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Why Your Shower Drain Smells and How to Get Rid Of Them?

by Remi Lavana
Why your shower drain smells

Does your shower drain smell so bad you don’t enjoy being in your bathroom?

Nothing beats walking into a beautiful bathroom and crinkling your nose at the foul odor emanating from somewhere within the room. At some point, you will come across varied smells within your bathroom showers. Many homeowners can feel embarrassed when their bathroom has a smell, but it’s important to understand bathrooms will produce a range of odors at one time or another. And usually, they can be fixed. Here are some of the common causes your shower may smell funky, and in this blog post, we’ll discuss the 5 most common ones, with some tips on how to fix them. Don’t have time , wanted to quick solution? Watch the following video and thanks me later.


Video credit: Mike Klimek


Five Most Causes of Smelly Showers Drain:

Have you ever wondered why my shower drain stinks and which part of my shower is most likely to blame? Much depends on where the odor is coming from. As a result, Plumbing and HAVC provide its readers with the five most common causes of smell from shower drain related to each part of the shower.

  • Clogged Shower Strainer/ Drains
  • Mold or Mildew
  • Drains are not Properly Ventilated 
  • Leaky Pipes
  • Broken or dry P-trap or vents

Let’s discuss these five reasons why your bathroom smells like a sewer and what can be done to remove the pong.

1- Clogged Shower Strainer/ Drains

Clogging drain and removing hairs

Firstly, a large amount of debris in your shower strainer is the main cause of the shower drain smelling. It will highly lead to clogging. All that build-up of hair, soap scum, dirt, grime, and other debris can really begin to smell. A clogged shower strainer could be the reason to blame if the drain doesn’t smell like mildew but still has a strong Oduor.

Ask your professional plumber if you inspect the shower drain smells like a sewer or clean it at your home with DIY Solutions.

How to get rid of shower drain smell?

Getting rid of the bad smell coming from shower drain is easy than it was before. To quickly remove the dirty clogged shower strainer drain, use a mixture of vinegar, baking soda, and hot water.  Pour half a cup of baking soda and half a cup of white vinegar down the drain. The drain opening should then be covered, and 15 minutes should pass. Pour boiling water down the drain to clear it out after that.

Moreover, You can use a plunger to try to dislodge the debris, or you can use a chemical cleaner designed for drains.

2- Mold OR Mildew

Mold OR Mildew

Secondly, the most common but dangerous cause of smell in shower drain is mold or mildew growing in the shower. Mild or mildew has very distinctive smells. If your shower drain smells mildewy or moldy, it’s probably because your shower is not properly ventilated and moisture is entered inside. Without moisture, there’s no danger of the growth of either. So in addition to looking for direct signs of mold and mildew in your shower drain, you should also check for signs of water damage.

Eliminating mold or mildew buildup requires most relatively simple plumbing service but it’s important to know how to spot signs in your bathroom so they will not have a chance to grow again.

How to Remove Mildew and Mold?

If you see mold or mildew in your shower, you should clean it immediately with a bleach solution.

Mildew Removal

Since mildew only grows on the surface, it is simpler to remove than mold. Common household cleaners can generally use to get rid of it.

It’s preferable to start with a mild cleanser because using harsh cleaning chemicals can harm surfaces or bring health dangers.

Mold Removal

For the removal of smelly drain in shower, It can be challenging to entirely eradicate the mold by yourself because it penetrates surfaces. Mold removal may also result in the discharge of spores into the air, which may then spread to other areas of your home.

You might want to get in touch with a pro to handle the issue if your bathroom has a lot of molds. If you choose to do the cleaning yourself, make sure to work in a well-ventilated environment and use gloves and a mask to protect yourself from mold spores to get rid of shower drain odor.

3- Drains are not properly Ventilated 

Drains are not properly Ventilated 

Thirdly, another cause of bathroom drains smell is because of the improper ventilation system. When your drain is not properly ventilated, it can cause sewer gasses to build up and escape into your bathroom. This can be a very dangerous situation, so if you notice this problem, you should call a plumber immediately.

This is not necessarily a plumbing problem, but it is something to consider. Bathrooms contain moisture and their humid environment can cause mold to grow. Adequate ventilation is a must for airflow in the room, and to remove moisture that aids in the growth of smelly mold.

How to fix a smelly shower drain?

The best way to avoid mold in the plasterboard walls or on the ceiling is to have a window open while showering or turning on the exhaust fan to suck up the steam. Well-placed louver windows, installed high where steam rises, are another energy-efficient smelly shower drain remedy for ventilating a bathroom.

Mold can also be formed from a gradual water leak within the bathroom walls. It’s best to get a plumber to locate the source of the leak and fix it to prevent more growth as this can turn into a health hazard.

4- Leaky Pipes

Leaky Pipes

 The second last and forth most common cause of stinky shower drain is the leaky pipes.  In the case of sewer line break, the smell will be much more powerful & pervasive than a clogged vent or mildew buildup.  It would allow water to seep into your walls or floor which can again lead to mold or mildew growth.  If you notice sewer smells coming from your kitchen, bathroom sink, shower, or any other area connected to a pipe, you can be relatively confident that you have a broken sewer line.

How to clean shower drain smell?

If you think you may have a leaky pipe, the first thing to do is you should call a plumber  and make them aware of the situation so that they can fix the problem.

5. Broken or dry P-trap or vents

Last but not the least, the fifth most common cause of shower drain smell coming due to  old, mildew or any clogged shower Stainer usually lead to surface of your shower’s drain system but it could also be came from even further down in the plumbing.  

If you see the breakage of P- Trap or vents which helps to pass air after the water drainage, then this can cause sewer smell. Dry P-traps can create an extremely unhealthy environment and low water quality that needs to be addressed with professional plumbing repairs right away.

How to fix it?

If your P-trap or drain vent is the cause of your shower drainage smells, you’ll need to call a professional plumber to fix the issue.

If you are experiencing any of these smelly drain problems, there are ways to fix them! With a little effort, you can have a clean and fresh-smelling shower again in no time. Thanks for reading! We hope this blog post was helpful! Leave us a comment if you have any questions. We are always happy to help!

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