Why Does My Toilet Smell Like Urine? – Reasons & Best Solutions

Updated: | Author: Brad Javernick | Affiliate links may be present.

It’s not uncommon for your toilet to smell like urine. Learn how to keep your toilet clean and avoid bad-smelling bathroom odors.

The most common reasons why your toilet smells like urine could be the urine residue hidden under your toilet seat, dried urine on the floor, and a leaking seal. A leaking seal can cause a urine smell and will need to be properly sealed with new silicone caulk.

If you notice a urine odor coming from your toilet, the easiest way to try and get rid of the smell is with a thorough clean.

To get rid of the urine smell from your toilet, start by scrubbing under and around your toilet with a bleach cleaner to eliminate any dried urine that could be causing the smell. If the odor persists, the problem might be with the sealing.

Why Does My Toilet Smell Like Urine?

If your toilet smells like urine, there are a few ways to check for the source of the odor. It’s recommended to clean your toilet at least once a week to avoid odors and bacteria build-up.

Check Under the Seat

The odor could be coming from under your toilet seat. Lift it up for thorough cleaning and keep it fresh with routine scrubbings. If your toilet seat can be detached easily, remove it and scrub it separately for a thorough clean.

Inspect the Floors

Check the floor around your toilet for dried urine that could be causing the smell. This can be common especially if you have young boys learning to use the bathroom! Clean the bathroom floors with an affordable toilet cleaning product.

If you’re looking for something eco-friendly, try a plant-based floor cleaner with no artificial fragrances.

Open a Window

If you notice a lingering odor in your bathroom, it may not be because of the toilet. Make sure there is proper ventilation in your bathroom to keep the airflow going.

Having closed doors and windows can cause the room to be stuffy and trap odors in rather than airing them out.

Leaking Seal

If you’ve cleaned under and around your toilet seat and still smell urine, it’s likely that there’s a leaking seal. A leaking seal will be located under the toilet between the toilet and the drain or between the toilet bowl and the flooring.

Identify which seal is leaking and call a plumber for an easy fix. If you’re up to a DIY challenge, it’s possible to solve the problem yourself with the right tools!

How Do I Fix a Leaking Seal?

Fixing a leaking seal can be done by a plumber. However, if you’re looking to solve this problem yourself, make sure you have the tools and experience needed for the job.

Seal It Yourself

If you want to fix the seal yourself, start by removing any old caulk around the base of the toilet. Try to pull it off in one long strip with a caulk removing tool or with a utility knife. Clean the base after removing the old caulk and dust away any remnants.

Check for any water leakage and stop completely to call a plumber if you find any moisture. Once the area is clean and dry, apply masking tape around the base to trace out where you will put the new caulk. I’ve already covered the best caulks for using around toilets.

Get your 100% silicone caulk and place it into a caulk gun. Pull on the metal release and trace the base of your toilet with the caulk slowly for a secure seal. Press down on the caulk with your finger once it’s dry to secure it and remove any excess caulk.

Peel off the tape and clean up the area with a damp sponge. Allow the caulk to cure for at least 24 hours. Check the label on the caulk to confirm how long it needs to cure. Use a fan or hairdryer for a quicker drying time.

Call a Plumber

If you don’t have the tools necessary for the job or would prefer to call for professional help, find a local plumber to solve the problem!

Installing a toilet properly and sealing it completely will prevent unwanted odors from stinking up your bathroom.

How to Avoid Urine Odor

Even if you’re keeping up with cleaning, a urine smell can still linger around the toilet. There are steps to take to avoid any bad-smelling odors in the bathroom.

Routine Cleaning

Avoid urine odor by keeping the toilet area clean and making sure it’s sealed completely. Clean your bathroom weekly and take out the bathroom trash frequently to avoid bad smells.

Seal Maintenance

Keep an eye on the toilet sealing to make sure there are no leaks. It’s easy to miss, but if you check consistently, you should be able to avoid urine odor with a quick fix.

How Do I Clean My Toilet?

There are safe cleaning products that will properly eliminate bacteria and odors from your toilet and bathroom floors.

Use a Toilet Brush

If you don’t already have one, invest in a toilet brush to clean your toilet bowl weekly. Apply toilet cleaner to the bowl and scrub the exterior with a sponge while the cleaner soaks.

Scrub around the base of the toilet and the toilet seat. After letting the cleaner soak, use a toilet brush to scrub the inside of the bowl.

Keep It Fresh with Gels

Even if you clean your toilet regularly, you can still keep it smelling fresh with gels. Toilet gels will keep your toilet fresh with every flush and will work against rings and limescale.

Grout Cleaner

If you have a tiled floor in your bathroom, it’s important to get grout cleaner for a deeper clean. It will get any dried urine out of the grout and will work better than the average floor cleaner.

How to Make Your Bathroom Smell Better

Keep a Spray Handy

Always keep an air freshener in your bathroom for an easy solution to unwanted smells. Choose a scent that will eliminate any odors and have your bathroom smelling fresh.

Fragrance Diffuser

Fragrance diffusers release scented air particles into the room and will keep the space smelling fresh. They’re typically small and can be placed behind the toilet or near the sink. Fill the diffuser with essential oils to create a calm ambiance and freshly scented bathroom.

Swap out Your Towels

Damp towels can cause an unpleasant odor from mildew and bacteria build-up. Change out your towels regularly to keep the bathroom free of unwanted odors.

Scented Soap

Choose a strongly scented soap for your bathroom. After washing your hands, the fresh scent will linger in the bathroom and even have you smelling nice and clean!

Natural Cleaners

There’s no need to purchase toilet cleaner when you can use the ingredients you have in your home! If you’d rather find a more natural approach to cleaning your toilet without using chemicals, try baking soda and vinegar to keep your bathroom odor-free.

Find an at-home recipe online that works best for you and go for a more affordable and eco-friendly option.

Final Thoughts

If your toilet smells like urine, identify the cause for a quick fix that will have your bathroom back to smelling normal. If you have any doubts or concerns, always contact a plumber for professional help.

To avoid this problem, make sure your toilet is clean and sealed properly. Keep your bathroom smelling nice with air fresheners and fragrance diffusers!

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About Brad Javernick

Brad is a licensed home inspector and the editor of Home Oomph. He's a massive DIYer, and loves to take on new home renovation projects!

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