Keep Bathroom Odors in Check

Edited by Ian Gabriel T. Tolledo, Christine Cruz, Lynn, Adrian Penaflor and 5 others

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Bathrooms and comfort rooms are made for one reason, to give comfort! Does your bathroom smell terrible? Ever wondered where those nasty smells are coming from? Most people don't bother thoroughly cleaning their bathrooms when, in fact, a clean bathroom promotes good health and reduces illness caused by bacteria and germs. Don't wait for another person to fall victim to your smelling, bacteria laden bathroom.

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Thankfully there are simple and common sense steps you can follow to remove those nasty smells, while at the same time clean your bathroom efficiently. After doing these, you may want to stay longer in your bathroom, not just for nature's call, but for real comfort. Read on!

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Why Does My Bathroom Stink?

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Your bathroom may be smelly for obvious reasons, but if the smell lingers beyond what you'd expect, or is a different kind of odor, it may be from the gradual collection of germs that build up due to regular use of the bathroom, and insufficient cleaning. Molds and other bacteria love bathrooms because they are damp, so if you're bathroom smells bad, and no one has used the toilet for a while, it might be bacteria you're smelling, and not what you thought.

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Smell-Free Bathroom Essentials


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Did you know that every time you flush, the toilet sends with the swirling water, a misty spray into the air filled with germs and fecal matter. Yes – tiny particles of poo. That got your attention. Charles Gerba, PhD, a professor of microbiology at University of Arizona in Tucson stated that polluted water vapor comes out of the flushing toilet bowl and the vapor takes several hours before the particles finally settle, and who knows where? They often land right on your toothbrush!

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  1. 1
    Shut the lid!
    You know what to do - shut the lid every time you flush the toilet; that will keep the contaminated spray from going out and falling everywhere like a microscopic snowfall. The polluted water vapor is actually one of the top reasons our bathrooms smell bad, so shutting the toilet bowl can really help to minimize bad smells.
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  2. 2
    Look into the toilet.
    The toilet can be the source of unpleasant odor you can smell. If it seems like the smell is coming from there, start there. Use paper towels (that you'll never flush down the toilet), and spray some bathroom cleanser on it and wipe the top and rim of the toilet basin. Now, spray some toilet cleaner in the bowl and focus under the rim. Allow the solution to sit for a few minutes. Use a toilet brush to scrub the toilet bowl under the rim. Flush the toilet - closing the lid of course.
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  3. 3
    Try and see if it's your brush that is giving off the bad smell; it will if it hasn't been used for a long time.
    If the toilet brush is sitting in its container, check if there is any smelly water in the bottom of the container. Wash it and put a few drops of disinfectant, or a few capfuls of mouthwash in the toilet brush holder. This will neutralize any bad odor emanating there; however the best way to keep the toilet brush and its container smelling fresh and clean is to use it regularly by cleaning the toilet frequently, as the brush gets cleaned at the same time, provided you rinse it properly after use. Empty its holder, and disinfect it every time you remove the brush.
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Toilet Floor

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Oftentimes it's the floor around the toilet that can be the source of the bad odor, especially if any person in your house tends to miss the big and wide toilet bowl because of their poor aim. Still, nothing beats good old soap and water when cleaning it. Use your favorite bucket and cloth and cleaning solution. Use plastic or rubber gloves to safeguard your hands. Also, extend your washing process around the outside of your toilet bowl. Air dry the area, or use an old soft dry cloth.

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Shower and Bath

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Did you know that your shower and the bath can also be a source of bad odors? It may be hard to believe because they are being constantly used and washed down. Body sweat and dust can accumulate in the mold and make the place smell terrible. If you have two shower stalls but one is used more than the other, you might notice that because of a mixture of soap and body oils, it gradually smells different from the less-used stall.

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Although the lesser used shower could smell very pleasant, water in the trap below the shower can evaporate, leaving behind bad odors from the accumulated waste in the pipe to seep into your shower room. A quick spray of water from your shower into the drain can wash this smelly debris down the drain. It's a good idea to add a few drops of disinfectant to the drains of the shower and bath as well. This will help stop the buildup of bacteria in the drains that can create bad odors.

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Sink and Wash Basin

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Your sink might also be the source of bad odors in your bathroom. It's usually hair, soap, body oils and bacteria that hasn't washed properly down the drain, and encouraged the growth of mold – creating a bad smell. The best treatment for this is to spray some disinfectant into the drain itself, and the overflow. Wiping the insides of the sink with a cleanser will also remove bacteria, reducing bad odors.

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Other Possible Bathroom Odor Causes

  1. 1
    Wash your floor, especially around the toilet area, and dry it using a rag. Always check the floor underneath the soil outlet of the toilet, and remember to make sure that there are no leaks in your toilet pan.
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  2. 2
    Check how long your curtains have been up. They could be the source of the smell. Look for any discoloration (yellow or black stains). These are accumulated molds either from urine or stagnant water. Clean or wash them.
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  3. 3
    Fan and ventilator.
    If you have a fan or ventilator in your bathroom, then there could be something stuck in it, maybe even a dead mouse, bird or other small critter. Try removing the cover and cleaning inside the vent, and the grate as well.
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  4. 4
    Behind the panels.
    You can also be a little more technical and try checking behind your bath panels. Most paneled baths can be lifted off without too much difficulty or effort. Try checking underneath the bath and see if there have been any leaks or stagnant water that could be causing odor problems.
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  5. 5
    Wastebasket and garbage bin.
    Empty your trash bin regularly, as garbage in it (diapers, tissues and feminine products) can cause noxious odors. Try cleaning it and use a plastic bin liner next time around to make it easy for you to dispose of bathroom garbage and waste.
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  6. 6
    Shower curtain and screen.
    Remember to check and see if there is any mold collecting on your bathroom screen or shower curtains. If there is any, simply wash and clean it, while trying to keep fresh air moving in your bathroom. You can also check your face cloths and towels. Do this especially in summer when the heat might not be on to dry these things out. Towels and face cloths may stay moist or damp, especially in seldom-used bathrooms and then they can start to smell bad and encourage mold.
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Who doesn't like a clean and fresh smelling bathroom anyway?

All-Purpose Bathroom Cleaner

As an alternative to regular cleansers,

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here's a recipe to get you deodorizing and cleaning your bathroom. This is especially good if you don't have any cleaning products other than simple bleach and a brush. The bonus: the ingredients are environmentally friendly and can be found in your kitchen.

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  • White Vinegar
  • Baking Soda
  • Lemon Juice (fresh is better)
  • Damp Rag


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  1. 1
    Make a paste of the baking soda and fresh lemon juice.
    If you don't have lemon juice, you can just use water, but lemon juice is a better disinfectant and is efficient for removing bad odors.
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  2. 2
    The consistency of the paste should be about same as a pancake mix.
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  3. 3
    Spread the paste along the bottom of your toilet where it meets the floor, then on the toilet seat, and any other area that needs to be freshened or cleaned.
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  4. 4
    Apply it in any area with grime, mold and stains, and even hard-water can be cleaned and removed with this solution.
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  5. 5
    Let it stand for at least 10-15 minutes.
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  6. 6
    Spray the dried paste with white vinegar and let it fizzle.
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  7. 7
    Once the area is done fizzing, wipe it with a damp cloth, paper towel or rag.
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  8. 8
    Don't forget about the cupboards and walls on either side of your toilet.
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  9. 9
    Any areas anywhere near the toilet, should be cleaned properly several times a week.
    Spray those areas down with vinegar; let it sit for a few minutes, then wipe down.
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  10. 10
    Cleaning your toilet, floor and walls once a week using these simple steps will keep the stinky odor at bay and you can stop worrying about what your guests might think.
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Tips, Tricks, and Warning

  • Always wear rubber gloves when cleaning a toilet, or the area around it.
  • Put a few capfuls of mouthwash into the holder the toilet brush sits in.
  • When dealing with mold or mildew, take precautions and wear a mask. You do not want to breathe in these spores, as they can make you very ill – especially if you have asthma or allergies.
  • There are lovely scented bin-liners, like lavender and rose, you can use in your bathroom wastebaskets.
  • Use a fan, if you have one, when you take a shower or bath. It's not designed to rid the bathroom of bad odors, as much as to take moisture out of the air, cutting down on mold, mildew and providing a less desirable home for germs.
  • In a bathroom, blinds are a better bet than curtains, as smells and bacteria will cling to the fabric of the curtains.
  • Sponges provide a perfect breeding ground for bacteria because they remain moist and damp. Towels and washcloths also fall into this category, creating a disgusting nesting ground for odor-causing microbes.
  • Natural cleaners not only save you money, but they're healthier for both your family and the environment. Here's a link to how to make an effective all-purpose home cleaner: Make Natural All-Purpose Cleaner

Questions and Answers

What is the solution of a stinky comfort room?

How do you prevent the bad smells?

There are several suggestions in this VisiHow article and check out these odor solution articles as well:

What is the solution to a dirty comfort room?

I mean how to improve comfort rooms. I think it was caused by: Lack of water.

Check out these additional VisiHow articles:

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Vinegar works well to remove odors and sanitize. You do not have to rinse vinegar if no water is available. The harsh smell will go away when the vinegar dries.

Bathroom bad smell. How to solve it?

Hi, my bathroom has a horrible smell after I go washroom, How to make the smell go away without turning on the fan. I have tried: Open the door. Put soap in washroom.

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Categories : Home Repair

Recent edits by: Maria, abeth, Dougie

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