the water running and the disposal turned on, toss ¼ of the lemon into the drain.
- After the lemon has been cleared from the disposal, toss in ½ cup of ice. (Keep the water running)
- Continue alternating lemons and ice until all ingredients are gone.
Bonus #1: Clean the rubber drain cover
If you thought your drain was disgusting, be prepared for another distasteful mess: the rubber drain cover. This circular cover prevents food from flying out of the drain while the disposal is running. Gently pull it out and turn it over…then clean it!
The best way is to gently rub off the grime with a rag or paper towel. Then soak it in a bowl of vinegar and baking soda for a few minutes; next wash it with soap and warm water before replacing.
Bonus #2: Bleach your sink
Now that your drain is sparkling clean, free of grime, and smelling like fresh lemons, your kitchen will smell brand new! Make your sink look the same way by bleaching it.
Dip a rag or paper towel into bleach and rub all over your sink surface, including your faucet, sprayer, and soap pump accessories. This will kill all germs and bacteria, remove built-up residues, and make the surfaces shine!
Bonus #3: Put sponges in the dishwasher
You just noticed how gross your drain was, but have you checked out what your sponge looks like? Both of these moist environments trap food and breed bacteria. The best way to clean your kitchen sponge is to toss it into the dishwasher. The hot water and soap will sanitize it thoroughly.
Another option is to soak your sponge with water, not squeezing out the excess. Place it on a plate and microwave for 2-3 minutes. Caution: It will be hot when you remove it from the microwave; allow it to cool on the plate for a few minutes before touching. This is equivalent to boiling the sponge, except much faster and easier! Note: Make sure that your sponge doesn’t contain any metal fibers before you place it in the microwave!
Enjoy preparing delicious meals in your clean-smelling kitchen! Repeat your drain cleaning routine weekly if you cook daily, or twice per month if you only cook occasionally.