My kitchen sink smells kind of terrible. I do not have a disposal, so I use a drain catcher, which I empty into the garbage quite regularly. I do think my drain is blocked, but nothing seems to really freshen it. I've tried dumping baking soda down the drain and sometimes I just like to sprinkle it around like fairy dust after I wash some dishes because maybe *this time* it will work. What do you suggest?
Like you said, the drain is the problem. But just a super quick check just in case … unscrew the spout cap and check to make sure that it and the screen haven't grown some fungus. The only reason I say that is that you're in a rental, and if it was unoccupied for some time the faucet might not have been run, which means that a small amount of standing water might have collected, evaporated and left behind a bit of funky-smelling mold. It's a longshot, but worth mentioning before we talk about how to get that drain clean. Because really, that's what's causing your problems.
As is usually the case, I've got some options for you to consider. We'll take them in order of how much of a PITA they are.
Baking Soda & Vinegar
Your instinct that baking soda was a good thing to put down that stinking drain was right on, it is a marvelous deodorizer. What it won't do, of its own accord at least, is clear a drain and since you're pretty sure you've got some stoppage on your hands that's what needs to be addressed. And the eruption of a baking soda & vinegar volcano will help clear things up, especially in a light-clog situation. So: sprinkle a liberal amount of baking soda, say a half cup or so, into that drain and follow it with about the same amount of white vinegar. You can more or less eyeball the measurements, but I like to give a ballpark amount in the spirit of providing as thorough an answer as possible. As you might imagine, thoroughness is an important thing to a loon such as myself. Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Clean People. We're frickin' nuts.
You might also want to grab a bottle brush and use it to give the walls of the drain a good scrubbing. There might be some build up of food particles that got past the drain catcher, and sloughing that off will eliminate any smells that debris may be contributing to the situation.
Commercial Drain Clearers
These are your Dranos, your Liquid-Plumrs, Thrift Drain Cleaner, those sorts. Okay look, I'm gonna level with you because we're all pals here: these things work. But they're nasty on the environment and can, with time and excessive usage, also be nasty on pipes too. Buuuuuuuuuuuut … they work. So I mention them and shall leave the moralizing in re our Great Green Earth and your pipage situation to you to sort through.
Most of us will have a plunger in the home, which makes it a pretty easy option for unclogging a sink drain. Plug the sink, fill it about halfway up with water, remove the plug and start plunging. That ought to do it for ya!
If things are really, really bad you might have to resort to snaking the drain. Which is a foul thing to have to do, though really fairly easy. From the sound of it, though, the clog isn't bad enough to require the use of a snake; if you'd reported a problem with water backing up I'd push the snake on you moreso than I am. Quick primer on snaking a drain: the type of snake you want for sink (or tub) drains is a cable auger; closet augers are the ones you'd use on a toilet. For the rest of the instructions I'm sending you over to the fine folks at This Old House—truth be told, they're far handier than am I.
I'm having trouble getting diesel out of my fiance's EMT uniform pants—he was gassin' up the ambulance when he was startled, and spilled pure diesel down his right leg.
He rinsed the pants off at the firehouse and wore them home with the gross diesel residue. After I smelled how foul they were, I spot cleaned (and by "spot" I mean "whole right leg") the pants with a 5:1 Pine Sol solution, and then let them soak for a couple hours with Pine Sol and warm water. They seemed ... better, so I decided to wash them in the machine with unscented detergent, some borax, and the Pine Sol. When the pants came out smelling only of Pine Sol, I patted myself on the back and put them in the dryer on low heat.
Here's the thing, Jolie: it was like the pants had an EVIL TWIN. The second I took this THING out of the dryer, it was like I was back to square one. Like a diffuse whiff of old gas station and broken dreams. Can the pants be saved? He's a volunteer EMT with a backup pair of pants, but it's an avocation that's hard on the extremities, and he really needs a second pair to switch to after gross times in the ambulance.
There's a phenomenon attendant to this job in which, in the span of a few weeks, I'll receive several thematically similar questions for no apparent reason. Like, it's normal at the start of the summer to get a bunch of questions about bathing suits and then later on in the season for the dreaded bug horror stories to start rolling in, but this is something else entirely.