To avoid clogging and bad odors, sink and tub drains should be periodically cleaned.
A once a month cleaning with a non-toxic, homemade cleaner prevents needing a stronger, usually sodium hydroxide (lye) based, cleaner to remove clogs. Sodium hydroxide is extremely caustic, and will damage the lungs if inhaled, burn skin and eyes, and can be fatal if swallowed. In addition, the heat generated by using sodium hydroxide can soften PVC pipes, and damage old, corroded pipes. It also changes the pH of water and can cause fish kills.
A much nicer alternative to this harsh chemical is the simple combination of baking soda and vinegar, followed with boiling water. When baking soda and vinegar are combined, they foam and expand, cleaning the sides of your pipes and dissolving fatty acids. The boiling water then washes it all away. This method is a great way to use up the box of baking soda in your frig that is not longer doing a good job of deodorizing.
1 Cup baking soda
2 Cups vinegar
1 tea kettle of boiling water
Pack one cup of baking soda into the sink drain.
Pour the vinegar into the drain.
Cover the drain, and allow the baking soda and vinegar to work for 20 minutes.
Bring a kettle of water to a boil, and pour it down the drain to rinse away the baking soda and vinegar.
And that's all there is to it! This treatment done monthly will prevent clogs and keep drains smelling fresh.
Tip: Baking soda also does a nice job of gently scouring your sink. Take a wet sponge, and, using any baking soda that spilled from your drain cleaning, scrub the inside of your sink. It deodorizes and leaves your stainless steel shining.