If you’ve followed my blog, you know that we bought a fixer-upper house this year, and it came with a whole set of old-house smells. I have been conquering the smells one-by-one which you can read in my post, How to Remove Odors and Clean the Air in Your House Naturally and Permanently. One of the last smells to overcome has been a mildew smell coming from the kitchen sink.
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We’ve had a mild mildew smell coming from the kitchen sink since we’ve lived here, but there were so many other stronger smells that it didn’t get my full attention. When we recently replaced the countertops, we installed new plumbing under the sink, which I thought would get rid of the smell altogether. I couldn’t believe it when the smell was actually worse after a couple of days! The mildew smell was so strong I had to cover the drains because it was literally making me sick–with a headache and sinus congestion. Clearly, the smell was coming from deep within the plumbing and I was feeling desperate.
I searched the internet for answers and all I could find was to use vinegar and baking soda. I had done that many times already but tried it again, but I noticed no difference. So I searched deeper into chat boards and voila, I found it. Someone’s plumber had recommended an enzyme cleaner called Bio Kleen Drain Care. So I went to Home Depot as soon as I could to get some. Bio Kleen Drain Care was a special order, so I bought Zep Drain Care. I needed immediate help, so no waiting to order.
The instructions for Zep Drain Care states to use it for three nights in a row, which we did. But I’m happy to report that after just one night, the mildew smell was gone! Hallelujah!
To use Zep Drain Care, run warm water down your sink for one minute to warm up the pipes. Then pour down one cup Zep Drain Care followed by two cups warm water. Be sure to do this at night or when you will be away for the day as you’re not supposed to use the plumbing for at least six hours while the enzymes do their thing. The instructions say to do this three times every month to maintain clean pipes.
This is what I used this time, but what I have found since is what I recommend!
What I Recommend to Clean Your Drains and Why
Globalcare SP7 is what I recommend. Why? Because the Zep Drain Care only has one use: cleaning drains. But the Globalcare SP7 can be used all around the house and it’s safe to use! After you’ve used it in your sink, you have the bottle left. Now what? Use it do clean extra-greasy pans–like you’re turkey roaster at Thanksgiving. Clean the cooked-on grease off the grill grates. Clean greasy spills in the garage. Use it in your toilet and shower drains to keep them clear and smelling fresh. Use it as a septic aid as the enzymes and living bacteria in the product help break down waste matter in your septic tank. And Globalcare SP7 is completely biodegradable.
Globalcare SP7 is like probiotics for your house!
“Organic wastes are things like cooking grease, body oils that come off in the shower and sewage from bathrooms and boat bilges. SP7 makes it easy to biodegrade these kinds of unpleasant wastes, preventing and solving all kinds of difficult and sometimes costly problems. Specially formulated waste-battling enzymes breakdown and liquefy the organic wastes. Then the concentration of natural bacteria (100 billion/gallon) consumes the liquefied waste, converting it into inert compounds like water and carbon dioxide.” (from the Shop.com site)
To Freshen Drains and Garbage Disposal
If you want you only have a mild smell in your sink or drains, the vinegar and baking soda may do the trick. Pour a cup of baking soda down the drain followed by a couple of cups of vinegar. I use the cheaper white vinegar when cleaning. To get the baking soda and vinegar deeper down into the drain you can use a funnel to pour it in. Covering the drain immediately after pouring in the vinegar will also help the active bubbles to go down the drain rather than up into the sink.
More Tips For Keeping Your Drains Smelling Fresh
Do not use chlorine. I know, that’s the natural go-to for cleaning mildew and foul smells because we know it kills bacteria and fungus. The problem is, our drains and septic system need those beneficial bacteria to break down the organic matter–grease, oils, food, and waste–and keep them from building up. Continual use of chlorine in laundry and cleaning kill off those beneficial bacteria. If you have been using chlorine for cleaning in a way that causes the extra to go down your drain, start using Globalcare SP7 to replace the bacteria that have been killed.
To freshen up your garbage disposal, grind a few lemon or orange peels in there. The smell is heavenly and the oils help clean the disposal.
Cleaning out the P-trap under your sink is also an important way to get smells out of your sink. I’d like to see how using the Globalcare SP7 might handle cleaning this without having to take it all apart, though. If you’re bound and determined, though, here is a great how-to video I found to clean the pipes under your sink: