A common homeowners question is, “why does my bathroom sink smell badly, I always keep it clean?”. Bathroom odor is no laughing matter. Here is a simple checklist.

  1. Make certain that you have a P-Trap properly installed under your sink. P-Traps create a water seal between your home and all the nasty and dangerous sewer gasses in your sewer system.
  2. Remove and clean your pop-up assembly and fixture outlet pipe. The components used to move the pop-up and the pop-up itself are always getting clogged up with strands of hair, dental floss, organic matter and debris; all of this material is perfect food for yeasts and bacteria that can create a biofilm and or a biomass, some of which can be harmful to your health. Unfortunately, chemical drain cleaners are of no use in this type of buildup.
  3. Clean your basin overflow. As long as your sink is not structurally compromised or internally rusted, the internal rust causes its own type of bad smell, try this natural method. Pour some vinegar down your drain to fill the p-trap then plug your sink and fill with hot water and vinegar to above the overflow but below the flood level rim. Let this solution sit overnight. Drain and clean the sink in the morning. If the vinegar did not work you can be more aggressive with bleach, but take appropriate precautions for use of bleach. If possible, and with disposable gloves, use a bottle brush to clean out the overflow internally, then flush out well.
  4. Remove and clean the P-Trap. Hair, lint, cloth, and strings can become stuck in the P-Trap and if long enough, can wick the water seal out of the P-Trap, allowing sewer gas to enter the home.
  5. Clean your lavatory taps aerator. At times debris can get stuck in the aerator causing a bad smell. Sometimes the taps may need to be changed, especially if you’re drinking from this fouled unit.
  6. Check the lavatory taps cartridges for debris or foreign objects, and if the seals or gaskets are wearing out, they too can give off an offensive odor or discoloration.
  7. Check your bathroom-groups ventilation. If your venting is plugged, you can get positive and negative pressures in your venting system that can siphon out your P-Traps seal, thus allowing sewer gas in your home.