How To Clear Decaying Gunk And Eliminate Foul Odors From Small Sink Drains

Small bathroom vanities usually have small sink drains. These small sink drains have a tendency to clog up with hair, soap scum, dead skin cells and anything else you typically rinse down. They begin to smell when all of that stuff sticks to the drain plug and starts to rot. Although there is little you can do to prevent this problem, there are a couple of solutions to treat it.

When You Should and Should Not Use an Auger

If your sink drain is not too small, you can use a sink auger. You can buy a sink auger from your local hardware or big box store. It will have a tiny, bulbous, coiled head on one end that you will push through from the opposite end of the auger into the drain. The coils will grab hair and any other matted matter that is clogging your drain and making it run slowly. Auger out the drain until the auger head comes back through the drain with nothing attached to it. If your sink's drain hole is the size of a quarter or smaller, avoid using a sink auger because you could damage the drain and the pipes below it when you try to force the auger down.

Taking the Sink Apart

Another approach to tiny sink drains is to take the sink apart.

  1. Open the vanity cabinet (if there is one) or go underneath the sink and take apart the drain levers. Most of these are quite simple to detach as you can slip the pull control from the drain plug stem and then just pull the drain plug out from above.
  2. Clean all the matted hair and sticky residue from the drain plug. Then scrub it thoroughly so that any bacteria stuck to it cannot create more odors.
  3. If you want, you can soak the drain plug in a mild disinfectant while you perform the next steps.
  4. Now that you have the sink drain out, you can flush the drain with a disinfectant and sink cleaner. You may also auger it, if the auger will fit.
  5. Go back under the sink. If you can access the trap, (the U-shaped part at the bottom of the sink pipe) use a wrench to take the trap apart. Make sure you have a bucket underneath the trap to catch any liquid from it, as it will probably be full and foul.
  6. Empty and scrub the trap so that you cannot see anything else in the trap and can peer through the elbow straight to the opposite side.
  7. Reattach the trap to the rest of the pipes.
  8. Replace the drain plug and reattach the pull control over the drain plug stem.

Now your sink is clear of anything that could rot or smell and block the flow of water through the end of the trap. If you are still having problems, you may want to consult a plumber or company like Roto-Rooter. Your clog and smelly drain problems may be farther down in the pipes, and only the plumber will be able to clear them.