Why Does My Clean Toilet Smell?

Toilet that has to be cleaned

Let’s face it, Toilets aren’t famous for smelling great. In your own home, you probably do your best to keep yours relatively clean. Sometimes though, foul smells linger around your toilet even when it’s pristine. As plumbers, we know how frustrating this is, and we’ve got some tips that can help you eliminate the cause of these smells.

If you’ve thoroughly cleaned your toilet and still have an odor coming from the area, there are a few possible reasons for the toilet smell. You can always call on a trusted professional plumber from Mr. Rooter® Plumbing to diagnose it, or you can follow our tips below.

Here are some common reasons why your clean toilet smells:

Improperly Installed, Blocked, or Damaged Vent Pipe

The primary sign pointing to vent pipe problems is a toilet that looks and functions fine but continues to emanate a foul odor that fills the bathroom area, no matter how much you clean. If you smell sulfur, that usually indicates that sewer gases are making their way into your home.

To confirm that it’s a vent pipe issue, carefully check the place on your roof where the toilet vent pipe releases sewer gases. If it is covered by leaves or debris, the gases won’t be able to escape, leading to a stinky toilet. Remove any debris covering the pipe to see if it makes a difference. You may not be able to tell with a visual assessment in the case of a severed or improperly installed vent pipe. If you think this may be the problem, it’s best to contact a plumber for professional diagnosis and repair or plumbing vent pipe installation.

Loose Toilet Bolts or Broken Flange

It’s pretty simple to tell if your toilet has a broken flange or loose bolts: the toilet will rock or wobble. The first thing to test is to tighten the two bolts fastening the toilet to the floor. If this doesn’t resolve the odor, there may be a problem with the wax ring or toilet flange that is supposed to create an air- and water-tight seal between the toilet and the waste pipe. If you suspect the wax ring is the issue, we recommend calling a plumber as they can reposition the toilet and won’t damage it in the process.

Damaged or Missing Toilet Seal

If there is no caulk sealing the seam between the toilet base and the floor, any water or urine that has seeped under the toilet can encourage bacteria growth. This by itself can cause odor issues in your bathroom. While you may be able to seal the odor into the floor by putting down a new bead of caulk around the toilet base, it’s a good idea to remove the toilet and clean it underneath it first. If you are not comfortable removing your toilet, call your local Mr. Rooter Plumbing for help.

Dry P-Trap

If the smell comes from a toilet that you rarely use, it may have a dry P-trap. The P-trap is a U-shaped bend in the pipe that is supposed to be filled with water. When it is full of water, it forms a seal that prevents sewer gases from flowing into your home.

To fix this issue, simply flush the toilet three to five times. Also, run the vent fan in your bathroom to rid it of any lingering smells. After the odors have had time to dissipate, the now-refilled P-trap should keep your bathroom stink-free.

Damaged Toilet That May Require Replacement

If you’ve determined the smelly toilet issue isn’t the vent pipe, bolts, flange, seal, or P-trap you may be dealing with a damaged toilet or a more serious plumbing problem, which requires an experienced plumber. Has trying to diagnose the issue left you holding your nose with one hand and scratching your head with the other? It’s time to call on a trusted professional plumber from Mr. Rooter for toilet replacement or repair.

Why Does My Toilet Smell? Ask Mr. Rooter Plumbing for Help

The truth is, sometimes it’s just easier to go straight to the pros for toilet repair or replacement solutions. Your local Mr. Rooter Plumbing is available to make the process hassle-free for you. Connect with the local plumbing experts at Mr. Rooter Plumbing to eliminate your toilet odors for good. Call us today or schedule an appointment online.