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Do your drains smell? Try these solutions

Fremantle Plumbing Service are the blocked drain Perth experts!

Got blocked drains? Fremantle Plumbing is Perth based 3rd Generation Plumbing Drainage specialists!

We pride ourselves on our knowledge of the Australian designed drainage system, and will provide you with affordable advice and legacy installations that stand the testament of time.

Let’s get straight to it, you’ve found your way to this page because your drains really stink. We know those foul drain smells all too well, and that ignoring the problem won’t make the stench go away.


Smelly drains don’t just come from nowhere; they are often a result of one of the following:

  • A sewer gas trap problem: If the stench is in the bathroom, it could be the P-trap.
  • An organic build up: It could be decomposing food scraps or other gunk and debris, including hair, soap, skin that’s in a serious state of funk.
  • Sewer line problems: You may have noticed a bad smell coming from multiple sinks in your home or even the smell accompanied by loud gurgling from your pipes, best to get this one inspected ASAP!
  • Tree roots: One of those pipe problems could be a tree root incursion, especially if you’re hearing a lot of noises.
  • Drain flies: They may be small but put a lot of them together in a drain full of decomposing gunk and a drain fly infestation can really stink.

One of the easiest methods of dealing with smelly blocked drains in the bathroom is to flush them out with boiling water. It won’t work in every case, however if you have a slow drain with just a minor blockage, it’s worth giving it a go.

There are various ways to eliminate foul odours from a blocked drain. Many people find that combined methods work best. Start with the simplest options and work your way toward the more complicated ones.

  • The Hot Liquid Method
    Bring a pot of water or white vinegar almost to a boil and pour half of it slowly down the blocked drain. Wait for a few minutes, rinse the pipe with cold water to solidify any lingering gunk, and pour the rest of the hot water or vinegar down the drain to wash it away.
  • The Baking Soda and Vinegar Method
    Run a hot tap water for several seconds, and then turn the water off. Dump one cup of baking soda down the blocked drain followed by two cups of hot vinegar. Let the mixture fizz. After one hour, flush the drain with hot tap water and repeat if necessary.
  • The Clean the P-trap Method
    Put on rubber gloves and remove the curved portion of the drainpipe beneath the sink. Empty any water and gunk from the trap into a bucket. Take the P-trap outside and rinse it out with a garden hose. Reassemble the plumbing before using the sink again. Run the water for several seconds to refill the trap, then wait a little while to see if the odour goes away. For blocked floor drains, you can do this by slowly pouring in a bucket of water.
  • The Clean the Drain Vent Method
    In most houses, all drain vents terminate in a single opening on the roof. Climb up a ladder and clear away any leaves or other debris clogging the drain vent.
  • Cup Plunger Method
    These work on flat surfaces as they fit smoothly over the blocked drain and have a flat rubber suction cup on the bottom. Cover the opening fully and keep the seal between the surface and the plunger cup intact. Around six push-pull movements should break up any clogs and you should see water draining away. After it’s been cleared, flush out with hot water. This will send any debris into the main drain line and hopefully prevent a new clog from forming.

How to Fix Stinky Drains for Good

As it is with most household issues, prevention is better than cure and sometimes a little bit of regular plumbing maintenance can go a long way towards keeping smelly bathroom drains at bay.

Follow these tips to not only keep your drains dirt-free but smelling fresh as well:

  • Run the disposal and the faucet for 20 seconds every time you dispose of food down the kitchen sink.
  • Once a week, boil up the kettle and slowly tip steaming water into every drain in your bathroom twice.
  • Once a month, undertake your vinegar, baking soda and boiling water routine then plug up the sink overnight. In the morning, remove the plug and tip in a steady stream of hot water.
  • Occasionally run the water in rarely used sinks to keep the P-trap full of water. Adding mineral oil also slows evaporation.

Call in the Pros

If you’ve got ongoing issues after all that effort, then unfortunately they probably can’t be solved with a little DIY. If they can’t be fixed with the tips above or you notice other strange plumbing behaviour like gurgling sounds, then it’s best to call a blocked drains plumber straight away, because blocked stormwater drains and broken pipes can also cause smelly drains.


At Fremantle Plumbing, we use special tools that can clean blocked drains efficiently, effectively and safely, and are able to prevent minor plumbing issues turning into major ones later down the track.

Contact Fremantle Plumbing today for effective plumbing solutions for homes and businesses.


Need an Expert for Blocked Drains in Fremantle?

With more than 65 years’ experience, Fremantle Plumbing Service has the knowledge to provide an efficient outcome for every situation. Trust our team for a professional result.