Why Your Toilet Smells Even After Cleaning

So, you have spent a better part of your day scrubbing your toilet. You have used every cleaner out there and disinfected every area of your bathroom. But there seems to be some bad odor coming out of your toilet that may lead you to ask, “why does my toilet still smell after I clean it?” There are several reasons why your toilet smells even after cleaning it. 

First, it’s good to know that this is a problem that many homeowners face, even the cleanest ones. It is, however, a problem that should be dealt with as it could cause significant health concerns if left untreated. A smelly toilet is also unpleasant and utterly embarrassing, especially when visitors are around. 

To help you deal with this annoying issue, we will tackle some of the reasons for clean but smelly toilets and how to get rid of the odor.

Why Does My Toilet Smell Like Urine Even After I Clean It?

Your clean toilet may smell for various reasons. Let’s discuss some of them and how to solve them.

Vent Pipe Problems

One of the things you need to check if your toilet smells even after cleaning is the vent pipe. The ventilation pipeline brings airflow into the system and lets out sewer gases. However, this pipe, just like other pipes, can get clogged or damaged. That means there will be no air coming in or going out, which could be the reason for your smelly toilet.

Check the vent pipe to see if any debris could be blocking the air from coming in. You can do this yourself or seek the services of a professional plumber. A plumber will also help check if the vent was installed properly in the case of a new house.


Your toilet system is a breeding ground for bacteria and other microorganisms; only they are never enough to cause a serious smell. However, some situations may expedite the growth of bacteria, making it reach critical mass. Individuals who live in humid areas need to be on the lookout as bacteria tend to grow faster in bathrooms with high humidity.

If left untreated and uncleaned, too much bacteria could cause a foul smell in your toilet. The good thing is this is an easy-to-solve problem. 

If you suspect that bacteria could be the reason why your clean toilet stinks, dilute some bleach and use it to clean the bathroom. Ensure you check all the corners, including underneath the rim, as bacteria often hides in these areas. You can also add bleach to the toilet tank before flushing.

Dry P- Trap

The pipes beneath your toilet bowl curve to make a ‘P’ shape, hence the name, p-trap. The curve allows water to accumulate, creating a physical barrier that prevents toxic sewer gases and odors from making their way into your bathroom.

Sometimes, the water level in the t-trap falls to unreasonable levels where it can no longer block the pipe. This happens mostly when the toilet is not used frequently, hence no flushing. 

There will be no water to capture the expanding gases, resulting in a sewage-like smell.

When it comes to how to get rid of the sewer smell from the toilet, the easiest way is to start flushing the toilet more frequently. If the issue persists, then we advise that you call a plumber.

Clogged Pipe 

One of the most probable reasons why your toilet smells even after cleaning is a clogged drain pipe. Clogs occur when you flush items that are not supposed to be flushed, such as condoms, wipes, and paper towels

There are various ways to unclog a toilet, but using a plunger is the easiest. Also, check that your toilet has enough flushing water, as too little water can also cause clogs.

Damaged Toilet Seal

The toilet base is sealed to the floor using a sealant such as caulk sealing. Other than keeping the toilet firmly grounded, the sealant also prevents sewage from slipping into your bathroom. 

However, the sealants are made up of rubber and wax, which means they will occasionally wear out. When the sealant becomes loose, liquid can sip under the toilet and lead to the growth of bacteria and fungus, which causes a foul smell.

To solve this problem, ensure any broken or weak wax sealing rings are replaced. If the damage is not too significant, you can deploy DIY plumbing solutions, such as duct tape and some caulk, to patch the cracks.

Problems with the Cistern

When you have cleaned your toilet but still get that unpleasant smell, most people will check the toilet bowl or pipe. But sometimes, the smell could be coming from the cistern itself. 

If you can’t figure out where the foul smell is emanating from, lift the toilet lid and sniff around. If you feel a pungent smell coming at you, then that will be the culprit. 

The good thing is that getting rid of this smell is simple: drain the tank and scrub it thoroughly using a cleaning product and brush.

Toilet Smells Even After Cleaning FAQs

How Do I Stop My Toilet from Smelling?

Before dealing with a smelly toilet, it’s good first to ascertain that the smell is not due to a plumbing issue because if that is the case, then you’ll need to call a professional to look at it.

However, there are some cost-effective, practical DIY methods you can use to get rid of the sewage-like smell from your toilet. Mix baking soda and white vinegar in equal parts and add them to the toilet tank. Let it sit for a while before scrubbing it with a toilet brush. Flush the toilet and repeat the process after a few hours. This should get rid of the smell completely!

Why Does My Toilet Smell Like Poop?

Your toilet may smell like poop for various reasons. It could be as simple as someone forgetting to flush after going number two to the more complex reasons mentioned above. 

It is advisable to get to the root cause of the smell before trying to get rid of it. 

Final Thoughts on Why Your Toilet Smells Even After Cleaning

One of the areas in your home that needs a thorough cleaning almost daily is the toilet. But what if you have scrubbed, disinfected, and done everything possible, but your toilet still stinks? As we have seen above, there are several reasons why your toilet might smell even after cleaning.

Trying out any of the mentioned DIY methods could help solve this issue. 

But remember a clean smelly toilet could be a sign of a larger plumbing problem. If the above methods don’t work, call a professional plumber to handle the situation.

Leave a Comment

Verified by MonsterInsights