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Stinky Toilet: 6 Reasons Why Your Bathroom Smells Like Sewage (And How To Get Rid Of It)


Why You Have a Smelly Bathroom

Picture the scene, you walk into your bathroom and a pungent smell of sewage hits you in the face.

But wait a second. Nobody had eggs for lunch. Where did that stinky odor come from?

You might think giving the bathroom an extra scrub down will stop the smell. But if there is a deeper issue, you’ll only mask the smell temporarily. And when that whiff comes back, you’ll find yourself asking the same question, “My bathroom smells like a sewer, why?”

There are several reasons why your bathroom smells like a sewer AND there are several ways to get rid of it. Read on to solve the secret of the smell and it won’t drive you round the bend for much longer.

Are you ready? Let’s flush this!

Bathroom Smells Like Sewage—6 Reasons Why

Before you start diagnosing possible issues, make sure your bathroom is clean. According to scientific research, you should clean your bathroom once a week (at least!)

While there are several reasons why your bathroom may smell, some issues are more common than others. Read on for the 6 most common reasons why.

1. All Clogged Up

If there is a sewage smell in your bathroom, there could be a number of reasons why. But before you grab your wrench, try a plunger instead. Because your toilet might have become clogged up with unmentionables.

If it is a simple clog, a plunger will do the trick. That’s what it’s designed for after all. But if it doesn’t resolve the issue, the blockage may be too hard for you to shift or there may another problem.

Time to call the experts!

2. P-Trap Evaporation

Another reason your bathroom smells like sewage may be because of the P-Trap under the sink or toilet.

A P-Trap is the section of piping underneath the sink and toilet that’s shaped like a “U”. When everything is working normally, a little bit of water remains in the P-Trap to act as a barrier against smells. If the water evaporates, you’ll smell the sewage system in its full glory.

This is especially common if the facilities haven’t been in use for a while.

Try pouring water down the drain or flushing the toilet to fill up the P-Trap. You will hear a lot of gurgling sounds at this point, but after there should be no sewer odor. If there is, there may be a deeper issue.

3. Bad Bacteria

It doesn’t take a genius to realize that there is a lot of bad bacteria that goes on in the sewer system. If these stinky microorganisms make their way up to your toilet, they may cling to your toilet bowl and start to multiply.

This is common during hot, humid conditions where bacteria thrive.

You can get rid of the unwanted guests by using bleach. But instead of swishing it around the toilet bowl, pour some into the overflow pipe or the flush valve. This will wipe out all the bacteria hidden in the system.

4. Overflow Buildup

Another reason for sewer gas smell in the bathroom is because your sink may have an overflow mechanism. The simple mechanism provides relief if the sink becomes overfilled.

But after time and use, it may build up grime and cause a whiff. Giving it a good cleanup should resolve the smell. Or get a plumber to do a full drain clean-up to make your sink sparkle inside and out.

5. Vent Pipe Problems

The P-Trap mentioned above connects to a pipe that goes up the wall and through the roof. This vent is an outlet for nasty sewer odors. It also allows fresh air to come into the bathroom.

If there’s a sewer odor in your bathroom, there might be an issue with the vent pipe. Some plumbers may install them badly or the pipe may crack. The pipe may even become clogged from outside elements, such as birds nesting or a pile of leaves.

Unfortunately, you probably won’t be able to find the issue yourself. You’ll need a professional to locate AND fix the problem.

6. Toilet Damage

Another common reason there is a sewer gas in your bathroom may be because of wear and tear on your toilet.

For instance, over time, the wax sealing ring under your toilet may get loose. These tiny gaps may allow stinky sewage gas to seep through. If your toilet is wobbly, that might be the issue.

There may also be a hidden crack in your toilet bowl that is causing a leak. After the water level drops, bad odors will seep into your bathroom.

This isn’t something you can solve alone. A plumber will need to fix the problem.

The Smelly 411

Now you know the issues, how can you determine what your problem is? Use your nose!

If there is a funky smell hanging around, try to determine the type of smell it is. This can make all the difference to the diagnosis.

Remember that when your bathroom starts to get stinky, you may immediately blame the toilet. But the issue may even be coming from the sink, shower or bathtub. So sniff around to find where the problem is.

Here’s the smelly 411:

  • If your toilet smells like sulfur (or rotten eggs) it means there are harmful bacteria in the water.
  • When your bathroom smells like sewage, there is a problem with the piping (due to the P-Trap or toilet damage).
  • If your toilet smells like urine, it might just need a good clean. Or the wax seal may be loose or broken.

Before you call for help, try to figure out what the smell might be. There may be no need to call in a professional if your toilet just needs a good clean up!

Of course, if any smell is constant and won’t go away with the tips and tricks mentioned, don’t hang around. Contact a plumber to resolve the issue as soon as possible.

HELP! My Bathroom Smells Like a Sewer

If your bathroom smells like a sewer and you can’t find out where it’s coming from, it’s time to call in the professionals. With noses like sniffer-pups and expert know-how in plumbing, professionals can fix issues that you didn’t even know existed!

And if you’re looking for experts, you’ve come to the right place. Contact us today and we’ll leave your bathroom (and home) smelling as fresh as a daisy!


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