bathroom sink picture


“Why Does My Bathroom Sink Smell When I Run Water? Discover the reason behind the unpleasant odor emanating from your bathroom sink when water flows.

If you have been searching, why does your bathroom sink smell when you run the water? , it suggests that your nostrils have met the foul odor emanating from the sink.

You may have tried to neutralize the disgusting smell on your own but every morning you are greeted with the same smell that is none less than baring torture.

Well for you the good news is that it can be treated and in most of cases without the help of a professional but, the question arises who is the culprit behind the malodorous smell that is coming from your sink? 

It’s more likely that there is not a culprit but many culprits. Let’s deal with each one of these one by one.

Also Read: How To Make The Bathroom Smell Good

1. Clogged or Partially Clogged Drains

Clogged or Partially Clogged Drains picture

This happens when the diameter of the sink pipe is reduced due to soap scum (soap residue that sticks to the sides of the drain pipe trapping other debris to itself),  hair, food particles, and mineral deposits ( in hard water areas the water contains compounds such as magnesium and calcium which can form deposits ).

When the drain is partially clogged the water will exit the pipe at a slower rate, and it may give gurgling sounds, if you ignore the clogged drain it will cause another problem that will further worsen the situation, and that’s mold and bacteria build-up.

2. Mold and Bacteria Build-up

Any damp, dark, and draggled place is what bacteria love and thrive in. Due to the clogged drain, the water will pass slowly further encouraging the growth of bacteria.

Moreover, whenever you brush your teeth and spit out the water it contains food particles and stuff like soap scum that will attract the particles further blocking the traffic and encouraging bacteria to make your time in the bathroom more miserable.

The bacteria produce gases that cause the pungent smell.

One problem ignored will invite its friends and in just no matter it will turn into a long list of possible problems that will worsen the smell over time and the resources required to rectify it.   

Also Read: Why Does My Bathroom Smell Like Sewage

3. Pay Attention to the P-Trap 

p trap diagram picture

P-trap is the “U” shaped piece of the pipe, it holds water in it for the sole purpose of preventing sewer gases from escaping the drain and filling up your bathroom with nasty smells.

Often the P-Traps of the bathroom that are less used go up dried because the water from the tap has to fill up the P-Tap.

So now that we have identified the most likely culprits that make your bathroom sink smell horrible when you run the water, it is time to settle each one of these once and for all so the next time you run the water, you are not met with a circus of bacteria, faulty pipes and other debris welcoming you with filthy smells.  

Also Read: Why Does Toilet Paper Smell Bad?

How To Get Rid Of Smells That Come From My Bathroom Sink When I Run The Water?

So dealing with problem number one clogged drains.

As you have already guessed we are going to use our undefeatable baking soda and vinegar combo simply pour some hot water into your clogged drain followed by baking soda and vinegar, cover the drain with a plug if available, and let it sit for 10-20 minutes and then followed by more hot water.

This is extremely effective because of the chemical reaction between the baking soda (which is alkaline) and vinegar (which is acidic ) which will produce carbon dioxide and water that bubbles through the clog, breaking the organic matter and other substances that are choking the drain pipe. 

The next problem that we have to rectify is bacteria and mold build-up.

There are many ways to remove the bacteria buildup (This bacteria buildup may give hues of green, pink, or black hues.).What you can do to get rid of build-up bacteria is to

  1. Mix equal solutions of white vinegar and water, transfer the solution into a spraying bottle, spray it on the sink, and pour the remaining solution down the drain after 10-15 min grab a bathroom brush and scrub the affected areas then rinse it with hot water afterward.
  1. Spread a generous amount of baking soda into the drain (first) followed by vinegar, cover the drain with a stopper preferably, and after half an hour rinse it with hot water. This reaction will break down the particles that are choking the drain pipe slowing the flow of water thereby promoting the growth of bacteria and mold buildup. Which produces foul gases that make your bathroom sink smell when you run the water.
  1. This method is similar to the above but this time you have to sprinkle the baking onto the bowl and leave it overnight to teach the stubborn bacteria a lesson, then in the morning scrub the affected area followed by pouring hot water.
  1. If you want a more easier approach, then just use any commercial cleaning solution suitable for sinks, fist rinses the drain with hot boiling water followed by the cleaning solution, and now scrub the drain with all your might using a bottle brush for at least 4-5 min and rinse it again with hot water. If needed repeat this process several times until the brush comes out clean without any black gunk and in case you get exhausted then do it for 2-3 minutes every other day.  
  1. Hydrate your P-Trap 

This is an easy fix, most of the time all you have to do to stop that terrible smell filling your bathroom every time you run the water due to a dehydrated P-Trap is to just hydrate it, turn on the water for 15-20 seconds and if there are no leaks in the pipe it should be filled to the required level.

If this does not work then check if there are any damages to the P-Trap in this case you have to replace it, otherwise no matter how long you keep the water running that U-shaped section will never get filled up.

So, in summary, the culprit behind the pungent smell may be the build-up of gunk/bacteria, clogged drain or dehydrated P-trap if you have tried all the given remedies and yet the smell is not going anywhere it may indicate a bigger problem, like the build-up of bacteria ad gunk is so bad that you might need professionals to help you sort it out.

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