Common Causes of Grease Trap Odors

April 14th, 2021 |  Categories Blog
Grease trap with food particles

Grease traps are effective and efficient in removing oil and grease from wastewater, but without proper maintenance, they can produce an unpleasant odor in your establishment. SeQuential delivers exceptional grease trap services to numerous West Coast businesses, from Portland, Oregon, to the Los Angeles metro area of South El Monte, California. Here, we discuss the common causes of grease trap odors and several solutions to combat them.

Origins of Grease Trap Smells

Grease traps are not the only cause of putrid smells in a kitchen, but they can be a significant source if not properly maintained. Several issues within the trap can cause foul odors, including:

Organic Waste Particles

As a grease trap separates oil and grease from wastewater, solid food and other organic sediments get trapped inside and settle at the bottom of the tank. Microorganisms break down these particles and emit toxic hydrogen sulfide and sulfuric gases. The hydrogen sulfide interacts with water and produces a strong acid that adversely affects the steel and concrete tank, while the sulfuric gas creates the rank odor. Therefore, you must regularly have your grease trap pumped out to avoid accumulating particles.

Inadequate Ventilation

Every grease trap has a flow control device with a vent to draw in air and enhance the tank’s separation efficiency. Placing the ventilation on a section facing away from the building can help to reduce unpleasant smells.

How Can You Remove Grease Trap Odors?

Once you determine that your grease trap is the cause of the foul smell, you must alleviate the issue to continue to provide a pleasant dining experience. Whether you have a commercial or domestic kitchen, the following DIY remedies are effective at eliminating odors in grease traps:

Boiling Water

Pouring hot water down the sink is an easy yet powerful method, as it kills odor-causing bacteria. Additionally, boiling water eliminates blockages to keep traps functioning smoothly. Encourage your employees to pour any leftover water down the drain after cooking. The more often you pour boiling water down the drain, the less likely an odor will develop.

Baking Soda and Vinegar

Encourage your kitchen staff to complete the following task regularly to keep the grease trap clean. Pour one cup of baking soda into the sink and let it sit for several minutes. Then pour about one cup of white vinegar on the baking soda and let the mixture bubble and settle for approximately 10 minutes. Finally, wash the mixture down with hot water. For better results, add a half-cup of coarse salt in the sink before the baking soda. This tactic will help minimize odors until your next scheduled grease trap cleaning with SeQuential.

Find Expert Grease Trap Services from SeQuential

Understanding what causes odors in your grease trap better equips you and your staff to fix the issue. Of course, not every grease trap problem is easy to correct on your own, and you will often need professional help. When that time comes, turn to SeQuential. We partner with the Preferred Pumper Program in the Pacific Northwest to keep our customers’ grease traps in top condition. Contact us today to learn more about grease trap services in Oregon and California.