I once knew a person who would often boil cinnamon sticks while baking. She did it because she felt that it was important to have a delicious scent while working in the kitchen because the food absorbs the surrounding smells. Whether or not this actually true, there is something about having a smelly odor in the room where we prepare and eat our food that is very unpleasant. Unfortunately, thanks to all of the food prep going on in the kitchen, these smells can arise pretty quickly–and the kitchen sink is often the culprit.
The good news is that the stench can usually be gotten rid of with some simple items you probably already have around your home: boiling water, salt, ice cubes, baking soda, lemon, and white vinegar.
When you first sniff out a not-so-good scent rising out of your kitchen sink, the simplest thing to do is attack it with a little boiling water. You can boil water specifically for this person, or use leftover boiled water from tea or french press coffee. This works for kitchen drains with or without garbage disposals.
Have you ever used a salt scrub on your skin? Your skin feels luxuriously soft after. The salt works the same way on your garbage disposal blades. Throw some ice cubes and salt down the drain and turn on the garbage disposal. Let those ice cubes knock pieces of food off of the blades and the salt use its abrasive powers to clean as well. Smelly kitchen sink be gone!
Baking soda sometimes seems like one of those items that is magical because of all the things it can be used for. Cleaning out the kitchen sink is just one of them. You can sporadically pour some baking soda down the drain as preventative maintenance against odors, but if you need to get rid of a smelly kitchen sink now, baking soda is also up for that job. Using a combination of baking soda, boiling water, and/or white vinegar you can nip that odor. Check out this post from Wide Open Eats for more information.
The citrus-y scent of lemon is like the universal scent of clean. Why else do you think so many cleaning products try to replicate it? Instead of throwing your lemon (or other citrus fruit) peels in the garbage, next time toss them down your garbage disposal. Turn on the water, flip on the disposal, and let that beautiful clean smell waft right into your nose.
Like baking soda, white vinegar is another pantry item that has a myriad of uses. Use it by itself, with some baking soda, or with boiling water to get rid of a smelly kitchen sink. Use a 1/4 cup of baking soda and a 1/4 cup of white vinegar to achieve that cleaning fizz.