Removing Urine Odors from a Bathroom

Category Bathroom
Although the lavatory looks clean, it doesn't always smell fresh. This page is about removing urine odors from a bathroom.


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December 9, 2010

I cannot get the urine smell out of my bathroom. I clean it every day. It is a brand new unit and only I live in it. I have not had this problem before. I do notice that there is a low water level in the toilet bowl. I hope you can help.

By Gissy from Muswellbrook, NSW


December 11, 20101 found this helpful
Best Answer

You may have urine soaked flooring from an old wax ring just under the base of the toilet. If you rent, ask you landlord for the date this was last replaced, which should be about every two years. If it is the case, it is their responsibility to replace it.
Good luck, Sandi

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December 12, 20103 found this helpful
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My sister just moved into a brand new house and had the same problem; she was cleaning the commode and around the commode all the time. The odour seemed to be coming from the 'plastic' the commode seat/lid unit was made of.


After a few months, the smell has now almost totally gone. I hope this is the case for you, as well, and the 'new' smell eventually fades. Blessings.

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December 20, 20106 found this helpful
Best Answer

We were having the same problem. This was after I had replaced our vinyl flooring with tile, so I knew it wasn't the floor or subfloor.

The odor was isolated to within the toilet bowl. After a lot of nostril work, I traced the odor as coming from under the lip around the top of the bowl (where the water washes down when you flush).

It seems that over time, urine has splattered and crystalized into the calcium deposits under the lip. I purchased a flexible plastic putty knife for under a buck and some pet urine odor neutralizer.


I soaked the underside of the lip with the neutralizer and scraped the deposits free with the putty knife. I also used a scotch scrub pad and scoured under the lip with the pad and some lysol bathroom cleaner (I used the putty knife to wedge the scouring pad under the lip).

I scraped, scrubbed and soaked with the cleaner and neutralizer until all the deposits were gone. The smell instantly disappeared and remains gone today.

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June 17, 2010

How do you get urine smell out of a clean bathroom?

By Michele from Lincoln Park, MI


June 19, 20101 found this helpful
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Sometimes when you really know that your bathroom is clean, its the wax ring that seals the bottom of the toilet. Your toilet may not leak and the seal could still have a crack in it.

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June 20, 20101 found this helpful
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I use the product for pet urine removal from the pet store. Be sure to check under the rim in your toilet bowl. Then check under the base of the toilet. Squirt some of the pet solution under there.


Urine gets trapped there. It takes a couple days to dry and for the smell to go away. You can soak up some of the solution with paper towels as it dissolves whatever is under the toilet. Then add some more and leave it to dry slowly.

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June 21, 20101 found this helpful
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If you have men or little boys, they miss the toilet, it runs down the side to the floor and under the toilet where washing can't be reached.
I used to take paper towels and tuck with a knife all around the floor/toilet and then sop it with distilled vinegar. Let it soak. If the pee had gone to the wood floor boards, this will also get to it.
As listed below, check the wax ring and replace. That is cheap $5 price, and then you can use a silicone seal around the bottom of the toilet on the floor. Don't do a huge amount, just a little beading. Make sure it is for the toilet so that removal in the future will not be a pain.

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May 27, 20110 found this helpful
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Cleaning a bathroom sometimes means removing urine odor from tile and grout. To do this in an efficient manner means getting to the root of the problem. The newest technology for cleaning bathroom tiles uses peroxide and detergents to penetrate the soiled area and deactivate the odor. Simply spray a product like PAWS - Pet Accident Washup Solution on the area, allow to sit for 10 minutes and then wipe clean.


Baking soda will also neutralize the smell of urine from in between your bathroom tiles.

Make a paste of baking soda and water and clean with a toothbrush. Let site for about 30 minutes and wipe with a damp sponge. If the odor persists, repeat until the odor is gone.

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I empty the bedside commode into the toilet. The toilet paper splashes in and some of it gets on the bathroom floor. It is sometimes mixed with feces on the paper or in it. How do I do this without the smell getting in the commode or on the bathroom floor. I smell it all day. My mom uses it at night and I empty it in the am.

By Sarah


October 14, 20130 found this helpful
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Try "Odors Out" you can buy it at Bed, Bath and Beyond. I hope this helps.

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October 25, 20131 found this helpful
Best Answer

The best thing to use is white vinegar straight from the bottle. The smell will be gone instantly.


The vinegar smell will go away shortly. I also use straight vinegar to clean windows. Works great. Vinegar is also a disinfectant. Hope this helps.

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May 23, 2011

I have a dreadful urine stench from one of my toilets. The bathroom smells like a men's public toilet. It is cleaned frequently. What can I do?


By maeref


May 25, 20111 found this helpful
Best Answer

After many years cleaning houses I found that many people do not clean under the rim of their bowls very well. Get some rubber gloves and a scrubby and give that a try. It can get really built up under there. Also some folks (you know who you are) miss the toilet completely and there can be a buildup under the base of the toilet where you cannot reach it. Try squirting some Natures Miracle (for pet accidents) under there and wait a few days. Often the odor will be completely gone.

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May 26, 20110 found this helpful
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I poured Pinesol on the floor all the way around the toilet and let it set. I wiped it up about 3 hours later. The bathroom smelled like Pinesol for the rest of the day, but the next day it was odor free.

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December 9, 2010

I deep clean my bathroom every other day, and it still smells like urine. I am the lone female in a home of boys. They are not messy if you catch my drift, but the smell is always there. What can I do?

By Gladys


December 13, 20100 found this helpful
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As stated on one of the archived posts, I have found that by removing the toilet seat and cleaning underneath and around the screws, odors have been eliminated.

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September 21, 2014

My dad is 92 y/o and lives in assisted living. He has a Supra pubic catheter. He has been instructed in emptying his bag into a urinal to minimize splashing. Unfortunately there is still splashing, and there is also some leaking at night, causing a horrible smell in both rooms. They charge an extra $150 for more cleaning. Do you have any suggestions on eliminating this odor?

By Ilene

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September 30, 2012

My father has prostate cancer so I have temporarily moved in with him. I found severe amounts of urine all over his bathroom, including the toilet, floor, walls, and cabinets under the sink. Unfortunately, it's been there for a while so cleaning it will take a lot of effort and some seriously strong cleaning products! I have no clue what to get, or even where to start so any suggestions would be great. Thanks in advance.



October 8, 20120 found this helpful

I suggest purchasing a hand held steam cleaner. The minimim watts should not be less than 1,000. I have a Scunci brand but there are many on the market. The pressurized steam will clean everything, no other cleaning agent is needed. I bet you could rent one, you will be so happy with the results, they are fast & esay to use you will wonder how you managed to live with out one. BTW, I have no vested intereset in promoting diffrent brands.

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I have 4 cats owned for around 10 yrs. Last week I started smelling urine in my bathroom. I thought it was on the shower curtain, so I put up a new one. Then I washed every bit of tile and floor. When I woke up and went to the washroom I can still smell pee. Can you help! Thank You

By Stella

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Share on ThriftyFunThis page contains the following solutions. Have something to add? Please share your solution!

Suave Green Apple for Cleaning

Suave Green Apple for Cleaning

I have three males in my household. I had tried everything to get rid of the smell of urine in the toilet area. Scrub, scrub, scrub with every known cleaner. Not even vinegar would do the job. I was shopping at Big Lots and I was talking to a woman and she said she uses shampoo for urine smells. WHAT! The brand is Suave Green Apple at Walmart for $ 1.64. She suggested the sinks, shower and floors too. I did try it on those areas but find that my Bar Keeper's Friend does the ultimate job in the shower. So I'll use both in the shower. What impressed me the most was the result of no more urine smell! Whew! A squeeze onto the sponge did the job. This bottle will last forever! I clean toilets twice a week.

What a saving plus, I actually found a solution. So all you out there that have had it with cleaning and still having the urine smell, well pick up Suave Green Apple Shampoo. I promise you'll be so glad you did.

Jennifer, CA

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February 8, 2017

Elementary School bathrooms are known for having a certain scent. This page has tips on removing urine odor in elementary school bathroom.

Children washing their hands in a school bathroom.

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

December 9, 2010

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?



Urine Smell in My Bathroom

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)

Urine Smell in My Bathroom

Is there carpet which has perhaps become soiled? (09/22/2006)

By Diana

Urine Smell in My Bathroom

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)

By Shonda

Urine Smell in My Bathroom

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)

By Kathy

Urine Smell in My Bathroom

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)

Urine Smell in My Bathroom

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. Most men and I imagine young boys splatter urine when it hits the water so I guess you just never realize how much leaves the toilet. I'd suggest doing a complete cleaning of all that sits close to your toilet. (09/22/2006)

By KathyM

Urine Smell in My Bathroom

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 have no pets, but love the fresh smell this cleaner gives. No harsh chemicals either! (09/23/2006)

By Ruth

Urine Smell in My Bathroom

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)

By Louise

Urine Smell in My Bathroom

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! I'm not able to afford/find right sized new toilet seat, so I'm sanding and repainting our old one. Wood seems to absorb many more odors than we realize. We have little tile in our bath, so have an extra problem in that regard, but our goal is to tile it completely one day. God bless you for patiently searching it out.

Editor's Note: Shellac will seal wood, sheetrock, old paint, plywood, subflooring, it's great for putting a seal over odors. (09/23/2006)

By Lynda

Urine Smell in My Bathroom

Have the wax ring replaced in the bottom of the toilet. It's probably leaking and will ruin the floor. (09/23/2006)

By Enter

Urine Smell in My Bathroom

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)

By vicki

Urine Smell in My Bathroom

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)

By Jo

Urine Smell in My Bathroom

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)

By Connie

Urine Smell in My Bathroom

I would not combine bleach and dishsoap for cleaning, cyanide gas will form. Toxic! (09/06/2007)

By Dee

Urine Smell in My Bathroom

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)

By Debbie

Urine Smell in My Bathroom

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)

By Joe

Urine Smell in My Bathroom

Some one on 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)

By metroplex

Urine Smell in My Bathroom

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)

By Paulakay

Urine Smell in My Bathroom

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)

By crystralblue

Urine Smell in My Bathroom

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.

By Curly

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