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bottle of white vinegar and container of baking soda

2 Solutions for Stinky Drains

Let’s face it: our drains don’t always smell like a bed of roses. (If yours does, tell us your secret!) Along with water, a lot of other things end up down drains in the average household: dust, food scraps, grease, hair, dead skin, and more. Eventually, things can start to smell a little funky down there.

If you’re dealing with a smelly drain in your home, here are two options you can try to remove the odor.

Option 1: Good, Old-Fashioned Baking Soda, White Vinegar, and Hot Water

If you have an actual clog that’s causing your drain to back up, skip on down to Option 2 or contact one of our plumbers for assistance! However, if you only need to deodorize a drain, try these simple cleaning ingredients: baking soda and white vinegar.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 kettle of boiling water (You’ll be using this twice.)
  • 1 cup of baking soda
  • 1 cup of white vinegar
  • 1 cup of cold or room-temperature water


  1. Start heating up a kettle full of water and bring it to a boil.
  2. While the kettle heats up, combine 1 cup of white vinegar with 1 cup of cold or room-temperature water in something that’s easy to pour.
  3. Once the water in your kettle is boiling, pour it down the smelly drain. This will help loosen up substances like grease and soap scum.
  4. Immediately pour 1 cup of baking soda down the drain. Don’t worry if some of it spills in the sink.
  5. Pour the water and white vinegar mixture down the drain. Use the mixture to wash down any baking soda that didn’t make it down the drain in the previous step.
  6. Let the mixture fizz for 10 minutes so that the bubbles can help loosen stinky debris in the drain. During this time, bring another kettle of water to a boil.
  7. Once 10 minutes have passed, pour the boiling water from the kettle down the drain to flush the last of the mixture away. All done!

Option 2: Snaking (or Cabling)

Sometimes when there’s a bad odor wafting up from a drain, it means that something smelly is clogging the pipe. A plunger may help loosen the blockage. If the clog is really stubborn, a plumber will use a drain snake (also called a plumber’s cable) to go down into the drain and dislodge whatever is blocking the pipe. Once the clog is removed, you should notice a significantly nicer smelling drain!

While manually-operated drain snakes are somewhat DIY-friendly, we strongly recommend against using a motorized model unless you’re a trained plumber. Otherwise, you could damage your pipes.

Need help tackling a tough clog? Our New Orleans plumbers are ready to assist! Contact Stuart Services at (888) 650-5655 for friendly, reliable drain cleaning!