My plumber did a really poor job when he replaced a pipe under my kitchen sink because he spilled the remaining sewage in the pipe all over the place. As a result it smells really bad under the sink (like ammonia and butyric acid), even though I have cleaned all surfaces thoroughly three times with various cleaning agents. The remaining smell comes from the surface of a corrugated PVC pipe and from the slits in the wood joints of the sink rack. Any idea how I can eliminate the remaining odor? Thanks.


At pet stores (and many other stores) they sell "enzymatic" cleaners that are made to destroy urine odor. In my experience, they also work on other stubborn smells that can't be cleaned by ordinary cleaners since they work by actually breaking down the odor causing contaminates.

If that doesn't work, there's also a type of primer that you can purchase at a paint or home improvement store that will help seal in odors. A shellac-based primer like Zinsser BIN will work well. I've used it on paneling that reeked of smoke and on sub-floors where an animal died, and it worked well. It dries very fast, so it's easy to use, but hard to clean up.

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I would replace the contaminated wood.

If I could replace the corrugated PVC pipe without calling in a plumber or breaking any of the plumbing seals, I would do so. If not, I would "entomb" the corrugated PVC pipe in a slightly larger pipe, and seal the ends with vinyl electrical tape. I might need to cut the larger pipe in half in order to install it. I would use vinyl electrical tape (not glue) to attach the larger pipe, and to seal the "seams" where I cut it. That way, if my idea did not work, I could uninstall the larger pipe without damaging anything.

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  • Good idea to completely seal it, this will be my last resort if enzymatic cleaners don't help. I've removed some of the wood and it makes a big difference already. – Lenar Hoyt Oct 9 '15 at 20:32

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