How to Clean a Smelly Drain

on September 6, 2011

Hints from Heloise

A favorite hint from Heloise, demonstrated in her very own kitchen: How do you freshen a smelly drain?

Tackling a smelly drain

The sink with the stopper out and ready to be cleaned!

The magic ingredients

The magic ingredients: baking soda and household vinegar, either white or apple cider. The general “formula" is 1/2 cup baking soda and a cup of vinegar.

Measuring ingredients

Measuring the baking soda. No need to put in a whole box. One-half cup to one cup will do it!

Baking soda

Pouring the baking soda into the drain.


Next comes the vinegar. You don't really have to measure. Just pour in some baking soda and follow with a big glug or two of vinegar.


Here we go! When the vinegar hits the baking soda, the mixture starts to bubble! You can hear the reaction, too. Soon, the bubbly mixture begins to go down the drain to get rid of odors.


Let the mixture sit for about 30 minutes, then run lots of water to push it through the pipes. (Hot water is best.) Letting the mixture sit longer than 30 minutes doesn’t work any better.