How To Fix Those Slimy Smelly Drains

Does your bathroom drains stink? Well, you’re not alone. The stuff that ends up in our drains, such as toothpaste, hair, dead skin cells, and hair products, is a recipe for a stinky sink. The black gunk that builds up in your sink that causes the smell is called bio-slime. It’s a bacteria that forms from organic material. Left without regular maintenance, it will clog your sink and begin to stink like rotten eggs. 

The Solutions For A Smelly Drains

If your drains have begun to emit that rotten egg smell, there are a few key reasons why this might be happening. The good news is – there are solutions for the average Do-It-Yourself (DIY). Here are a few things to look for if the drains in your home smell less than pleasant. First, while the P-Trap may sound like a technical plumbing apparatus, it’s a pretty simple pipe under your sink with an important job. The P-Trap is a U-shaped pipe fixture. The U-shape works to retain a pool of water which blocks sewer gas from passing through and rising into your bathroom. 

If the P-Trap is not airtight, leaks, or dries out, you may have found the reason for the stench. The toilet, shower, and sink in the bathroom should all have P-traps. Ensure they are all functioning correctly and there are no leaks under any of the sinks that might be stemming from a broken P-Trap. 

Solutions: If a drain in your home does not get used very often, they tend to dry out, allowing sewer gasses to pass through. The simple fix is to fill the trap with water before more gases escape. For the kitchen and laundry room, drains follow the same process, especially if the drains get rarely used. Run the tap water down the drain to refill the P-Trap. 

How To Prevent Smelly Drains

How Does The Black Slime Build Up In The Drains?

The slimy, smelly drains build up over time because the users neglect to rinse the drains correctly. For example, if you brush your teeth, spit in your sink every morning, and only complete a surface rinse of your sink, the phlegm and toothpaste are still in the drainpipe. The same is true for shaving and brushing or combing your hair. As a result, the bathroom products combined with skin cells and hair move down the drain, attaching themselves to the stopper and the drainpipe. This creates slimy, smelly drains. 

How To Avoid Slimy Smelly Drains

  1. First, rinse the drain thoroughly using hot water after brushing your teeth or shaving. You don’t need to waste water to accomplish the task. Next, fill the sink with a small amount of hot water before brushing or shaving. When you’re done, pull up the stopper while rinsing everything down at once, always using hot water.  
  2. To prevent bio-slime from building up, once a week boil a kettle full of hot water and slowly pour it down your drain.
  3. Vinegar and baking soda are another way to maintain your drains. While it may not be good to clear a clogged drain, it is very good for maintaining your drains.
  4. There are many products out on the market that help maintain your drains. For example, Drano has Gel Max, Liquid Plumbr has their version of hair and clogs eliminator, and Bio-Clean has a friendly bacteria waste eliminator. All these products have been scientifically tested. 

Dirty Smelly Drains Are For The Average DIY-er 

If it’s been a while since the drains in your bathroom have been properly cleaned, the bacteria have time to build up and potentially cause significant odor issues. A gentle but effective DIY cleaner to give your drains a good flush may be the solution to unpleasant odors.


  1. Pour ½ cup baking soda down the drain.
  2. Slowly pour vinegar over the baking powder.
  3. Allow this mixture to work its magic, foam up, and eat away the nasty stuff.
  4. Let it sit for a few, at least 15 minutes (an hour if you have some time), then run hot water down the drain for at least a minute as a final flush.

Suppose the smell comes from the water itself or emanates from multiple drains. In that case, it could signify a serious issue with your water supply or plumbing that requires professional help. At Big B’s Plumbing, our experts can help accurately diagnose the problem and ensure your drains are performing and smelling their best! License #98615

Serving Murrieta, Temecula, And Northern San Diego For Over A Decade

Performing one or all of these DIY fixes should leave your drains smelling fresh. If not, or if the problem and bad smells return quickly, it may be time to call one of our professionals at Big B’s Plumbing, which has been serving all of Murrieta, Temecula, and Northern San Diego for over a decade.

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