Fix: My Kitchen Sink Smells Like Rotten Eggs

Kitchen Sink Smells Like Rotten Eggs

Plumbing systems can be rather easy to clean and be quite reliable if their maintenance is carried out effectively. These systems make the drainage processes easier and more convenient for us. However, these systems also encounter various issues which need to be dealt with right away. 

It is common for households to encounter foul smells emanating from the sinks. The next process then is to determine the source of and reason for the smell and how to eradicate it. The smell comes from the sinks and drains and is possibly the hydrogen sulphide formation, the gas that gives off an awful smell. One of the major causes of the smell is clogged or blocked drain where matter collects and hydrogen sulphide is emitted. There are various processes which can be employed for getting rid of the smell.

Why Do Sink Drains Smell Like Rotten Eggs? 

Sometimes things may get stuck in the trap if our sinks, and when those things start decomposing they give out a foul smell akin to the smell of rotten eggs. If your kitchen sink smells like rotten eggs or sulphur like odour, it is likely the doing of bacterial activity resulting from the growth of bacteria on the insides of pipes or drains. 

Another reason for it could be the accumulation of various matters in the walls of the drain like hair, soap or food particles which then let out a rotten smell. Sometimes the drain gets clogged resulting in the collection of food and waste matter which then gives an awful smell of hydrogen sulphide. One more reason is a dirty or blocked garbage disposal where waste may accumulate and because of not being used, it might give off a horrible smell. 

1. Bacteria Infestation 

Bacteria Infestation

The kitchen quarters may sometimes provide space to the variety of microorganisms which are harmful for human health. High moisture around the kitchen and bathroom sinks provide ideal living and thriving conditions for the bacteria.

Sometimes the drain gets clogged or blocked which then results in accumulation of a variety of waste products.

When this matter collects and stays there for sometime, bacteria build up and then the sink smells like rotten eggs due to the formation and emanation of hydrogen sulphide.  Kitchen sinks are exposed on an everyday basis to a variety of bacteria’s. Sinks being exposed to fresh produce like raw meat, eggs and dairy products carry an increased risk of carrying the salmonella bacteria which can then remain on the inside surface of the drains and thrive.

Sinks also carry the e.Coli bacteria. Both of these bacterias can cause gastrointestinal issues and can also be fatal. Another bacteria Staph which thrive in moist conditions, stays around the kitchen sink and can be a host to a variety of illnesses, infections, food poisoning and others. 

2. Gunk Buildup in Garbage Disposal 

Gunk Buildup in Garbage Disposal 

Garbage disposals can have food trapped inside them which can also be a cause of foul smells (refer this article for how to get rid of the smell). Small pieces of food may sometimes get stuck to the splash guard and the grinding chamber that eventually decays there and gives an awful sulphur smell.

Since garbage disposals are hidden behind the sinks, they may get forgotten and then be out of use. When a garbage disposal sits unused for long, the p-trap may get dried.

When the p-trap dries, there’s no way of preventing the smelly gases from rising out and wafting freely. In the garbage disposal, the greasy vegetables and food products may leave behind a slimy substance on the insides of the drains that becomes hard to remove, then the residue can encourage further development of bacteria. 

Recommended: What Not To Put In A Garbage Disposal

How to Get Rid of Sulphur Smell in Sink Drains 

The first step towards eliminating the stinky sulphur smell is to ensure that the garbage disposal is perfectly clean. You should clean the disposal on a regular basis to make sure that the bacteria doesn’t get a chance to accumulate. Using chlorine bleach can be an effective way of removing the hydrogen sulphide. The chlorine in the bleach can react with the hydrogen sulphide and eliminate the rotten smell. 

1. Make Sure the Garbage Disposal is Clean

Cleaning the garbage disposal is an easy task, and all the components may already be present in your household. Cleaning the disposal using the natural ingredients is also beneficial since the chemical based products may corrode the inside of the metal parts. All you may need while cleaning the garbage disposal is baking soda, ice, lemon peels, vinegar and salt. 

  1. The first step towards cleaning the garbage disposal is to disconnect the power. Pull the plug that is connected to an outlet under the sink, always double check to ensure that you disconnected the right circuit. 
  2. The splash guard or gasket of the disposal with its many grooves and crevices, can have many food particles stuck underneath it. You can pull it out of the drain and clean it thoroughly by using detergent and a brush
  3. After the splash guard, check in the disposal for any food particles that may have been left behind. Remove any visible food debris. 
  4. Pour half a cup of baking soda into the disposal and let it sit for an hour. Then pour a cup of vinegar which will form a foamy liquid and bubble up your sink. This chemical reaction will get rid of the gunk in your disposal and deodorise it. After some time, wash it away with hot water. 
  5. Finally to clean the blades of the disposal and to loosen the build up, fix the splash guard and reconnect the power. Pour two cups of ice in it. Add to it a cup of salt and let the water run. This mixture acts as an effective scrub. 
  6. The last step would be to freshen the disposal with the smell of litmus. Peel the lemon and let cold water run on it. 

2. Use Chlorine Bleach to Cancel Out Sulphur Smell

Chlorine bleach can be an effective method to remove medium to high levels of hydrogen sulphide. The chlorine in the bleach will react chemically with hydrogen sulphide and help in removing the sulphur odour. The chlorine can further react with iron and manganese and help in disinfecting the water supplies. Chlorine bleach can hereby be utilised in cleaning the garbage disposal and the drains. 

DIY Sink Deodorising Method [Using Baking Soda + Vinegar]

A combination of Baking soda and vinegar is an effective and easy solution for the removal of the odour. The baking soda deodorises by bringing both acidic and basic odour molecules to a nuclear state. Vinegar on the other hand, destroys the organic molecules especially the odour molecules. 

What You’ll Need 

  1. Baking soda
  2. Vinegar
  3. Warm water 
  4. Large container or cup
  5. Large brush or sponge
  6. Clean cloth


  1. To start cleaning your sink remove all of the dirty dishes and give your sink a rinse with cool water. Ensure that there are no food remains left behind in the drain. If the sink has a lot of food left, you can also add some dish soap before you rinse it. 
  2. Sprinkle a cup of baking soda all over the sink. Make sure to cover the entire sink, the sides as well as the bottom. 
  3. Then scrub the baking soda using a brush or sponge. Go in circular motions using a damp sponge and gently buffing the baking soda. Since the soda is mildly abrasive it will clean without scratching the surface. 
  4. Now pour vinegar over the entire sink. This will make the mixture of baking soda and vinegar to foam up. Vinegar will dissolve the baking soda and any grease or grime that might be left in the sink. 
  5. Now rinse all of the vinegar and baking soda using warm water and wipe the sink using a damp cloth. This ensures that the baking soda and vinegar do not leave any dry streaks. 
  6. Drain covers may also get covered in food scraps and grime. You can submerge them in the mixture of baking soda and vinegar for 15 minutes. Rinse them off later and dry with a clean cloth.


If your drain gives off a rotten eggs smell, it could be something simple like clogging of the drain, bacteria infestation or p-trap drying. These could be dealt with easily and by following some simple cleansing processes. You should make sure that your garbage disposal is clean, by adding ice cubes and lemon peels.

You can clean the drains and sinks using baking soda and vinegar and flush it with hot water. If even after all the processes the smell persists, you can seek professional help. Sometimes the reason could be the water heater also. 

Frequently Asked Questions  

If your sink smells like rotten eggs, it’s highly likely that the smell is coming from your water or drain. However, it’s not likely that the water smells that bad and it could possibly be the bacteria in your drain. When the drain gets clogged, it can result in the growth of bacteria which then gives off a pungent smell of hydrogen sulphide. 

Sulphur smells could be coming from your water or the drain, and it’s not at all pleasant. The smell is usually of hydrogen sulphide which is produced by bacteria infestation in the ground or in contaminated pipes and drains. The reason could be a clogged drain, dried or emptied p-trap and dirty garbage disposal. 

If even after cleaning your strain, two or three times the smell remains, you can try a few other options. Sometimes when organic matter gets trapped in the water heaters, it releases sulphur like odour. The tank may then need to be disinfected or the debris needs to be cleaned. If nothing works then you can consult your plumber and have tests performed. 

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