Friday, February 5, 2010

The Trials of the Domestic-What Stinks in the Kitchen Sink?



There is nothing I like more than a sparkling kitchen sink. Whenever, I have a few extra minutes, I love to give the old stainless steel a good scrubbing. No matter how tidy a kitchen can be, a less than pristine sink can really do a number on your image as the perfect housewife (and isn't that what we all aspire too??-you can laugh at any time now!)

A while back as I was giving the sink a polishing, I noticed a less than pleasant odour coming from my sink (the look on June Cleaver's face says it all!). Thinking that maybe I had missed something, I started to go over the sink again ....and again....and again. I had scrubbed, rinsed and sniffed three times and that stubborn odor was still there. As I stuck my head and sniffer further and further into the sink, I realized that the smell was coming from deep in the drain. A moment of relief (it wasn't my cleaning skills that were waning) was shortlived when I realized that whatever it was that was causing the smell was beyond my arms reach.

What does one do in this situation??? I was briefly at a loss, starting to ponder taking apart the pipes underneath the sink when I heard the pesky voice inside my head-go to your books young lady. My vintage home economics books had never failed me in the past and they didn't fail me this time either!

image courtesy of Arm and Hammer

The solution to a stinky sink was a simple one. A combination of half a cup of baking soda and half a cup of white vinegar (which created a mini science experiment of sorts) is the trick to pleasantly smelling pipes. I learned that the smell was probably coming from little food particles that had made a home in the pipes. (My husband is notorious for not thoroughly scraping food from the plates as well as he should, so I could see how those little critters found their home).

To deordorize your drains (and garbage disposals as well) sprinkle the baking soda (one of my favourite cleaning products) liberally over the drain opening and then follow with pouring the white vinegar over the baking soda and watch the bubbles eat away at whatever is hiding in your pipes. Cover the drain and let it do its work for at least 15 minutes. Then flush drain with some hot water ( at least six cups) and whatever junky stuff was in there, will be swept away. I do this at least once a month to keep all my drains smell and clog-free (works on bathroom and tub drains as well, the concoction breaks down hair caught in the drain).

The baking soda alone will work to deordorize  and neutralize any acidic or other basic odors but when you add the vinegar (another one of my favourites!), this environmentally friendly combination breaks down fatty acids into a soapy sludge which just washes down the drain.





17 comments:

Bonjour Madame said...

Thank you for posting this. I need to do this to my disposal but wasn't sure what would work. I will try it this weekend!

Suburban Princess said...

This is a great tip! I keep a jar of baking soda under the sink for this exact reason!

Pink Lace and Cupcakes said...

I Love to clean my sink (is that bizarre?)! Have you ever seen Flylady.net?? I literally bleach the drain! You are so right-baking soda is amazing at cleaning out the sink

Butler said...

I always put half a lemon in the drain and run the garbage disposal. It makes your sink lemon fresh!

bevysblog said...

Love, love, love baking soda! It and vinegar are natural wonders...

Town and Country Mom said...

I love the baking soda/vinegar solution. The fizz is so exciting. Whenever I have citrus peels--usually lemon--I always save them in a ziptop bag in the fridge. Then, I add one in whenever I run in the garbage disposal. It makes for a very fresh scent.

Town and Country Mom said...

Congratulations! You have been awarded the Sunshine Award! You can pick it up at my blog here http://townandcountrymom.blogspot.com

Metropolitan Mum said...

I'll definitely give it a try. Since my better half emptied the reminders of the Christmas ham (i.e. the fat that comes out when baking it) into the sink, the whole story got a little stinky.
I have to claim back my crown as domestic goddess. Baking soda, here I come!

Tish Jett said...

Great, merci mille fois. Baking soda is truly the all around perfect product. (French pharmacies sell it in cute little containers as a dental product -- of course we know this trick, but I don't think it's sold on its own in drug stores in other parts of the world?)

My absolutely exquisite cleaning lady, uses alcohol vinegar for everything.

Stainless steal sinks are a challenge, I must say. I love mine, but it's non-stop. I like it to sparkle back at me and I am anything, but a perfect femme de maison.

James said...

So what you're saying is my 1/4 stick of dynamite may not bet the easiest way to clean a drain?

Stefanie Valentine said...

I knew that baking soda was used for clearing drains but i didn't know how until now, thank you! xx

Dumbwit Tellher said...

Thanks for the well appreciated tip. I am fanatical about a clean sink, & like you, that means clean smelling too. Now living in a warmer to hot climate, it seems like everything smells so easily. I spend most my days looking just like June!

Cheers ~ deb

Beach Vintage said...

I love a clean sink too. I love baking soda for cleaning a lot of things.

Jess said...

Thanks so much for stopping by-- I'm getting in some blog catch-up during the Super Bowl and absolutely love your posts! I'll definitely be adding you to my reader!

EntertainingMom said...

come on over and get your award... maybe your sink will smell like sunshine now!

LPC said...

What a great tip. I have had drain disasters lately, so am looking for any help I can get.

myletterstoemily said...

you're brilliant and sophisticated. how wonderful for us!

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