24 Hour Emergency Plumbers
Book Now

How To Get Rid Of Smelly Drains In Bathroom

by | Nov 29, 2021 | Plumbing Guides

Have you ever walked into your bathroom to take a nice relaxing bath and thought the room just smelled a little…off?

It smells kind of like an open drain, or maybe even a little bit like sewage. No, you didn’t forget to flush…it’s probably just the drains.

When the bathroom drains are not cleansed properly, they can start to create a build up of debris, dirt and gunk.

When this gets lodged, it will start emanating a very unpleasant odor that will make you want to stay out of the bathroom for good.

Luckily, there are easy ways to cleanse your bathroom, to give it a good deep clean so that the smell goes away.

With this guide, we will let you know exactly how to get rid of smelly drains in your bathroom! 

What causes smelly drains in bathrooms?

Smelly bathroom drains can be caused by a vast number of factors.

Most of the time, the drains simply start to smell after a lot of use if not cleaned, as they will get blocked up with soap scum, dead skin cells, solidified oils, debris, dirt, you name it.

All of these items can sit in the drain and clog it up or cause a blockage. When the blockage clogs the pipes, it makes it harder for the water to flow smoothly.

In addition to this, sewage smells can come up from the pipes in the sink if there is an issue with the P-trap.

The P-trap is a U-shaped pipe under the sink that collects a small amount of water.

This little trap of water blocks the pipe and acts as a barrier from gases and sewage odors so that they can flow past the bathroom and out of a vent.

When those gases cannot be blocked in the P-trap, they can float up the drain and into the bathroom, creating a gross, odorous scent.

Most of the time, the cause of this is that the sink has not been used for a while, and the trapped water has evaporated and can no longer create a barrier for the gases, or the water has leaked out of the P-trap, allowing the gases to come up through the pipe.

If this is the case, then it could be worth calling a plumber for assistance.

However, the majority of the time, the drains in the bathroom will start to smell if you do not clean them regularly.

Hair, soap, grease, oil, and dead skin cells can build up in the drains and will start to clog, then whenever you use the bathrooms, the smell will just get worse.

Why does my bathroom sink always smell?

The smell coming from your bathroom sink is most likely caused by the bacteria growing on the mold, dirt, debris, and clog that is sitting in the drain.

To fix it, you will have to remove the clog or clear out the pipes in order for them to be clean, clear, and free of any blockages.

So, how do you actually get rid of smelly drains for good?

How To Get Rid of Smelly Drains in Bathroom

The first thing you will need to do is check that the drain is blocked. You will want to find the P-trap, which looks like a U-shaped pipe under the sink.

This is often the cause of a bad smell in the bathroom. If there is a blockage, then you can try using a plunger to clear the area.

Once you have done this, you will want to clear out the pipes. The best way to do this is with baking soda.

Simply pour a generous amount of baking soda down the drain and leave it to sit for about 45 minutes.

After the baking soda has treated the drain, add an equal amount of white vinegar as this will interact with the baking soda to cleanse the drain.

Leave both in the drain for about 15-20 minutes, and then pour hot water down the drain.

This should clear out any remaining foul scents from the drain, but if it still smells slightly, try squeezing a little bit of lemon juice down the drain.

After the baking soda and vinegar have been down the sink, it should clear out any blockages and the smell will go away.

For shower drains and bath drains, you may want to repeat the baking soda and vinegar method, but you could also use a drain snake, which is a long bendy drain cleaning tool that goes down the drain to capture any hair that is clogging it up. This can also remove any strong smells and odors.

What can you put down drains to stop smelling?

If you’re really struggling to remove any blockages, and your home remedies are not working, you can opt for something stronger such as the Drano Max Gel Drain Cleaner. This works great on blockages, soap scum build up and any hair that is clogging up the drain.

You will also benefit from a drain snake that can be pressed down the drain to clean out any clogs. If the clog or blockage is really stuck in there, then try a long hair drain clog remover to get at those really hard-to-reach clogs.


To summarize, smelling drains in your bathroom can be really off-putting, however, it is very common. If the drains become clogged or blocked, then most of the time they will start to emit a strong scent.

All you have to do is unclog your drains with some baking soda and white vinegar and the smell should disappear. If your problem persists, then we recommend calling a plumber as it could be a deeper issue that needs rectifying by a professional. And Best Plumbers Club can help you. With our verified networks of plumbers in Delaware, Virginia, Washington, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, and beyond, rest assured that your drain issues will be cleared. Contact us today!

Plumbing Problems?

Simply share a few details and the best plumber near you will be in touch.