Simple, Natural Trick to Eliminate Drain and Pipe Odor

In addition to keeping food scraps from going down the drain where they break down and cause bad odors, you should also make sure that your drain pipes are sealed and kept in good condition.
Simple, Natural Trick to Eliminate Drain and Pipe Odor

Last update: 25 July, 2022

One of the most common home problems can be drain and pipe odor coming from your kitchen or bathroom. No matter how much you clean your sinks on a daily basis, moldy, smelly pipes can arise at any time, especially when the weather is hot or very rainy.

Using air fresheners or sprays is one way to hide drain and pipe odor quickly. However, it’s not a long-term fix and the odor returns soon enough. Nowadays, there are plenty of types of chemical products available that you can pour down your drains. They’re designed to both unclog them and stop unwanted drain and pipe odor.

The problem is that it’s been proven that these chemical products are very aggressive and harmful to both your health and the environment, as an article published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information states.

Fortunately, there are some home remedies you can make that use natural and inexpensive ingredients to achieve similar results. Although they’re not as powerful as conventional options, they can yield good results.  Below, discover a simple trick.

Why do pipes smell?

Before we get into the homemade cleaner to eliminate bad drain and pipe odor, you should learn more about why these smells occur. With that knowledge, you’ll know how to avoid them in the future.

Most of the time, strong smells that come from your sink are caused by a few daily habits you might not even associate with this issue.

Detergents and soaps

A person washing plates with detergent.

The regular use of detergents and soaps in your sinks can leave chemical residues that eventually build up in the pipes. Eventually, this residue will break down and lead to odors.

While this is difficult to avoid, if you choose high-quality soaps and detergents, you can reduce the chances of this happening.

This article may interest you: Cleaning Products: Are You Using Them Too Much?

Standing water

There are sections of your piping where water can stagnate, creating a breeding ground for bacteria and mold. Although it’s almost impossible to prevent this entirely, one thing you can do is clean your drains and pipes on a regular basis to keep bacteria from spreading.

Pipe seals

Drain and pipe odor.

The sealing of the pipes coming out of your faucets, sinks, and toilets often degrade with time due to moisture and mildew. This results in a terrible silicone odor, made worse by the subsequent growth of bacteria.

Old pipes

Some older pipes not only damage more easily – they’re the best breeding grounds for the growth of yeast and bacteria. Stagnant water and broken down materials form a layer that can even eventually clog your pipes completely.

Food scraps

Food scraps in a sink.

Be careful! Food scraps that accidentally go down the drain are the number one cause of bad odors and clogged pipes. It’s essential that you use a drain trap to catch those little bits of food that come off your plates.

A trick to eliminate drain and pipe odor

Cleaning supplies on a counter.

Now that you’re aware of the many causes of those foul-smelling pipes, we recommend you try the following trick to clean them naturally.

It’s a simple combination of baking soda and white vinegar. These two environmentally-friendly ingredients are widely used as an alternative to commercial cleaning products.

Although no solid evidence proves their effectiveness, they’ve been accepted as allies to unclog and clean pipes.

In addition, a 2013 publication suggests that both products are an “inexpensive and effective way” to clean. This text also states that vinegar eliminates bacteria, germs, and mold.

Also, vinegar can break down water mineral deposits because it’s an acid. Thus, it can clean pipes, showers, and sinks. 

According to this same publication, baking soda can help eliminate grease and dirt. Thus, it’s a great ingredient to use for this task.  Do you dare to try this trick out?

You should also read: Use Vinegar to Clean Your House


  • 1/2 glass of baking soda (100 g)
  • 1 glass of white vinegar (200 ml)
  • 1/2 liter of hot water

What to do

  • First of all, you need to bring the water to a boil.
  • As soon as it boils, add the white vinegar and stir well.
  • In the meantime, pour the baking soda into the drainpipe you’re trying to clean.
  • Pour the hot water and vinegar mixture down the drain, where it’ll combine with the baking soda in the pipes.
  • You’ll immediately see an effervescent reaction – this is completely normal.
  • Cover the drain to prevent water (or any other substances) from entering it for at least an hour.
  • For best results, let this mixture sit overnight.
  • Repeat this trick at least once a week to keep bad odors at bay.

In conclusion, you can use alternative ingredients to clean your pipes. This way, you avoid using aggressive chemical products. Just make sure to follow the instructions to get good results.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Rauber-Lüthy, C., & Kupferschmidt, H. (2010). Household chemicals: management of intoxication and antidotes. EXS.
  • Household Chemical Products and Their Health Risk. (2018). The Cleveland Clinic.
    Available in
  • Aaron Leong. (21 October 2013). Can Vinegar and Baking Soda Replace Household Cleaning Items?. Chemistry.
  • Bates, Jessica. “Why Is Vinegar a Good Cleaning Solution? | EHow.” EHow. Demand Media, 28 Oct. 2009. Web. 20 Oct. 2013.
  • Heron, S.F. “How Does Vinegar Work as a Cleaner? | EHow.” EHow. Demand Media, 12 Nov. 2008. Web. 20 Oct. 2013.
  • Sutherland, Diane. Baking Soda: Hundreds of Everyday Uses. London: Star Fire, 2010. Print.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.