I just recently bought a house and did some updating by painting the walls. Now, I have this stench in my bathroom that I can't get rid of. I have tried a fan, leaving the door open, and Febreze. Nothing seems to be helping, but thankfully it is contained only in the bathroom. Please advise.
By mmcmeel from Houma, LA
Before you can fix the problem, you have to find out what is causing it. Check all the drains to see if the smell is coming from one of them, then check under the sink. A water or drain pipe might have leaked sometime in the past and caused water to get under the sink, into the floor.
Another possibility is where the caulking is around the bathtub, water could have got behind there. Or it could be coming from the bottom of the toilet where someone could have often "missed" and got urine under the toilet. Good luck in tracking it down.
I also think you need to find the source. You can look in drains, caulk, and around the toilet but I suspect you'll find the floor under and around the toilet to be the problem. You may need to reseat your toilet after replacing some flooring.
It could be the wax ring under the toilet that is loose or needs replacing. It can leak liquid and smell if it is.
Bowls of charcoal placed in the room are recommended for removing smoke odors, so maybe it will work for you. Charcoal absorbs odors, but don't get the kind with lighter fluid in it, or it will leave an odor of its own!
Something that hasn't been mentioned. I live in a 109 yr old rental house, and a lot of things aren't updated nor up-to-code!
Anyways, a plumber told me 2 years ago, while snaking out the old toilet, that the horrible stench I smell sometimes (not ALL time nor everyday), is the smell of sewer, because the tub has no trap! Heck it doesn't even have a drain plug! So it could be no trap, allowing back up sewer smells. It smells like an outhouse when it happens! Thank God it comes & goes. Time to get outta Dodge soon!
Uncap a very small bottle of white vinegar, set it where it will not get turned over AND it will erase all bad smells. Even cigarette smells! My husband smoked while on the toilet so, I know for a fact that this works every time.
Once you found the source of the smell (I agree with one tip that you need to find the source of the smell first) use a can of Lysol spray preferably the original scent and not a flowery one. I could only find the spring waterfall scent, but it worked. It controlled a bad odor in the garbage bag until I had time to take the garbage out - spoiled can of dog food left out - and had forgotten about it because the odor was gone.
For some reason during a week or so between laundry day some kitchen towels and dishcloths kept under the kitchen sink got a musty smell to them. I sprayed the lot with Lysol including the container they were in and the house smelled fresh even before I collected them to put in washer. So when we finished all the fancy and more expensive and/or flowery odors we put a can of Lysol in the bathroom. We have a very small house and any odor is soon all over the house and this is the only spray that worked.
With the very hot temps we've had lately and we have the dog in the house in late afternoon and evenings spraying the bathroom after using the toilet each time is a good way to rid the bathroom of any smells and keeping him from being lured there to "potty". As soon as we spray he is not interested in the bathroom anymore, but is at first lured there with the smell or ammonia or other smell and my husband said we had to keep him from thinking it was ok to go in the house. Amazing for we never house trained him, yet he only drinks water and "potties" outside.
If you have a pet this would help there too. Our house had been empty for over two years and wish I had known this when we first bought it and saved a lot of money on sprays and things that didn't work. Good luck on finding the source of your smell.
Other than asking a plumber, try the sink bowl. That hole that we don't see but is there if we look. If I don't pour mouth wash or light bleach, it can stink. This odor occurs from spitting from brushing teeth/removing makeup and whatever. Just another suggestion! TK
I am late in posting this, but I am wondering if the stench in the bathroom was there before you painted? If not, than it must be the paint smell, which will likely dissipate in time if you air out the bathroom. Did you use an oil base paint? If it is not the paint, then the other posters have put you on the right track.
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