Getting rid of bathroom and drain smells

As professional plumbers, we’re used to dealing with unpleasant bathroom smells. But that doesn’t mean you should have to deal with them. First of all, however, remind yourself that some odours in the bathroom are perfectly normal.

It may be an embarrassing topic, particularly if you have guests staying or you are visiting someone’s home. But smells belong in the bathroom. So there’s no need to stress – unless, of course, there are smells that won’t go away.

How do you get rid of a bad smell in the bathroom that won’t go away?

Find out why your shower drain smells

There a few ways you can find out why your shower drain smells. The first thing to do is to determine the cause of the smell that won’t go away. Normal bathroom smells that appear after someone has used the toilet are nothing to worry about – but we have suggestions below about how to minimise them.

Smells that exist even when the bathroom hasn’t been used in a while may be a cause for concern. So it helps if you can describe the type of smell. Feel free to giggle here, but we’re so used to talking about bathroom issues that we’re no longer fazed about pee and poop talk (apologies to the squeamish).

Get in touch with our bathroom plumbers to accurately diagnose the drain smell.

Type of smell – urine or excrement

If the lingering smell is one of urine or excrement, check the cleanliness and the state of the flooring. Often, if a bathroom has an old lino or linoleum floor, it will eventually begin to smell. This is especially true if there are or were young boys using the bathroom (sometimes their aim isn’t as good as it should be when they are toilet training). Over time, the flooring may begin to smell. Alternatively, if there is carpet in a bathroom (it’s rare, but we have seen it), it may pick up smells and need a good clean.

There may be a lingering smell of urine or excrement if the sealant is old or worn. All toilets (with the exception of wall-mounted models) have a wax or silicone seal where the base of the toilet meets the floor.

If the toilet wasn’t installed properly, or if this seal has perished over time or has been damaged, there may be a small leak from the base of the toilet. Give our team a call today for bathroom and plumbing services.

Type of smell – a sewage smell

It’s hard to put into words what sewage smells like, but you’ll know it when you smell it. If there is a sewage smell, you may have wastewater issues. There may be a blockage somewhere in your drainage system or in the sewage system around your property.

There may be a dead rodent in the pipes under the house. Or there may be something stuck in the drainage system because of tree roots in your pipes.

The best thing to do is to get in touch with us at Sumich Plumbing & Drainage and we’ll come out and diagnose the problem.

Type of smell – a sulphur smell

Another type of smell you might detect in your bathroom is a sulphur smell. If there is a rotten egg smell in your bathroom, that’s a sure sign of a blocked drain or blockage in the toilet system. It’s best to have this have this checked out as soon as possible. You don’t want wastewater bacteria or gases entering your home, possibly making you very sick.

This lingering or ongoing smells are not what we consider “normal” bathroom smells. These are bathroom odours that are a result of faulty plumbing or drainage.

We provide here a couple of tips on how to manage smells in your bathroom that are from regular bathroom use.

Make sure your bathrooms have proper ventilation

Ensure your bathrooms have extractor fans and/or windows that open. These will help with the circulation of fresh air, keep smells minimised, and help with the prevention of mould.

Is there anything in the building code that says bathrooms must be ventilated that we can mention here?

Consider using products that mask the smell

People used to light a match or light a candle to get rid of a bad smell. Because of the fire risks, this solution isn’t ideal for many households. A candle left unattended in a bathroom can easily be forgotten about or may be too much temptation for children to play with.

Instead, other household products can help reduce the smell:

  • air freshener spray/aerosol fragrance spray
  • air freshener ornament or solid air fresheners
  • an electric, ultrasonic diffuser which dispenses essential oils into the air through vibrations
  • evaporative or heat essential oil diffusers
  • a scented candle that gives off a pleasant smell even when not lit

It’s important to know the difference between a normal bathroom smell and one that indicates a problem with your drainage or plumbing.

If there is a bathroom smell that won’t go away, or that appears even when the bathroom hasn’t been used, get in touch with us and we will look into it for you.

We offer a full range of drain inspection and repair services, drain unblocking, toilet blockage and root cutting services to help you. We also have a team of emergency plumbers available to help 24/7.