The salt trick is not an efficient way of removing the foul odor – especially over a long period. But if you leave your salt for some time, then experts have warned that an unpleasant smell may be the least of your problems. Here’s what they recommend doing instead. 

Why you should not pour salt down your drain 

‘I don’t recommend that people pour salt down their drains or in their garbage disposals and think that it will remove the smells. In fact, that may do some damage over time if you forget and leave it there for days,’ says Andrew Miles (opens in new tab), an Alabama-based plumber who has over three decades of experience.  Jake Romano, the Manager at John The Plumber (opens in new tab), agrees. He adds that this age-old kitchen sink idea won’t do anything to solve the problem over a long period of time as the smell comes from matter accumulating in the drain. Therefore, the salts are simply concealing the smell – and not getting rid of the matter. 

1. Physical drain cleaning

According to Jake, the best solution is to physically clean your drain – because while this process is long – it is the best way (and safest) way to ensure you eliminate bad smells for good.  ‘Most plumbers don’t recommend chemical drain cleaning for several reasons, but a very practical reason is they can turn a bit of gunk into an actual drain blockage,’ Jake says.  ‘If there’s some gunk caked on the inner pipe stretched along a pipe, chemical drain cleaners (including home remedies) may loosen the accumulation. Some of this sludge may begin to move while other sections don’t.’ Therefore, as some of the matter moves towards the gunk at the bottom, you may be left with a blocked drain.

2. Drain enzymes

However, it is essential to remember that some enzymes may interfere with certain types of pipes. Therefore, you should check the product’s compatibility with your sink before installing it. 

3. Citrus peels

You may have heard about using orange peel to deter pests in the garden, but its natural power isn’t limited to the great outdoors. Andrew explains that you can use citrus fruit peels to help deodorize – and while this solution will not unblock your sink – it will take care of the odor naturally.  ‘Start with the peel of one orange, lemon, or lime and grind it up until it’s gone. See if the bad smell persists and if so, rinse and repeat with more citrus peel until the smell is pleasant again,’ the plumber shares.