18 answers

Funky Bathroom Smell

Hi all,

My daughters bathroom in her room has a horrible smell coming from it. At first we thought it was maybe a septic tank issue so we called out the septic company and no issues with that. Then we thought it just needed a better cleaning under the rim of the toilet bowl, nope not that either. So, I ended up buying a toilet bowl cleaner that hangs on the side of the bowl, and that smell just mixes w/the nasty one already in there. So, I finally contacted a plumber, two in fact. First guy shows up and chalks it up to a dirty toilet (this is NOT the issue) and leaves. Second guy says it smells like a bacteria growth and to get some bleach, pour it down the bathtub and the sink, wait 15 minutes then turn the water on scalding hot for 5 minutes. Ok, this bleach thing works for about a week and the smell creeps back up. No other bathroom in the house is like this, just hers. And the most annoying thing is that the smell is worse at some points in the day to the point that even through a closed bathroom door, the smell will seep into the hallway. Two plumbers down, septic system guy down and still no one can tell me what the problem is. Anyone here have an idea??

Thanks!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

My home is fairly new, built at the end of 2007. My daughters bathroom has tile flooring. None of the tiles are cracked and the grout still looks great, no stains, no cracking etc... I did the bleach thing again last night because the smell was so bad and this morning it smells great, normal. I love everyones help on this, I'm wondering if contacting a home inspector may be my best option at this point.

Featured Answers

Try pulling out the tub stopper, if you have one that pops up snd down. Often hair gets stuck in there... We had this issue once and i pulled out the stopper and found a gob of tangled hair about the thickness of the drain and about a foot long. It REEKED. Removed that and the smell disappeared. Good luck...

1 mom found this helpful

It is mold. Vinegar and baking soda is a good answer. You can put it on the shower doors, windows and around the grout. Often the shower is the culprit and so you need to repeat it.
I have tried bleach but found vinegar is the best mold killer around. One cup to a quart.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

If it really is coming from the plumbing it could be that the "trap" (the bend in the pipe underneath the drain) is not sufficient to block the air from the septic coming back up. That will give you that septic smell. there is also venting of all pipes and if that is not done correctly (or the vent got blocked) the air will not have an escape path and come back in. Here is an explanation:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drain-waste-vent_system
I have also found that plumbers in general will just want to come in and out and replace easy parts but not really spend time diagnosing what could be wrong. Perhaps go talk to a home inspector at town hall and explain the septic smell since they are trained to see if plumbing is done correctly. Either that or a good builder since they deal with subcontracter plumbers all the time and will know which ones are good and which ones are bad.
But it sounds like your vent may have gotten blocked.

3 moms found this helpful

I take the pipe apart under the sink and clean it. It is disgusting, especially my husbands sink from shaving!!!! But, it gets rid of the smell. If the pipes are plastic, its easy. If they are metal, you may need help getting them apart. Have a bucket or pan underneath for any drips. Clean the pipe and replace. If she has long hair, or even if she doesn't take a wire hanger, pull it apart by untwisting it. Use a pair of pliers to make a little hook on the end and go fishing in her tub drain. You may be shocked at what you find. It WILL stink!!! Good luck!

Added: The plumbers sound pretty worthless. I would cross them out in the phone book so you know not to call them in the future!!

2 moms found this helpful

baking soda and lemon juice down the drains - all of them...then flush with HOT water...

You can go to Home Depot and purchase a bacterio-stat - I don't know the name of it but if you tell them you need something for the smell in your bathroom - they should be able to help you.

I would reclean the toilets - make sure there is no black coming out from UNDER the rim....

The weep hole - in the sink - it's hard to get to - but put either bleach or baking soda and lemon juice down that as well - it gets moisture in there too and its dark - great breeding ground for bacteria!!

If that doesn't solve it - find out where the vent pipe is for your plumbing - if it's above her bathroom - then you might be able to get that cleaned.

If it is coming only from the bathroom - and the bleach works - I'm wondering if it's mold in the bathroom - the worst - as you would have to tear up the floor and surround to get it out...urgh...

GOOD LUCK!!!

1 mom found this helpful

It is mold. Vinegar and baking soda is a good answer. You can put it on the shower doors, windows and around the grout. Often the shower is the culprit and so you need to repeat it.
I have tried bleach but found vinegar is the best mold killer around. One cup to a quart.

1 mom found this helpful

My bathroom smelled rather funky and the sink was slow to drain, so I poured about a half a bottle of Liquid Plummer down, followed the instructions and it is much better now. Could be that the bleach only removed the smell from the outermost layer of crud and then the use of the sink brought it back.

Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

Try pulling out the tub stopper, if you have one that pops up snd down. Often hair gets stuck in there... We had this issue once and i pulled out the stopper and found a gob of tangled hair about the thickness of the drain and about a foot long. It REEKED. Removed that and the smell disappeared. Good luck...

1 mom found this helpful

It sounds like you have done a lot of work researching this issue. My guess is if the bleach in the drain fixes the problem even if only temporarily that the drain is the source of the problem. Vinegar is a wonderful odor killer and is a safe product to use as well. Maybe mix up a batch of vinegar and water to pour in the drain on alternate days that you use the bleach? Baking soda is a good smell absorber, maybe keep small cups of baking soda in different area's of the bathroom to help keep the smell down? I agree with the poster that said contact a home inspector, if plumbers are of no help the inspector will find out the source of that smell.

1 mom found this helpful

If the problem is not in the plumbing maybe it is the user. Have you considered having your daughter use a different bathroom and see if the smell follows her? When my daughter was dealing with bulimia her bathroom would smell awful, this may be a symptom of something going on. I truly hope it is just bad pipes. Good luck!

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