How to Get Rid of Urine Smell in the Bathroom

Urine is one of the most common sources of bad odors in your bathroom.

Moreover, the smell of urine comes from both the toilet bowl and the area around it. When you flush your toilet, several droplets enter the air and fall on the bathroom floor.

When the droplets dry, they will leave their odor in the bathroom.

Getting rid of the urine smell in your bathroom might be simpler than you think, and with the right tools and techniques, you can maintain a fresh and clean environment for you and your family.

Here’s a complete guide on how to get rid of the urine smell in the bathroom.

Identifying the Causes of Urine Smell

Bacteria and Odor

Urine smell in your bathroom might be caused by bacteria buildup. Bacteria can thrive in warm, damp conditions often found in bathrooms. As they break down organic waste, such as urine, they produce chemicals that can cause a strong odor. To address this issue, you can:

  • Clean your bathroom regularly
  • Use a powerful cleaning solution designed to kill bacteria
  • Keep your bathroom dry and well-ventilated

Toilet Issues

A common cause of urine smell in bathrooms is a malfunctioning toilet. A broken seal in the toilet can allow urine to leak onto the floor surrounding the base of the toilet, causing a foul odor. To fix this problem:

  • Check the seals on your toilet
  • Ensure there are no accidents happening in the area
  • Fix any damaged seals or components
  • Clean the floor and wash any affected mats to eliminate the urine odor

Grout Problems

Grout lines between bathroom tiles can trap dirt, moisture, and urine, leading to an unpleasant smell. To resolve this issue, you should:

  • Regularly clean the grout using a grout cleaner and scrub brush
  • Replace damaged or missing grout
  • Apply a grout sealant to help prevent future issues

Rugs and Floors

Rugs, mats, and even some types of flooring can retain urine smell if they’ve been exposed to accidents or spills. Address this issue by:

  • Regularly washing rugs and mats in hot water
  • Using a carpet cleaner or floor cleaning solution for more robust cleaning
  • Replacing rugs or flooring if the odor persists

Inadequate Ventilation

Poor ventilation in your bathroom might be contributing to the buildup of urine smell. Without proper airflow, humidity and odors can’t easily escape your bathroom, allowing them to linger.

To improve your bathroom’s ventilation, you can:

  • Open windows or doors when possible
  • Install a ventilating fan
  • Use dehumidifiers or moisture-absorbing products to reduce humidity levels

Steps on How to Get Rid of Urine Smell in Bathroom

You’ll need a few household items to rid your bathroom of horrible urine odor. So, you won’t have to spend money on specialized cleaners.

That said, there are some specialized tools you can use.

If you haven’t cleaned your bathroom in a while, you can consider purchasing a specialized blacklight to detect urine.

This product may be expensive and is optional because you can clean the bathroom without spotting urine stains.

With that said, here are the steps you must follow.

Step 1. Gather the Necessary Materials

It’s best to keep the necessary materials ready before you start cleaning.

This way, you’ll manage to work uninterrupted and finish quickly. The materials you’ll need include:

  • White vinegar
  • Lemon juice
  • Baking soda
  • A pair of rubber gloves
  • Protective goggles
  • Washcloth
  • Toothbrush
  • A bowl
  • A spoon to mix the contents
  • Measuring cup
  • A mop

Step 2. Create the Cleaning Paste

Start by squeezing fresh lemon juice into a bowl.

You don’t need more than one lemon. Next, add some baking soda to the bowl of lemon juice.

Bring the Baking Soda Mixture to the Right Consistency

Stir the mixture with a spoon. Lift a bit of the mixture and drop it back into the bowl. This way, you’ll be able to determine the consistency of the mixture.

You should aim for consistency that’s close to that of dense cake batter. Add more baking soda to the mix if it’s still runny.

Step 3. Apply the Baking Soda Mixture to Various Parts of the Bathroom

Before you begin the cleaning process, wear a pair of rubber gloves. This way, you’ll prevent any gunk from getting under your nails.

You could consider wearing protective goggles too. However, it’s not necessary.

Use a brush to apply the baking soda paste to the following parts of the bathroom:

  • the toilet seat
  • the bottom of the toilet bowl
  • behind the toilet
  • over and behind the toilet tank
  • below the stool area’s rim

All of these parts tend to have remnants of urine. So, cleaning these parts is vital for removing urine smell. Let the mixture sit for about 15 minutes for the best results.

Step 4. Freshen Your Toilet Tank

It may seem weird, but your toilet tank can also be responsible for urine odors in your bathroom.

This is especially true when you haven’t cleaned the tank in a long time. So, do not skip this step at all costs.

Remove the Lid and Add a Vinegar Solution

Remove the lid of the toilet’s tank. Next, measure half of a measuring cup of vinegar to the tank full of water.

Let the vinegar solution sit for about 15 minutes.

You can move onto the next step in the mean time.

Step 5. Clean the Walls and Grout in the Bathroom

As mentioned above, droplets can fall onto various parts of the bathroom.

The walls near the toilet and the molding can gather some urine droplets.

Apply the Baking Soda Mixture to the Walls

So, you should start cleaning the walls and the grouting.

Apply some of the baking soda and lemon juice mixture with a washcloth to the walls around the toilet.

Scrub the Grouting with a Toothbrush

Use an old toothbrush to scrub the grouting on the walls.

You don’t have to spend too much time on this. However, grouting can be a common culprit for urine odors, so scrub them.

Step 6. Clean the Bathroom Sink

You should move on to the bathroom sink next.

The sink is relatively easy to clean. Apply the baking soda mixture with a washcloth. Make sure to cover the lower part of the sink as well.

Step 7. Clean the Cupboards

Cupboards that are close to the ground may be responsible for some urine odor.

So, you should wipe it down with the baking soda mixture using a washcloth.

If your cupboards are not near the ground, then you can just wipe them down once.

Step 8. Clean the Bathtub and Shower Curtain

The bathtub can be a source of urine odor, especially if children use the bathroom.

So, clean the bathtub and the walls around the same way as mentioned above.

You don’t need to scrub the bathtub. Instead, wiping it should suffice. You should leave deep cleaning it for another day. This is because that can be a long process.

Wash the Shower Curtain

When you begin cleaning the bathtub, remove the shower curtain. Next, toss the curtain into the washer. In the final rinse cycle, add half a cup of white vinegar to the water.

The white vinegar will help clean the shower curtain and remove bad odors in the process. You can continue cleaning the bathroom while the curtain is in the washer.

Also read: How to Clean Bathroom Curtain?

Step 9. Flush Your Toilet

You should keep a close eye on the time when you’re cleaning your bathroom.

Flush your toilet when 15 minutes pass after you added vinegar to the toilet’s tank.

Add Vinegar to the Toilet

Make sure that you flush your toilet 2 to 3 times so that the vinegar solution reaches inside.

Next, add half a cup of vinegar to the toilet bowl. Let the vinegar sit in the toilet until you finish cleaning the bathroom.

Scrub the Toilet Walls If Necessary

If you haven’t cleaned your toilet in a while, you may notice stains on your toilet walls. In that case, you should scrub the toilet walls clean.

Make sure that you use an appropriate brush for this process. In addition to that, you may also have to use a cleaning product designed for cleaning toilets.

Look at the state of your toilet, and decide. Also, use whatever you typically use for cleaning your toilet.

Scrub the Toilet’s Tank Walls If Necessary

In addition to the toilet walls, you may notice a lot of gunk build-up on the tank’s walls. In that case, scrub the walls with a brush. Make sure to keep your gloves on for this process.

You can also add another half a cup of vinegar to the tank. Don’t any other cleaning solution. The vinegar will make it easier to remove the build-up along the walls.

Step 10. Scrub the Top of the Toilet

Pour some vinegar on the old toothbrush.

Next, use the toothbrush to scrub the top of the toilet. Make sure to clean the joint of the toilet seat and lid.

Pour Vinegar onto the Toilet and Areas Around It

Don’t leave any part of the toilet unexposed to the baking soda or vinegar. After scrubbing the toilet, pour some vinegar onto the toilet.

Wipe it down with the washcloth. Flush the toilet two to three times afterward.

Step 11. Mop the Floor

A quick way to remove the baking soda and vinegar from different parts of the bathroom is to mop it.

However, rinse the walls with water before you start moping the floor.

Move the mop from side to side along the length of the bathroom. This way, you will cover more area.

Make sure to mop with a bit of force on the ground near the toilet. You should make sure that this part is especially clean.

Step 12. Finish the Cleaning Process

Put the lid back on the toilet’s tank. After that, attach the shower curtain back.

The entire bathroom should be smelling a lot fresher at this point.

Look for Other Objects That Could Be Responsible for the Urine Odors

If you notice there’s still some urine odor in the bathroom, look for other objects that could be responsible.

For example, a garbage can near the toilet can leave a bad odor.

In that case, it’s best to get a plastic garbage can that you wash once every week. Other objects to be wary of include laundry baskets and step stools.

More Cleaning Methods

This section will cover more specialized ways to remove the odor.

Chemical Cleaners

  1. Bleach: As a powerful disinfectant, bleach is effective in killing the bacteria responsible for urine smells. Dilute bleach with water, following the instructions on the bottle, and use it to clean the toilet bowl, floor, and grout lines. Remember to wear gloves and ensure proper ventilation when using bleach.
  2. Carpet cleaner: If your bathroom has carpets, use a carpet cleaner specifically formulated to remove tough stains and odors. Follow the product’s instructions to treat affected areas. Using a carpet cleaner regularly will maintain a fresh-smelling and clean bathroom.
  3. Plunger: One often overlooked contributor to persistent bathroom odors could be a clogged drain. Using a plunger or a drain snake can help remove blockages and restore proper drain function. After unclogging the drain, flush hot water down it to further eliminate any lingering smells.

Black Light

black light is an effective tool for detecting hidden urine stains in your bathroom. When you shine a black light on the affected area, the urine will fluoresce, making it easier to spot and clean. To use this method, follow these steps:

  1. Turn off the lights in your bathroom.
  2. Switch on the black light and scan the floor, walls, and toilet surfaces.
  3. Mark any glowing spots with a piece of chalk or masking tape.
  4. After identifying the stains, use a cleaner specifically designed for urine removal to thoroughly clean the area.

Regularly using a black light to inspect your bathroom can help keep the urine smell under control.

Using a Professional Cleaner

Sometimes, the best way to deal with persistent urine odor is to hire a professional cleaner.

These experts have access to powerful cleaning supplies and equipment that can remove tough stains and bacteria. Here are some reasons to consider using a professional cleaner:

  • You’ve tried various DIY methods, but the smell persists.
  • There’s a possibility of damage to your bathroom fixtures or floorings, which might be best handled by professionals.
  • You have health concerns or physical limitations that prevent you from doing thorough cleaning yourself.

To choose a reliable professional cleaner, follow some best practices:

  • Ask for recommendations from friends, family, or online reviews.
  • Check for licenses and insurance to ensure your cleaner is legitimate and trustworthy.
  • Request a written quote with detailed information on the services, materials, and timeframes involved.

With the help of specialized tools and techniques, you can effectively eliminate urine smell from your bathroom and maintain a clean, fresh scent.

Ensuring Proper Ventilation

Eliminating urine smell in the bathroom is essential, and one of the most effective ways to do so is by ensuring proper ventilation.

This will help disperse any lingering odors, allowing your bathroom to stay fresh and clean. In this section, we will discuss a few methods to improve ventilation in your bathroom.

Windows and Air Fresheners

First and foremost, if you have a bathroom window, make sure to open it regularly to let fresh air in and remove any lingering smells.

This natural ventilation is highly effective in keeping your bathroom smelling pleasant. Additionally, you can use air fresheners to neutralize odors—just make sure to choose a non-overpowering scent to maintain a balanced atmosphere.

Air Purifiers

If the issue persists, you might want to invest in an air purifier. These devices are designed to remove contaminants, including odor-causing particles, from the air.

Opt for an air purifier that has a HEPA filter and is rated to effectively purify the air in a bathroom-sized space. By incorporating an air purifier into your bathroom, you are taking proactive steps to combat unpleasant odors.


Another natural way to improve air quality and reduce unwanted smells is by introducing plants into your bathroom. Some plants like spider plants, snake plants, and peace lilies are known to filter pollutants and improve air quality.

Additionally, these plants thrive in humid environments, making them an ideal choice for the bathroom.

Place a few plants near your bathroom window, and they will not only help eliminate odors but also add a touch of greenery that can enhance the overall aesthetic of your space.

By implementing these methods, such as opening windows, using air fresheners, investing in an air purifier, and adding plants, you can significantly improve the ventilation in your bathroom.

Toilet Maintenance

Maintaining your toilet is essential to avoid unpleasant urine smells in the bathroom. In this section, we’ll discuss how to clean the toilet seat and hinge, as well as plumbing and wax gasket considerations.

Toilet Seat and Hinge Cleaning

To effectively clean your toilet seat and hinge, follow these steps:

  1. Remove the toilet seat: Many toilet seat hinge caps can be easily popped off, allowing you to take off the seat for a thorough cleaning.
  2. Use peroxide: Mix equal parts water and peroxide in a spray bottle. Spray the toilet seat, hinge area, and under the seat. Leave the solution on for about 10 minutes, then wipe it off with a clean, damp cloth. Peroxide is a powerful cleaner that can eliminate urine odors.
  3. Clean the hinge area: Use a small brush or an old toothbrush to scrub the hinge area and any crevices where urine may collect.

Remember to clean the toilet seat and hinge frequently to prevent the buildup of urine smell in your bathroom.

Plumbing and Wax Gasket Considerations

Plumbing and wax gasket issues can also lead to unpleasant odors in the bathroom. Here’s what you should consider:

  • Check for leaks: Sometimes, the urine smell might result from leaks around the toilet base. If you notice any leaks, you may need to tighten the bolts that hold the toilet in place or replace the wax toilet bowl gasket to create a proper seal.
  • Inspect the wax gasket: Over time, the wax gasket can become damaged or compressed, allowing sewer gas and odor to escape into the bathroom. If you suspect this is the issue, you’ll need to remove the toilet, replace the wax gasket, and securely reinstall the toilet.
  • Flush the toilet properly: Make sure your toilet flushes effectively by using a plunger to clear any clogs that can trap unpleasant odors.

By addressing these plumbing and wax gasket concerns, you can help keep your bathroom smelling fresh and clean. Remember to perform regular toilet maintenance to prevent issues that can lead to urine odors in the bathroom.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does my bathroom still smell after cleaning?

There are several reasons why your bathroom might still have a urine smell after cleaning. It could be due to urine residue in hard-to-reach areas, a clogged shower drain, or even bacteria from a urinary tract infection.

Make sure to clean all the nooks and crannies around the toilet and under the seat, and consider using an enzyme-based cleaner to tackle any lingering bacteria.

How do I remove urine odor from bathroom tiles?

To remove urine odor from bathroom tiles, mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle.

Spray the solution onto the tiles, and let it sit for a few minutes before scrubbing the area with a stiff brush. Rinse the tiles with clean water and dry them well to prevent mold or mildew growth.

How can I get rid of pee smell in and around the toilet?

Cleaning the toilet thoroughly is key to getting rid of pee smell. Pay special attention to the toilet seat hinge caps, the area above the seat and below the tank, and any bidet attachments.

Use a disinfectant spray or bleach solution to kill bacteria, and consider adding a few drops of essential oil (such as lavender or lemon) to the toilet bowl to freshen up the smell.

What are effective products for eliminating urine odor?

Enzyme-based cleaners, such as Nature’s Miracle or Simple Solution, are particularly effective at eliminating urine odor because they break down the underlying bacteria and proteins that cause the smell.

White vinegar is a natural and budget-friendly alternative that can help neutralize odors.

How do I eliminate urine smell from the shower drain?

To eliminate urine smell from the shower drain, pour a mixture of baking soda and white vinegar down the drain and let it sit for at least 15 minutes. This combination helps dissolve buildup and neutralize odors.

Afterward, flush the drain with hot water. If the smell persists, consider using a drain snake or contacting a plumber to remove any blockages.

Why does the bathroom floor have a persistent urine odor?

The bathroom floor may have a persistent urine odor if urine has seeped into porous surfaces like grout or if a bath mat is harboring bacteria.

To tackle this issue, clean the grout with a vinegar solution and replace or wash the bath mat regularly to get rid of lingering odors. Make sure to dry the bathroom floor thoroughly after cleaning to minimize the chances of mold or mildew growth.

Last Few Words

You can expect urine odors more frequently if you have boys using the bathroom.

A poor aim can result in droplets getting onto various parts of the bathroom.

It’s always best to clean your bathroom thoroughly at least once a week to prevent bad odors from lingering.

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