Toilet Bowl Smells Like Urine (Reasons & Solutions)

Toilet bowl brought many good things to humanity. However, it is far from perfect and some unpleasant situations are bound to happen. One of those situations is when your toilet bowl smells like urine.

Having this happen is never pretty since this is one of the grossest smells out there. Cleaning your bathroom is never a nice job, especially when you have another issue, such as a leak when flushing toilet.

Having this happen to you doesn’t necessarily mean someone peed next to the toilet bowl. The urine scent sometimes lingers on even after you’ve seemingly made everything sparkly clean. Here’s how to get rid of stench when your toilet bowl smells like urine.

How to Get Rid of Toilet Odor

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Cleaning your bathroom when your toilet bowl smells like urine sounds like a nasty task. It’s never pleasant having to deal with strange, smelly liquids, especially in such a place. Luckily, there are ways to make this process much faster. Here are several tips and tricks you can do if you want to learn how to get rid of toilet odor. Some of the materials you’ll need are:

  • Black light
  • Cleaning solutions and disinfectants
  • A small brush or a toothbrush
  • A plastic knife

Use a black light

One of the better tips is to use a black light to notice where the exact spot of urine stains is. [source]

There are black lights designed specifically to detect urine. You can use them in a dark bathroom. Urine stains will shine bright blue, so you’ll know which places need that extra attention.

Clean the area around the toilet base

Whether you’ve used a black light or not, a good place to start is around and under the toilet base. If you have a smaller kid, he might’ve missed the bowl a few times, since kids can’t really aim. Though, the same can be said for some adults, as well.

You can use any good cleaning solution. Just pour it onto the base of the toilet and scrub it with a small cleaning brush. If you don’t have one – don’t waste any money and use a toothbrush instead.

When your toilet bowl smells like urine, sometimes the location of the urine buildup is under the bowl. Even though toilet bowls are attached to the floor, the liquid can sometimes go underneath them. Since you can’t reach this area with a brush, try scraping underneath the bowl with a plastic knife.

If your toilet smells even after cleaning, try removing the toilet, then scrub. This isn’t an easy process, though, and you’ll likely need a helping hand.

Use strong cleaning agents

The pee can often get between the bathroom tiles, and it may seem like it’s there to stay. However, knowing how to get urine out of grout around toilet doesn’t require any special skills. All you need are some strong cleaning solutions that you can buy online or at your local supermarket. Just make sure you use them with caution, as they might damage ceramic bowls – or burn your hands.

Another good solution is to use the bleach solution, made with one tablespoon of bleach and one gallon of water. Once again, don’t use this on sensitive areas.

Use natural ingredients

When your bathroom is mostly made from delicate materials, using bleach or strong solutions isn’t such a good idea. Luckily, if you don’t have a fairly mild cleaning agent, there is a natural method for this. All you’ll need is:

  • Baking soda
  • Lemon juice
  • White vinegar
  • Toothbrush
  • Measuring cup
  • Washcloth
  • Rubber gloves

First off, make a paste by squeezing up an entire lemon and adding baking soda to it. The paste should be rather thick, like a cake batter. Next, rub the paste on all areas you might need to clean. Use rubber gloves if you don’t feel like doing this with your fingers. Allow everything to set for 15 to 20 minutes.

You should also pour about half of cup of vinegar inside the toilet bowl. Wait for another 15 minutes or more until it kills off any bacteria or microbes. White vinegar is a great solution for killing any unpleasant smells. You can even make a 50-50 solution using vinegar and water, then spray on all areas you feel are smelling.

Wash the walls

If you still have issues with nasty smells, maybe you’ve missed the source of the urine. Even though you blame the toilet bowl, the smell might be coming from some other area. Even though walls aren’t the first thing that falls on your mind, take notice of this: The smell of mold and mildew can sometimes be mistaken for the smell of urine. Because of this, make sure to clean the walls from any mold buildup that you might have. Not to mention that mold loves to grow in places where urine has fallen on! This can only worsen the situation.

Don’t waste money on expensive cleaning products. You can use the same lemon and baking soda paste that we’ve described in the previous paragraph.

Clean all the items in the bathroom

Not just walls, but anything inside the bathroom that is near the toilet bowl can be stained with urine! This is even worsened if you have kids, as boys can sometimes play in the bathroom, causing accidents.

If you feel like your toilet bowl smells like urine, don’t stop just at it.

We’ve already established that the smell might not come from the bowl, at all. In fact, common locations of the urine smell are:

  • Laundry baskets
  • Garbage cans
  • Step stools
  • Shower curtain
  • Plunger
  • Rug

A standing stool is a common place where urine might end up on. Little boys are short, and they can’t reach the toilet bowl all the time, so they might use a stool. This, however, means the urine will often fall on the stool.

Shower curtains that are near the toilet bowl can also be a place where the urine falls onto. The same goes for laundry baskets, rugs, or garbage cans. Also, the latter needs special attention if you toss toilet paper inside of it, instead of a bowl. And if you’ve recently cleaned your toilet with a plunger, here’s a possible source of the smell, as well.

What to do if Your Toilet Bowl Smells Like Urine after Cleaning?

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If your toilet smells even after cleaning, you might be facing a more serious issue. Still, try first to clean any crevices and cracks on the toilet, just to make sure. Chances are the bad smell is coming from the wax ring that is located under the toilet. In the end, the most common source of bad smells in the bathroom is bad plumbing.

To clean or replace the wax seal, you’ll first have to shut off any source of water. The smartest option would be to turn off the main water valve, just to make sure. Then, you should disconnect the toilet before pulling it off. Next is fixing any issues with a drain flange, before replacing the wax seal. Of course, you’ll need to put the toilet back into place. While there are ways you can do this with a help of a friend, this isn’t an easy task. Sometimes, it’s better to just pay a professional for help.

You might also consider leak when flushing toilet, both from the toilet and the pipes. Calcium deposits can cause miniature clogs, which you can also notice if you have a leak when flushing toilet. Once the water goes back up, something is clogging it. You can try unclogging everything by pouring a mixture of baking soda, white vinegar, and water. Leave it overnight, before pouring boiling water down the drain.

This should be enough to break most clogs. More persistent ones, however, should be cleaned by a professional. This is especially the case if you fear something is physically blocking the drain. This is yet another common possibility if you have little boys who love to flush things down the toilet.

An improperly installed toilet can also cause leaks, not just of water but gas, as well. Gas leaks mean that smells can get outside of the toilet bowl and pipe, as well. In other words, when your toilet bowl smells like urine, maybe this is because it doesn’t fit well. If you’ve installed it yourself or hired someone who isn’t a professional, this might be the case.

Can Worms in Toilet Cause Urine Smell?

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What do worms and urine have in common? People connect both with dirty places. This is why some people think worms in toilet are causing terrible smells. Is there any truth to this?

While worms aren’t a good sign, they on themselves don’t cause bad smells. In fact, chances are you have some underlying pipe issue that made worms appear in the first place. The same issue can cause gases to leak from your toilet bowl, causing terrible smells.

However, one nasty insect does leave a foul smell from time to time, and these are drain flies. Drain flies are fuzzy insects that remind of tiny months. They breed in wet areas, such as sinks, when the weather is warm.

Drain flies have a smell that sometimes can remind people of urine, but they mostly have a vomit-like stench. While they are fairly harmless, they aren’t a pretty sight. Not to mention they reproduce rather quickly, especially when the conditions are right. You don’t want to leave them lingering in your bathroom for too long. They can breed in the smallest amounts of water, which is why they’re so persistent.

In fact, sometimes you might not even spot the flies themselves, but tiny, black worms in toilet. These aren’t really worms, but rather drain fly larvae, gathering around any opening, such as drains and sinks.

To clean them, you should pour a fine scoop of baking soda, salt, and white vinegar down the drain. Leave it overnight, then pour a pot of boiling water down the drain. To ensure you’ve killed them all, brush the inside of the drain with a metal brush. This will dislodge any eggs or clusters that might’ve got stuck to the pipes.

Bottom Line

When a toilet bowl smells like urine, this might be a sign of some serious pipe issue. Leaks can cause terrible smells that can make people vomit. However, the most common culprit is a bad aim, especially if you have kids.

The best solution is to make sure everything is thoroughly cleaned. This means the entire bathroom, not just the toilet bowl. Also, for the long-term effects, it might be best to talk to your kids, maybe even your husband. Let them know you’ve noticed that their aim isn’t the best, and teach them the importance of it. Even if they deny it, if the smells stop, you’ll know what the reason behind the smell was.