Smelly Toilet Causes and How to Contain It

Why is my toilet smelly

Table Of Contents

A smelly toilet or lavatory can be very disgusting and embarrassing, especially if you are having visitors. It is obvious that you can bear with the smell, but visitors may not like how your toilet smells. For many people, the solution is only cleaning it regularly. What if this doesn’t work?

Maybe you have tried all types of toilet washing detergents without success. Maybe you have even tried all bleaching agents, even the harsh ones, but the odor doesn’t go away. Maybe its bowl smells like urine or maybe your toilet smells like poop. How do you contain this menace?

Why is my toilet smelly

Why is my toilet smelly?

For some people, their toilet smells urine or poop despite cleaning. What could be the problem?

Why is your toilet smelly – causes?

Regardless of what some people do, their lavatories still smell like sewerage. In some cases, this smell might be felt even in the bathroom. If the foul odor persists even after flashing, then something is wrong somewhere. According to, all is not well if your toilet continuously smells even after washing with detergents.

Some of the possible causes of a smelly toilet include:

It might be emanating from the sewer

Did you know that the foul smell might be coming from the sewer line? Yes, sometimes, bacteria from the sewer can seep in the toilet’s bowl. These bacteria and microbial organisms stick on its rim. They then multiply and produce the bad odor.

If you have been keen, the smell might be stronger during hot seasons than the cold ones. Moreover, the smell is strong during the day. As you know, foul-producing bacteria thrive well in a hot humid environment. Your loo a perfect place for such bacteria. Therefore, smelly toilet water and tank is far from ending.

Some of these bacteria are very resistant to common bleaching agents. The condition is worse if the bacteria have lived in the toilet rim for a long time. If this is the case, then strong toilet detergents might be of some help.

The drainage pipe might be clogged

The clogging, in this case, is partial. If the whole drainage pipe was clogged, then flushing would be impossible. The foul smell, in this case, indicates that some of the fecal matter does not completely drain into the septic tank.

In such a case, you can try unclogging your toilet by use of a plunger, snake line, baking soda or even hot water. A plunger inserts pressure on the drainage pipe, thus driving the clogging matter out.

Once the clog is removed, the drainage pipe will be completely flushed, and the bad smell will disappear.

It might be clogged ventilation pipe

You all know this pipe that drives out odors from the lavatory. You may never know the importance of this pipe until it is clogged, and your toilet smells quite bad. Sometimes, you might think that the water or the bowl that smells.

Many people assume that the vent pipe cannot block. This is a wrong mentality. In fact, the vent pipe accumulates grass and other debris on its exit. This means that smell is trapped inside instead of escaping out.

In some instances, birds build nests in these pipes. You can remove the clogging material by yourself or call a plumber to do it for you.

Check the water in the P-trap

If you are experiencing a smelly toilet bowl, then the odor might be because of the p-trap. If you look closely, the p-trap is always holding water. This water is essential in preventing the smell from the drain from getting back to the bowl.

Normally the p-trap prevents any odorous gas from rising back to the loo. If the p-trap goes dry, may be due to evaporation or leakage, then sewer gas can flow back hence the bad odor. Before calling a plumber, check the water level in the p-trap.

How do you eliminate the bad odors?

If you are having this problem, then it’s time to act. Let us now have a closer look at how to keep your toilet smelling fresh. You deserve to know that simple practices can perfectly work in eliminating this bad odor.

Below are some of the ways how you can make it smell fresh:

Clean the toilet tank

This sounds awkward and mysterious, doesn’t it? For many people, cleaning the toilet tank has never been an option. If you do not clean it, you will end up with a smelly toilet tank. This means that the smell emanates from the tank.

The smell from the tank might be because of the water that is always held in it. Since the tank is always moist, some molds might grow in it. Being always closed, it might harbor some bacteria too. With time, it will start stinking.

If the tank is the problem, then your loo will always smell no matter how many times you clean it in a day. However, cleaning this tank might solve all this. Why don’t you do it then?

Regularly and thoroughly clean your toilet

How often do you clean your loo? Some people clean their lavatories once in a week. This may not be enough. You should understand that flushing a toilet is not cleaning it. This means that your loo will smell no matter how many times you flush it in the day.

According to, some of the best toilet cleaners that you can use include:

  • Clorox wand
  • Scotch Brite disposable brush
  • Ecover toilet bowl cleaner
  • Lime away bowl cleaner
  • Scrubbing bubbles cleaning gel
  • Clorox toilet bowl cleaner with bleach
  • Scrubbing bubbles fresh brush

You can also use baking soda and vinegar if you can’t afford any of the above products. These two, alongside hot water, are good toilet cleansers. Any cleaning should come along with proper rinsing. The right procedure should also be followed during cleaning for good results.

Unclog any blockage

The bad smell emanating from your smell might be because of clogging. Maybe its drain or the vent pipe is clogged. For the vent pipe, one can easily unclog it without even calling a plumber. However, clogged toilet drain might require a qualified plumber to unclog it for you.

This, however, does not mean that you can’t do it by yourself. You can actually use hot water, baking soda and vinegar to unclog your drain. Additionally, you can use a plunger, hanger or snake line to remove the clogging debris.


  1. How to eliminate smells from the toilet bowl
  2. Deep Clean Bathroom Tips
  3. Why Does My Toilet Smell So Bad?
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