DrainChecker Blog

Why do my drains smell bad?

No matter how careful we are, there’s a chance that bits of food, hair, soap and grease can find their way into our drains. Your drainage system is designed to flush them away but over time they can build up in the linings of your pipes. And this will happen more readily if there’s anything else in the drains that they can stick to. Bacteria can then multiply and cause a smell. Or if the blockage is a bad one, dirty water can accumulate and cause the smell. Surprisingly, washing machines are often the cause of bad smells due to the amount of dirt and detergent that get drained away. Showers too, because of all the shampoo, soap, grime, and especially the hair that goes down the plughole.

To have a go yourself, you could try using bleach, or hot water with some baking soda or vinegar. As a last resort there are many household drain cleaners on the market but always read the label carefully first!

Bad smells could also be a result of a more severe problem like pipework being broken, such as the rubber seal on the toilet ring, or a vent pipe, allowing the gases from the sewers to enter your home. You may also get an odour if pipes have become corroded. These are obviously more serious problems that you won’t be able to fix yourself.

In general though, smells are a good indication that there’s a blockage somewhere, so if you detect a nasty wiff, and if nothing you try seems to work and the smells persist, give us a call at Happy Drains!