How to Get Rid of a Sulfur Smell in a Sink Drain

Unpleasant sulfur smells coming from your sink drain may be either sulfates or hydrogen sulfide gas in your water. Sulfates gives water a bitter taste and odor, and causes scale buildup on water pipes. Hydrogen sulfide, distinguished by a "rotten egg" odor, causes yellow or black stains on fixtures; it affects the taste and smell of coffee and food. Although hydrogen sulfide is flammable and poisonous, it is usually not a health risk at the concentrations found in household water. The World Health Organization Water Sanitation declares it unlikely that anyone could consume a harmful dose of hydrogen sulfide in drinking water. Sulfates and hydrogen sulfide are not always responsible for sink drain odor, however; the smell can also be caused by something as simple as decaying organic matter trapped in your drain.

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Step 1

Open a window to increase air circulation and pull some of the odor outside.

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Step 2

Utilize a plug-in air freshener in a refreshing citrus or pine scent to mask odor until you can solve the problem.

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Step 3

Check the drain cap for rotting food that could be stuck underneath. If you have a garbage disposal, run it briefly to get rid of any decaying food.

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Step 4

Pour 1/2 cup of white vinegar and 1/4 cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by a potful of hot water. Vinegar has antiseptic, antibacterial and odor-neutralizing properties; baking soda's alkalinity helps it dissolve clogs. If you have grapefruit, lemon or orange peels available, put them down the drain and run the garbage disposal.

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Step 5

Turn off the garbage disposal and use a stiff wire brush dipped in baking soda or dish detergent to scrub underneath the rubber flaps to remove any decaying food that has collected there.

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Step 6

Use a commercial drain cleaner that contains sodium hypochlorite, such as Drain Pro, if the problem persists. Your sink drain may be blocked with decaying organic matter.