Instructables

How to clean stinking kitchen tubes?

Get chemicals from supermarket, pour it into the basin, pour hot water, clean everything with acid, or?
I'm looking a green way to clean the basin, the tubes are open but there is a smell coming up from the tubes.

edit:
as an answer to bleach I'll recite from grist.org:

"The corrosive ingredients in these products can severely irritate eyes, skin, and the respiratory tract, and can be fatal if swallowed. Chemical drain cleaners are among the most dangerous of all cleaning products, containing sodium hydroxide and sodium hypochlorite (bleach) that can permanently burn eyes and skin. In oven cleaners, lye and sodium hydroxide can burn skin, eyes, and the respiratory tract."

the p-trap in the kitchen is made of metal, anyway I guess it can be removed and cleaned manually which seems like the best way. the air valve in the kitchen is the yellow one, so I think it's not the water that blocks the air blow.

I don't think I have a disposal ( is it the machine with knifes under the sink? i don't have that one)
but I'll try to pour a some lemon juice, too.

I think the enzyme cleanser is this one:
http://www.thisthatotherthings.com/bacoutfoamer.html?productid=bacoutfoamer&channelid=FROOG
but I live in Italy, so I'll try to find another one at least in Europe.

as I live in an apartment, I can't clean more than the pipes under the sink, not to mention to change them.

other solutions I've found are:
*Pour down half a cup of sodium bicarbonate (or baking soda or sodium carbonate) and half a cup of vinegar, wait 15 minutes, pour down 1 lt. boiling water.

I translated it from another language and there is a confusion here about sodium bicarbonate, baking soda and sodium carbonate, I didn't get which one to use.

this works for opening blocked drains or the toilet.
BAKING SODA IRRITATES YOUR SKIN, USE GLOVES.
it makes a chemical reaction and you should be careful when it boils.
but the ingredients are harmless to nature.

to disinfect:
*Mix 2 spoons of borax, 1 cup of vinegar and 500ml hot water, use it for toilet, and similar surfaces.

I don't know how/where to find borax (water+O2+sodium+bor) but this solution might help for the smell.


Picture of How to clean stinking kitchen tubes?
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I've read some great DIY unclogging practices here so far. I get pretty intimidated with home clogs, when I have trouble here in Massachusetts, I tend to call an expert of plumbing in Lynn MA expert to come take care of it. I know that grinding orange or lemon peels takes care of the smell, doesn't bleach already do that?
iovsjupiter (author) 4 years ago
it's hard to choose the best answer, i repeat sodium bicarbonate and vinegar solution every now and then and the smell isn't irritating anymore. I wonder if it can corrose plastic tubes? if the problem gets irritating again, I'd try to clean the pipes with the air compresser or replacing the pipes. thank you all!
the best suggestion is the add the p-trap. it will make it easier to clean out
Picture one does not show a P-Trap.   The purpose of the P-Trap is to prevent the sewer gases from coming up the pipes and into the house.  The water that stays in the P-Trap blocks the gases from flowing up the pipes and back into the house from the sewer system.  Adding P-Trap to picture one set up would help.   If  you want to clean your pipes you can just REMOVE all the pipes and clean them with any cleaning product.  I had to do this when I had a leak under the kitchen faucet.    I removed all the fittings and cleaned all the pipes with dish detergent and fixed the leak and then put the pipes back together.
Plug up the sink, fill to rim. Pour several cups of bleach. Mix. Drain. Tada!
iovsjupiter (author)  firebird9820024 years ago
bleach fumes bleachalso your brain, bad solution!
GreenBloke5 years ago
Try This option:

http://www.waystosaveenergy.net/General/what-is-garbage-enzyme/Print.html

I haven't tested it so can not vouch for its effectively. But it looks like a cool and responsible solution. Good luck
fegundez15 years ago
You have quite an assortment of pipes going there!To clean or unblock use the vinegar and BAKING SODA ,also known as sodium bicarbonate,also it would be helpful to cover your drains to find witch one is the cause of the smell,my bet is the one with the flex pipe as has been noted there is no trap bend in it.The yellow thing is indeed your air vent don't block this!If you don't want to spend the money on a proper drain pipe for exchange with the flex pipe you will want to cover this one.you should be able to get a simple kit to do it from anyplace that sells hardware or plumbing supplies.
Lardyvegan5 years ago
That pipe looks quite flexible, so you could try making a trap shape (or 'U' bend as we call them in Blighty!) out of it (enough to make a permanent seal of water) and then give it a good clean as recommended above (the fizzy one sounds like the most fun!) :)
jeff-o5 years ago
Well here's the proper way to fix it: Replace that flexible pipe with a proper rigid ABS P-trap. Call a plumber if you can't do it yourself. If that's not an option, the "greenest" way to clean out the pipe is using a product called "one second plumber." At least, that's what it's called in Canada. It's basically a can of compressed air with a special handle and gaskets. Press it down onto the drain opening and it pushes air at high pressure to flush out anything that's in there. I just did something similar with my bathtub drain (to remove a clog) using my air compressor...
Buckeye guy5 years ago
I don't see a p-trap in one of the pictures. Without this trap, sewer gases will enter the building through the drain. Not only is this annoying, it could be dangerous as sewer gas is primarily methane. In large quantities it is poisonous and explosive. The trap blocks the passage of gases. The other pics seem to show traps. I have never seen the white flexible tubing used for drains. Is the "air valve" you mentioned the vent for the system? If so, the vent should terminate outside the building.
iPodGuy5 years ago
You need a green way to do this? Dump baking soda down your drain. Add vinegar and let it fizz. When it's done, dump boiling water and flush through with cold. That will loosen up the gunk that makes it smell. Also, check your sink trap and see if it has a crack. If the trap can't hold water, it will allow sewer gas up through your sink.
lemonie5 years ago
An easy suggestion for "reducing" smells would be to plug the sinks when they're not in use. Although you'll still have the overflows unblocked. The white flexible tube could well be filthy and difficult to clean without taking it off, does one sink smell any worse than the other? I guess the rest of the drains in your building are inaccessible and unknown? Sodium bicarbonate and baking soda are the same. Sodium carbonate (also known as washing soda) is a stronger base and more corrosive/aggressive. L
mikeasaurus5 years ago
If you've gone through all the trouble already of trying to clean your drain (kitchen tubes does not describe what you mean) then the problem might be from the gases escaping from the pipe itself.

It's been touched on by a few other people here already, but the p-trap under your sink blocks the gasses from coming back into your home, I would guess that this is where your problem is coming from. There is no way you're going to make the drain smell any better when there is odour coming from beyond your pipes. You may need to replace the entire assembly under your sink, along with going the extra mile and installing a large p-trap so there is a better seal against gases coming back in your home.

Any chance you can take a picture of under your sink so we can take a look at a different angle?
goodgnus5 years ago
Do you have a disposal in your kitchen sink? Grinding lemon peels works well to get rid of the smell. There is a product which is made up of enzymes that you can mix with water and pour down your drain. The product is completely natural & green. The enzymes eat the grease in the pipes. I don't know the name offhand. The bend in the pipe is not a "snake", it's called a trap or a p-trap.
110100101105 years ago
under each exit of the pipes there should be a snake - a piece of pipe going down and up or a similar device. the snake stays full with water and blocks air movement thru the pipes if you dont have a snake there will be wind thru the pipes which can blow in smells from tens of meters away if you have a snake disassemble it and chean with very hot water and brush
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