The odours that can infiltrate your house via the piping are never pleasant. These nauseating smells rise from the kitchen sink, the washing machine, the washbasin, the shower and the bathtub. Piping is what these elements all have in common. How can you eliminate this odour problem which is all the more embarrassing when hosting guests? The first thing to do is to check the drain, then remove any clogs and finally proper maintenance of the pipes is essential. Discover our tricks for healthy pipes that smell good!

Kitchen sink, from Espace AubadeEspace Aubade


Check the drain

Food waste in the kitchen, just like soap and hair in the bathroom, can build up in the drain. The latter, which serves as a barrier to odours is hence no longer able to adequately perform its role. Regularly emptying and cleaning the drain is the best means of prevention. To do this, place a basin under the drain piping as water will leak when you unscrew it. Remove the drain, clear out any dirt and replace it taking care to correctly reposition the seal. Let water flow into the sink to check for leaks. Finally, to prevent clogs, consider installing a grated plug on each drain to prevent a maximum amount of residue from going down the pipes.


Removing a clog

If odours persist, it’s possible that a clog has formed further along in the piping. There are standard cleaning products available in supermarkets that can dissolve even far reaching clogs. However they are quite toxic and harmful to the environment as they’re based on sulfuric acid or caustic soda. Choose a more natural solution: in a bowl, mix half a glass of warm white vinegar, a quarter of a glass of salt and a spoonful of baking soda, then pour it into the sink, washbasin, shower... the clog should disappear.


Maintaining pipelines

Once any clogs are removed, the last thing to prevent is the development of mould and bacteria in the piping which can also be the source of unpleasant odours. Here are a few good ideas and natural ingredients that you can use to regularly disinfect your pipes:

- Each week, pour a litre of boiling water into the piping.

- You can pour half a litre of white vinegar whilst running very hot water. Or, make white vinegar ice cubes that you then let melt at the mouth of the drain.

- If your travellers use the coffee maker, use your old coffee grounds rather than throwing them in the trash, as they have abrasive properties. Place them in the evacuation duct; they will scour out the impurities that are there. Then rinse thoroughly. Only do this once every fortnight so as not to cause a clog.

- Baking soda also comes to the rescue of piping. Pour half a glass into the drain’s mouth and let hot water run through it.

- Sodium hydroxide crystals also prove effective in cleaning the ducts. Observe the instructions on the packaging for optimum results.


If, despite these tips and tricks you still happen to have bad odours escaping from your pipes, contact a plumber who can check for any possible structural damage.


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