How to Get Urine Smell Out of Bathroom

Let’s face it, the smell of urine is just unpleasant. We can talk about cleaning up after our pets all day, but when it comes to dealing with human pee, it’s a bit gross for everyone.

However, acknowledging that unmistakable odor is the first step in getting rid of it. Just because it’s not the most pleasant topic doesn’t mean we should avoid it. If you’re reading this, it’s probably because getting rid of that unpleasant urine smell in your bathroom has become a top priority, and rightly so. Your bathroom should be a sanctuary where you can comfortably do your daily routine without being bothered by offensive odors.

Don’t worry; we’re here to help. Let’s tackle this issue together and emerge on the other side with a bathroom that’s not only clean but also free from any lingering pee smell. No more unpleasant surprises!

Image: DailyMail

Why Does My Bathroom Smell Like Urine?

There are several reasons why your bathroom might have that unwelcome urine odor. Let’s break down the potential causes:

Leaky Seal in the Toilet

If your bathroom smells like urine, a possible culprit is a leaky seal in your toilet. A leaky seal can lead to water seepage, creating a damp environment that attracts bacteria.

Mineral deposits, common in hard water areas, may be responsible for the seal leak. Improper installation by someone other than yourself could also contribute to the issue.

Poor Hygiene

Irregular bathroom cleaning can result in poor hygiene and a urine smell. The accumulation of dirt, dust, and debris provides an ideal environment for bacteria to thrive. Bacteria tend to flourish in the presence of organic matter like urine.

While I initially gave the benefit of the doubt and blamed it on general dirt, let’s be honest – sometimes the energetic little ones in the house contribute to the issue. Over time, misfires can lead to urine buildup on the toilet seat or even around the base and walls.

Bacteria in the Water

Bathrooms offer a perfect breeding ground for bacteria due to their wet and dark nature. Water can accumulate in various areas like the shower, around the toilet, or under the sink – all ideal environments for bacteria growth.

As these bacteria multiply, they release a gas that mimics the smell of urine.

How to Get Rid of Stubborn Bathroom Odors

1. Deep Clean the Toilet

This might not sound glamorous, but it’s essential. Scrub the entire toilet inside and out, from top to bottom. You can use a store-bought cleaner or a mixture of dish soap and warm water.

For those hard-to-reach places, like nooks and crannies, a toothbrush can come in handy. Remove the toilet seat to ensure a thorough cleaning. Employ a powerful toilet cleaner, preferably one with bleach, and don’t forget to scrub under the lip around the edge of the bowl.

Keep the bathroom well-ventilated by opening windows and using a fan when using strong cleaners. Finish off by sanitizing the surfaces with a product like Microban 24 Bathroom Cleaner, which not only sanitizes but also reduces odors.

2. Clean Around the Toilet

Accidents happen, and we’re not judging. Clean everything around the toilet—shelves, stools, garbage cans, etc. Launder bath mats and bathroom rugs, and wipe down the walls surrounding the toilet for a comprehensive clean.

3. Mop the Floors

Sometimes, the floor is the culprit for lingering urine smells. Follow these steps:

  • Clear the floors of items like trash cans, rugs, and any stray socks or cotton swabs.
  • Sweep or use a Swiffer Sweeper to trap loose dirt, hair, and dust.
  • Mop the floors thoroughly. Consider getting down on your hands and knees to clean the caulk between the floor and the toilet using a wet, soapy rag. Wipe off any soapy residue with a clean, wet rag.

4. Spot Cleaning for Urine

When you’re dealing with small urine or poop accidents on floors or toilets, a simple and handy solution is a spray bottle filled with a mixture of half white vinegar, half water, and a few drops of essential oils like peppermint and lavender.

While it may not be a deep cleaning solution, this mixture works wonders for eliminating urine smells on porcelain, tile floors, and grout. It’s a non-toxic alternative, sparing you the need for harsh bleach and gloves every time you encounter a urine odor or engage in routine cleaning.

Here’s why it works: Vinegar effectively kills the bacteria in urine, addressing the root cause of the smell. For added convenience, pre-made cleaners like those from Grove Collaborative can be kept in each bathroom for quick and easy use.

5. Clorox Urine & Wipe

Clorox Urine Remover

For a more targeted approach, Clorox Urine Remover spray and wipes are a game-changer. Unlike regular bleach, this product focuses on odor removal rather than disinfection. It’s particularly effective on grout and tiles to tackle deep-seated smells and urine stains.

Clorox Disinfecting Wipes

These wipes are perfect for a quick “swish and swipe” around the toilet seat, base, and counter. Especially useful if you’re dealing with forgetfulness or accidents, these wipes ensure a germ-free environment.

If you’re sensitive to chemicals, consider using Nitrile Latex gloves for cleaning to protect against germs and minimize direct contact with cleaning agents. Even for eco-conscious individuals, using gloves is a safety measure worth considering.

6. Clean Your Drains

Don’t worry, this is simpler than it sounds, and if the source of that urine smell is your drain, it’s an easy fix.

  • Remove any gunk caught in the drain catcher, even if it’s a big, unpleasant clump of hair.
  • Flush the drain with almost-boiling water and Dawn Dish Soap. If you prefer, you can use a store-bought drain declogger, following the instructions on the label.

Keep Your Bathroom Fresh

  • Stay on top of daily surface wipe-downs and aim for a deeper clean once a week.
  • Consider using Febreze Small Spaces to keep odors at bay for up to 45 days. They come in various pleasant scents that definitely don’t smell like urine.
  • Once a week, pour near-boiling water down the drains to prevent odors from building up.
  • If you’re interested, we’ve got a few more tricks to keep your bathroom smelling delightful.

Now you won’t need to resort to passive-aggressive notes on the bathroom mirror to get your point across to your partner, roommates, or kids. You have the tools and knowledge to freshen up your bathroom, deep clean the toilet, and bid farewell to that unpleasant urine odor in your beloved sanctuary. You can go back to enjoying your water flosser, applying face masks, and whitening your teeth in peace, free from any lingering pee smell disturbing your serene space.

The key to keeping that unwanted odor away for good is establishing a regular bathroom cleaning routine. From daily upkeep to weekly and monthly deep cleans, pay attention to every nook and cranny where those odors might lurk. A thorough cleaning with soap, water, bleach, or disinfectant will help ensure those unwanted smells stay away. Let’s just pretend we never had to talk about this.


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