I clean my bathroom regularly, but a day or so later, I can always smell urine. I clean in and around the toilet good but the order is still comes back. There is only my son and I in the house, and he seldom uses my bathroom. I've checked all around for leaks and can't find any. Can some one please tell me how to solve this problem?
There might be a leak around the toilet. Check to see if the seal beneath the toilet is deformed. Sometimes the wax seal where the toilet meets the floor gets old and cracks. You could also try to caulk around the bottom edge of the toilet. Spray disinfectant to try to kill bacteria and remove smell.
Editor's Note: I wouldn't recommend caulking around the bottom edge of the toilet. If the seal is bad, it traps the water between the seal and the caulking and can ruin the floor. I know this from experience. (09/21/2006)
Is there carpet which has perhaps become soiled? (09/22/2006)
You may have urine under the tiles of your floor. If you do, remove tiles and clean the floor with a good cleaner. (09/22/2006)
Even if your son only uses it once in a while, does he keep it in the toilet? My friend's son was a proverbial "bad shot" and they only got rid of the smell by pulling up the tile, bleaching the floor, pulling off the baseboards and then they installed ceramic tile and new baseboards. (09/22/2006)
Do you use any of those drop-in toilet cleaners (the ones that go in the tank)? Sometimes those make my bathroom smell like urine. (09/22/2006)
I had a small set of plastic drawers that sit next to my toilet. I also had the problem of smelling urine after I had cleaned. I took the carpet up and threw it away and still smelled the urine. One day when cleaning I decided to take the drawers out and low and behold, there were urine stains on the underside of the drawers.
Try all the advice about removing tiles, carpet, checking all sources of the odor comes first. There is a wonderful product by METHOD cleaners (available at Target stores), that absolutely gets rid of urine smell. It's their bathroom cleaner, green with a cucumber scent, and comes in a spray bottle for about $2.99.
My daughter, my daughter-in-law, and I all use this product. In fact, the daughter-in-law has a cattery with about 60 cats, and uses this product and also the METHOD laundry soap, METHOD floor cleaner, and perhaps a few of their other products. It is better than anything at a pet store.
I know this sounds weird, but my son's bathroom had a bad smell, also. I did everything I could think of. One day it dawned on me that maybe it wasn't urine that I was smelling, but something else. I took down his shower curtain and the the liner. The liner had a buildup of soap scum, shampoo, and hard water in the folds. I washed it in the machine, I tossed a few bath towels in with in to give it some scrubbing action. It came out clean and no more odor. Now, when I start to smell the odor, I know it's time for another washing. (09/23/2006)
Our bathroom smelled so bad that it went away only after we painted it! Somehow the buildup of odors over the years got into the cracks/holes of the baseboards/sheetrock through light fixtures/switches, and combined with the moisture over the years made for a nasty bath. We caulked the tub and it helped as well as good caulking of all openings to seal that odor in forever. Toilets are never clean enough unless one uses bleach, in my opinion, but that is provided there is a great exhaust fan or window to open!
Editor's Note: Shellac will seal wood, sheetrock, old paint, plywood, subflooring, it's great for putting a seal over odors. (09/23/2006)
Have the wax ring replaced in the bottom of the toilet. It's probably leaking and will ruin the floor. (09/23/2006)
I have an idea for you about the urine smell in the bathroom. I also had this problem, and my sister who has 3 boys of her own suggested that I change my toilet seat. The reason being is that some of the toilet seats are made of some kind of absorbent wood material and that was exactly the kind that I had bought at Walmart. Only buy the seats that are made of hard plastic not pressed wood. See if that works, it sure did at my house. (09/24/2006)
Soft toilet seats do hold the urine smell more than some others. I will not use the soft seats because of this. Also, since the cheaper wood composite seats are the only other seats to stay "up" for guy use on one particular toilet of ours, I do use those. They are cheaper and I can afford to change them when there starts to be an odor or obvious breakdown. Sometimes just removing the seat, soaking the bolts in bleach, and cleaning the fixtures with alcohol or bleach does the trick. (03/29/2007)
Make sure you wash your walls directly behind the toilet. I had this problem and couldn't figure out where the urine still was as I could still smell it. I washed all up the walls behind and beside the toilet with bleach and dishsoap and it worked. (05/21/2007)
I would not combine bleach and dishsoap for cleaning, cyanide gas will form. Toxic! (09/06/2007)
Try using an ultraviolet light in your bathroom. I had one that I bought to find cat urine and after reading this posting it occurred to me to try it in my bathroom to find the origin of a urine smell. I was very surprised to see spots of urine on the walls in unexpected places. Be sure to clean with an anti-bacterial type wipe so that you don't just spread the urine around when using a sponge. (10/01/2007)
Uric acid is crystalline in structure and has a tendency to stick to just about anything. When the water dries, the odor goes away, but when you shower or it's a warm and humid day, the odor comes back. Once it's in the cracks and crevices and even in well sealed grout (and porous tile or stone too) it's pretty much there forever since the only known chemicals that will actually break it down will also eat a hole through the floor in seconds.
People who live in dry climates usually don't have as much of a problem obviously. You can either mask the odor or remove the affected areas. Generally, a complete bathroom, including sub-flooring is needed to permanently get rid of the problem.
Once you get it remodeled, cleanliness is a must. I don't mean once a day, but right now! Men and particularly young boys are the worst offenders. I often was amazed that my son who's equipment was only a couple inches away from an 18" bowl could manage to hit so far outside the bowl. Sadly my "range of effect" wasn't much better and believe it or not, we both have really good aim compared to most.
When I remodeled my bathroom, using only non-porous porcelain and vinyl flooring, it occurred to me that even with such precautions the problem would surely arise again and then I remembered that all men's restrooms have urinals! When this obvious fact dawned on me I wondered why, since about half the people on the planet happened do much of their business standing up, homes don't have urinals! So I installed one. They're not cheap but well worth it. They control splatter very well as they were designed to, but the biggest advantage was the much lower water bill! Urinals use a fraction of the water a toilet does and according to my local supplier, half the water used in homes literally goes down the toilet! Even newer more efficient toilets are water hogs compared to a urinal.
I'd installed the urinal to keep my bathroom from stinking, but it more than paid for itself in half a year! I live in an area where drought is common and every few years we have to deal with mandatory water rationing so saving water is a big plus. (09/06/2008)
Some one on Thriftyfun.com recommended Suave Green Apple shampoo to clean urine smells from their bathrooms.
Apparently, this person used everything under the sun to get rid of the smell and came upon this remedy.
Try searching this site - probably under cleaning.
Good luck! (09/08/2008)
I was afraid I had a leaking toilet seal. My problem turned out be in the toilet bowl. When I got a stiffer toilet brush, it removed chunks of yellow crystallized urine from under the front toilet lip. The toilet doesn't clean itself when it flushes. There isn't much water, it is the low water use type toilet, and it just goes around the sides and back. It is pretty hard to clean under that lip. I have to really scrub it for awhile. That gets rid of the smell. (12/17/2008)
In response to paulakay, about the urine buildup under your front toilet lip, I am coping with the same problem. Here's how I deal with it:
A) Block/dam the trap entrance (that's the hole in back of the toilet bowl) with something big enough so it won't accidentally get pulled into the trap.
B) Remove the toilet tank cover, and inside the tank, raise the ballcock/float bowl long enough to carefully raise the water level in the toilet bowl so it submerges the toilet lip, but don't raise the water level so high that water might overflow from the bowl.
That way, the water in the bowl should help you dissolve/dislodge the urine from up in the lip. Depending on the design of the lip, you might be able to squeeze a sponge up into the lip and run it along the inside of the lip. For stubborn lumps, try scraping with a putty knife.
When you feel that you've dissolved as much from the lip as you can, then remove the dam from the trap entrance to lower the water level back down; then flush away any remaining dirty water. (12/30/2008)
I can't believe that guys can't figure out that if they'd just sit down to pee they wouldn't spray the walls and floor. I figured it out when my wife and I split the chores and I got stuck doing the bathrooms. A real no brainier, sit down and it takes less than half as long to do the clean up.
I'm on this site because 2 of my kids bought houses with the problem. I found a lot of helpful ideas for correction, but prevention is better.
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