It may be incredibly frustrating—and embarrassing for anyone who has houseguests—to carefully clean your toilet only to discover that it still smells like urine or sewage. A clean toilet that stinks is actually rather common. There are numerous reasons why your clean toilet may smell unpleasant, and many of the underlying causes of this problem are simple to resolve on your own.
Here are the top reasons why your clean toilet can smell terrible, as well as advice on how to remedy the simplest difficulties yourself and when to bring in a professional plumber to address the situation.
Water Evaporation in the P-Trap
One cause of nasty, sewage-like odors coming from your toilet is a lack of water in the P-trap. The P-trap on your toilet is part of the pipe behind your toilet. It is generally filled with water, however if the toilet is not used frequently, the water within can evaporate.
If you discover that a clean toilet in your home that is rarely used smells terrible, flush it numerous times. That should replenish the water in the toilet’s P-trap, and any unpleasant odor from evaporated water in the P-trap should fade shortly.
A Filthy Toilet Tank
Even if you completely clean your toilet bowl, this does not imply that the toilet tank is clean. Even when the toilet bowl is clean, the tank of your toilet can absorb the scents of urine and sewage and emit them.
Cleaning a dirty toilet tank is, thankfully, just as simple as cleaning a dirty toilet bowl. All you have to do is pour a generous amount of white vinegar into the tank and scrape the tank’s walls with a toilet brush. Allow the vinegar to settle for a few minutes before flushing your toilet multiple times to clear it out of the tank. The foul odor should vanish immediately.
Toilet Drain Clog
Even if your toilet flushes normally, it may have a slight clog. Even the smallest obstruction might cause your toilet to create a foul stench.
If you believe that a clogged toilet drain is the source of your foul-smelling toilet, use a drain snake to clear away any tiny clogs—and terrible odors—that are hiding inside it.
Wax Seal Is Leaking
Underneath your toilet, there is a wax sealing ring. This seal holds your toilet in place and prevents foul-smelling sewage gas from escaping from beneath it. The wax seal beneath your toilet, on the other hand, can become loose over time and begin to leak foul-smelling sewage gas into the air.
If the wax seal beneath your toilet is leaking, do not attempt to repair it yourself. Rather, hire a professional plumber as soon as possible. A plumbing professional should be able to easily repair the wax sealing ring beneath your toilet and therefore eliminate any unpleasant scents that are emanating from it.
Bacteria in Sewers
Live bacteria from the sewer can sometimes make their way into your toilet through water from the sewer. These microscopic microbes tend to cling to the lip of your toilet bowl for dear life in order to thrive. As germs breed and multiply inside your toilet bowl, they can produce a terrible odor that lingers long after you clean it.
Fortunately, removing microscopic germs from the sewer is a relatively straightforward process. Pour several cups of bleach into your toilet’s flush valve. The flush valve is placed inside the tank of your toilet. Then flush the toilet. The bleach you poured into your toilet’s flush valve will come out around the rim and run down the sides of your toilet bowl, effectively flushing away any nasty-smelling microorganisms that have set up camp inside your toilet bowl.
In certain circumstances, a clean toilet that nevertheless stinks is an indication of a deeper plumbing problem. If none of the above-mentioned DIY approaches work, it’s time to call in a professional plumber to solve the situation.
This article is accurate and true to the best of SmartLiving’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.