A whiff of mold or mildew can make the kitchen an uncomfortable place to cook and eat. A foul odor in a kitchen is not only off-putting, but it can also be a sign that bacteria is lurking in your cabinets and sink. Cleaning out the sink, above and below, can remove the odor.
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Odor Under the Kitchen Sink
If the kitchen sink smells like rotten eggs, then it could be the pipes that are creating the unfortunate aroma. Ignoring sewage smells, which often present as a rotten egg odor, can be dangerous, according to Mr. Rooter Plumbing. A sink with an overflow mechanism, which is a hole or slit near the top of the sink bowl, can get that sulfur smell.
Use a bottle brush dipped in a solution of one-part water to one-part bleach to clean out the overflow mechanism. Dip it down into the hole to flush out any bacteria lurking deep within the sink. A smell that emanates from the pipes could mean a problem with the sewage system and may need a professional to remedy.
Clean the Garbage Disposal
The garbage disposal can get crammed with gunk if it isn't properly run or cleaned on occasion. Eventually, bacteria will begin to grow and create a rotting odor in the kitchen. To get rid of a smell in the garbage disposal and to keep them at bay, Merry Maids recommends a good cleaning about once a month.
Fill the drain with about 2 cups of ice. Pour 1 cup of rock salt over the ice and turn on the cold water. Turn on the disposal and let the cold water to continue running. Drop a whole lemon cut into quarters down into the drain. Once the lemon has been cleared from the disposal, turn the machine off and let the cool water run for about 30 seconds.
Baking soda and vinegar also work well to clean a garbage disposal. Sprinkle a liberal amount of baking soda around the edges of the disposal at the sink and make sure the powder collects at the bottom of the machine. Slowly pour vinegar over the baking soda so that it bubbles vigorously. Run the disposal until it sounds clear and let the water run for around 30 seconds once the machine has been turned off.
Remove Odor From Under the Sink
An odor under the sink could be from spills or items stored in the cabinet. Clean out all of the clutter from under the kitchen sink. Wipe everything down with a damp rag dipped in warm sudsy water or an antibacterial wet wipe. Every item needs to be cleaned before it is returned to the cabinet once it is thoroughly cleaned out.
Once everything is removed from under the sink, run the water to inspect the pipes for leaks. Go over the pipes and look for cracks, loose joints or split seals. Repair these or call a professional plumber to remedy the situation. A rotting smell could be a sign of a problem that led to the cracked or broken piping system in the first place.
Scrub the cabinet thoroughly with one-part bleach to one-part water. If cleaning products have spilled under the sink, use 1 tablespoon of baking soda to 1 cup of water to clean under the sink. Allow the area to dry before replacing any items under the sink.
Kimberley McGee is an award-winning journalist with 20+ years of experience writing for a variety of clients, including The New York Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal Home section and other national publications. As a professional writer she has researched, interviewed sources and written about home improvement, interior design and related business trends. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her full bio and clips can be viewed at www.vegaswriter.com.