An Egg-Cellent Smelling Home: Understanding And Removing The Rotten Egg Smell In Your Drains


As a homeowner, you most likely want your house to be valuable, functional, and appealing. While an appealing house not only looks nice, it should also smell fresh and clean at all times. Unfortunately, certain areas of your home can develop foul odors that are challenging to remove. Due to possible buildup and gasses in your plumbing and septic systems, your drains may develop an unappealing odor. In many cases, this odor is similar to a rotten egg smell. While common for many homeowners, it can decrease the fresh, clean feel of your home. Using these egg-cellent tips, you will understand the rotten egg smell and learn the best removal options.

Rotten Eggs 101

Before removing the smell from your drains, understanding what the odor is can be helpful.

To get started, there are no eggs rotting in your drains. The rotten egg smell is actually hydrogen sulfide, a colorless gas that is most likely present in your water. Unfortunately, this gas is not only smelly, but can also corrode metal pipes. If left unrepaired, the corrosion will lead to leaks and expensive repairs.

Water Testing

When you first notice the rotten egg smell, test your water. Hire a water-testing specialist to determine exact levels of the hydrogen sulfide. If higher levels are noted, a water treatment specialist may be necessary for remove the gas and decrease the odor in your drains.

In many cases, the hydrogen sulfide develops inside your water heater, which is the main source of water used in your home. Most water heaters contain a magnesium rod that protects its interior from corrosion. Unfortunately, when the hydrogen sulfide encounters the magnesium rod, the foul odor increases and flows into your drains.

Plumbers in the area can replace the magnesium rod with an aluminum rod to reduce the odor in your drains.

Odor Removal

After treating the water and repairing any underlying plumbing issues, you can begin removing the drain odors. While there are numerous products on the market to clean and freshen up your drains, they contain toxic chemicals that are harsh on your plumbing and septic systems. To remove the rotten egg smell in a natural, safe manner, choose one of more of these ingredients:

Baking Soda

Commonly found in most pantries, baking soda is a great option to have in your arsenal of natural cleaning products. The sodium bicarbonate creates a carbonation, which helps dissolve away dirt and debris. In addition, it is an effective odor remover due to its deodorizing properties.

Run your hot water for 30 seconds to rinse each smelly drain in your home. Sprinkle a few tablespoon of baking soda directly into the drain. Use a soft-bristled scrubbing brush to clean the interior opening of the drain. Allow it to soak for 10 minutes before rinsing with hot water.


You most likely have vinegar in your home, as well. While safe and gentle to use in your drains, this strong ingredient effectively removes odors and bacteria. Containing 5 percent acidic properties, vinegar is naturally antiviral and antibacterial, so it is a smart option for deodorizing and sanitizing your interior drains. Complete the following steps on each drain with a rotten egg smell:

  1. Boil a large pot of water on your stovetop.
  2. While the water is boiling, pour 1 gallon of white or apple cider vinegar directly into your drain.
  3. Let the vinegar clean and deodorize the drain for 15 minutes.
  4. Add 2 cups of the boiling water to the drain to rinse.

While the smell of rotten eggs is common in your plumbing drains, you should not have to worry for long. Using this guide, you will understand why the odor is present and learn the best options for removal.


9 March 2015

Keeping up With Maintenance Between HVAC Inspections

Working with HVAC contractors is an important part of being a homeowner. Not only do your contractors ensure that a new system you buy is properly installed, but they also ensure optimal performance throughout the years through a series of regular inspections, maintenance services, and repairs. But there are lots of things you can do in between your contractor's visits to ensure that your HVAC investment is always in tip top condition, aside from cleaning out the air filters. After working with my dad for more than a decade in the HVAC business, I've put together a few methods homeowners can use to maintain a well working system, and I have published those tips and tricks right here on this blog. I hope some of the information you find here helps you on your journey as a homeowner!