Why Does My Toilet Smell like Urine?

Toilets, even when used by lots of people, shouldn’t have bad smells such as sewer gases or urine smells. They shouldn’t also smell like rotten eggs or any other such uncommonly smell. This doesn’t mean that you won’t have moments with these smells in the toilet.

Your toilet may smell like urine when there is an issue with the toilet seat, the floor or the toilet bowl. The urine smell is simply a way the urine from the toilet users is finding it’s way back into the bowl or surface of the toilet. This can be quite annoying given that the smell can still linger even after cleaning the toilet several times over.

The solutions to these issues are simply cleaning the toilet better. This goes beyond simply cleaning with a brush as you will need to take off parts of the toilet to give it a better cleaning. You may also need better cleaning agents for cleaning the toilet and the areas around it.

Causes of the Urine Smell

The urinate smell on your toilet is due to the following causes:

Urine on the toilet seat

Urine can be found on the toilet seat under the toilet cover. This is because users (especially men and kids) may not always find their target when urinating and some small amounts of urine will find themselves in the grooves of the toilet seat cover. This urine will cake up and emit the urine smell in the bathroom even after cleaning the toilet several times.

Urine on the floor

Urine can easily find its way to the floor of the toilet when someone misses the target again. This is especially true when you have small boys experimenting with peeing. Or when someone comes home a little too drunk to find the target. This type of urine smell is quite easy to deal with.

Urine under the toilet bowl

If there’s urine on the floor around the area where the toilet meets the ground, it could be that the wax ring is broken and urine and water from the toilet finds its way on to the floor. The wax ring occupies the area between the toilet seat and the drainpipe.

Toilet Bowl with Urine

Poor ventilation

Given that we use the toilet every now and again, the smell of poop and urine can linger in the air if there is not ventilation to clean the air. This can occur especially when the exhaust fan is down or the window to the toilet is rarely opened up.

Looking at this causes, you see that lots of them can be remedied easily or even prevented.

How to Clean Toilet Bowl Smells like Urine

Such a toilet can be an embarrassment and a nuisance as well and will need to cleaned as fast as possible. Given the above causes, you should do the following to clean it:

1.     Clean under the toilet seat cover

To clean the urine and other debris that reside in the groove of the toilet seat cover, you should first remove the cover of the toilet seat. Most come with screws of different kinds which can be easily undone with the hand to release the cover. These screws are found under the toilet cover at the back of the toilet bowl. You will find a pair of them there.

Simply twist the knobs to release the cover then clean the toilet and cover in copious amounts of water, a brush and detergent or cleaner. You should do this at least twice a year. When you have children in the house, however, you should do it more often.

2.     Clean the floor around the toilet

The floor around the toilet can be cleaned with a detergent and floor brush to get rid of the smell of urine in the toilet. This should actually be part of the cleaning procedure for your toilet. Each time you clean the toilet, clean the area around it on the floor to clean off any dirt and bacteria off the floor.

3.     Replace the wax ring

Replacing the wax ring can be quite daunting given the number of steps involved and the extent of the exercise itself. Luckily, you can perform the task with the following procedure:

  • Start by turning off the water at the shutoff valve.
  • Flush the toilet several times to eliminate all the water from the toilet tank to avoid making a mess on the floor when you start the next steps.
  • Use a wrench to undo the bolts holding the toilet seat to the floor. This should be easy since there are about 4 or 5 such bolts.
  • Holding the toilet seat in two places, rock it back and forth while pulling it gently upwards. It’ll come off leaving the bolts still in the ground.
  • Use a putty knife or other suitable object to remove the wax ring and clean any other parts of the toilet which seem dirty such as the T bolts.
  • Replace the wax ring with the new one making sure the plastic cone of the ring faces the drain pipe opening (downwards).
  • Before refitting the toilet seat, you should take the opportunity to clean the hard-to-reach areas.
  • Lift the toilet and place it on top of the drainpipe opening making sure the T bolts align correctly with the holes on the base of the toilet seat.
  • Tighten the nuts around the T bolts then caulk the area around the toilet seat.

This should fix your problem.

4.     Provide good ventilation

If your bathroom doesn’t have the right amount of ventilation, you may need to install an exhaust fan or extra window to keep the air circulating. This also helps in preventing the growth of bacteria and mold which prefer warm and damp conditions.

How to get urine out of grout around toilet

Cleaning urine out of grout and around the base of the toilet in general can be quite complex given that common cleaners won’t do the trick. However, there is a home remedy which can do the trick quite well.

For this procedure, you will need the following items:

  • ¼ cup of vinegar
  • ½ cup of borax
  • 2 gallons of water
  • ½ cup of baking soda
  • Dish washing soap

The steps are as follows:

  1. Start by mixing water and baking soda to create a paste.
  2. Add the paste to the sponge then use it to scrub the base of the toilet and floor. The other areas to focus on are the tile grout and the caulk.
  3. Let the areas stay that way for 15 minutes.
  4. Spray the areas with a mixture of water and vinegar in equal parts.
  5. Rinse with lots of water.

Don’t worry about the use of vinegar and baking soda as they neutralize each other to form water and salt.

Further Reading: Toilet & Bathroom Odor

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