Shower Drain Odor

Shower drain odor can quickly make showering an unpleasant part of your routine! Here are a few simple steps to help your shower drain smell nice again and turn your showers from stinky to soothing!

Like most plumbing problems, shower drain odor is caused by a variety of things; it typically is a result of something trapped above the drain’s water level that wasn’t foreseen on your bathroom design. The odor source  is then rinsed every time the shower is used, which leaves a residue buildup that regular cleaning cannot reach. Every time water rinses over the residue, little pieces can break off and will make your shower a smelly spot !  If this is the case, you need to do more strategic drain cleaning.

To do so, start  by placing the head of a screwdriver or butter knife under the rim of the drain cover and opening it. You may need to remove a few screws holding the cover in place; just make sure to keep the screws in a safe place where they cannot be accidentally knocked down the drain during the cleaning process! 

Use soap, hot water and a bristle brush to scrub the inside of the drain . Stick the brush as far down the drain as you can reach; Be careful not to lose the brush down the drain.  Keep a tight grip on it  ! After a couple minutes of vigorous scrubbing, you should have removed all the excess grim.

Look for signs of mold in the shower. Usually you will see green or black spots hiding in corners where water collects.  Scrub all the spots with hot water, bleach and a hard bristle brush.  Scrub and remove  all traces of mold and thoroughly rinse the shower.

Replace and secure the drain cover and place a four inch tall pile of baking soda and salt on top of the cover .  Pour a steady, slow stream of white vinegar on top of the baking soda and salt.  This will create a chemical reaction that will clear the drain of any remaining residue.  Repeat this process about once a month for a fresh smelling shower and shower drain !

If this still has not solved the problem, the smell may not be originating from your drain.  It is possible an animal became stuck in the wall space behind your shower and was unable to free itself.  This is a remote possibility, and if it is the case, the smell would be quite distinctive .  You would not mistake this for drain odors produced by sewer gas or a residue buildup.

If you believe this to be the case, try to open the wall.  If the shower shares a wall with a closet or other wall surface, try to access the interior of the wall this way, as drywall is much easier to repair than shower tile  .  Try to make holes near the top of the wall so you can see down the wall.  Use an inexpensive make-up mirror, a stick and a flashlight to see if there is anything stuck in your walls.  This is also a good chance to look for mold.

Always investigate to find the source of an odor.  Strange smells are a warning sign that something isn’t right.  If you run into a bigger problem than you expected, do not hesitate to call your local plumbers or plumbing contractors.  They will be able to help you tackle your shower drain odor quickly!