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Troubleshoot These Smells in Your Bathroom

Sniffing to Find a Smell?

Bathrooms are exposed to a wide variety of smells (some created by humans). But there are other smells that can inhabit a bathroom that come from your plumbing system. These odors are a sign that something deeper is wrong.

It can be tempting to try and cover up any smell with a candle, air freshener, or other sweet-smelling substance. Sometimes it can be hard to pinpoint where that foul smell comes from, so we’re breaking down some of the most common culprits.

Sewage Smell

A common problem in bathrooms is a sewage odor coming from the sink drain, shower drain, or toilet. The most likely culprit is a clog in your drains. Even if what you sent down the drain didn’t smell at the time, it may be sitting high up in your pipes and start to produce an odor.

Try clearing the clog by using vinegar and baking soda or a drain snake. You can also clean the p-trap underneath the sink, which may be holding onto some gunk.

Water collects in your p-trap and prevents sewer gases from escaping back up the pipe. So if the water in the p-trap dries out from lack of use, gases are likely to enter and cause a bad smell in your bathroom.


Mold is a frequent problem in bathrooms. When water is present, mold is very interested in moving right in. This goes for all areas of your bathroom.

Make sure you have adequate ventilation in your bathroom, or it will be harder for your shower to dry after use and collected condensation will create an ideal environment for mold growth. Likewise, your bath towels and hand towels, as they are often exposed to water, can start to grow mold and smell if not changed out and washed frequently.

Your Reliable Plumbing Team

From clogged drains to sewage backup, the Ostrom Electrical Plumbing Heating & Air Conditioning team is here to help with any of your home plumbing needs. Contact us today at (540) 253-1559 to make an appointment.