Bubble, Bubble, Gurgling Black Trouble: What That Sludge In Your Drain Is And How To Get Rid Of It

If you have some foul odors emitting from your drains, you may want to take the drain pipes apart and get a closer look. There are any number of things that can create that foul sewer smell that emits from your sink and tub drains. When the majority of that foul smell belongs to a black sludge, you may be quite grossed out and think of horror films that start this way. Fear not, the black sludge is not something that will eat your face off, and it can be easily removed by a sewer and drain cleaning professional. (If you want to do the cleaning yourself, you can address all of the sludge you see, but you will still need the help of a plumber to remove the sludge you cannot see or reach.)

What That Black Sludge Is

The black sludge that you just discovered in your newly dismantled drain pipes is mostly organic in origin. Much of it is decomposing hair and skin, along with body oils and any grease or fats from your kitchen that you poured down the drain. It may be slippery and almost gelatinous at times, which is the result of cheaper soaps, body washes and hair care products. All of these things eventually collect in the traps in your pipes and then build up around and in other areas of your drains and pipes.

How to Get Rid of It

Although the black, foul-smelling sludge is nasty enough to turn your stomach, it is often quite safe to touch. (The only exception occurs when you have used liquid drain cleaners that have high concentrates of corrosive acids, which can burn your exposed skin.) You can use paper towels to clear and clean away all of the sludge you see. A baby bottle brush will help clean parts of your pipes that your fingers cannot reach and help push a wad of paper towel through the pipes to clean them better. To clean and disinfect the pipes and make them smell so much better, soak all of the loose pieces of pipe in a tub of scented bleach or pine-scented disinfecting cleaner.

As for the sludge you cannot see, hire a sewer and drain cleaning specialist. He or she will run some special augers down your drains that clean as they clear the drains and the pipes farther down the lines. Then he or she will thoroughly flush these pipes, drains and sewer lines with a commercial product that can break up the sludge and get it to move all the way out of your home and into the city sewer lines.

To learn more, contact a company like A Absolute Plumbing & Heating