Why does my toilet smell like urine?

The bathroom is among the most sacred places in the house, and it should be treated as one. Most people clean their bathroom every morning and give it a thorough clean at least once a week. However, in some cases, cleaning your toilet is not enough as you may still smell urine.

If your toilet is smelling like urine after thoroughly cleaning it, you need to check certain parts. Unlike bacteria in the water, urine can be very irritating, and no form of cleaning will get rid of it.

Why does my toilet smell like urine?

It’s good to know that you can identify and get rid of the urine smell in your toilet. The smell may be because of leakage in the toilet tank or bowl, urine on the toilet seat, or urine on the floor. It’s essential to identify where the smell of urine is coming from so that you don’t waste your energy scrubbing and disinfecting your toilet to no avail.

In this post, we will show you where to look at and how to get rid of the stubborn urine odor.

Reasons why your toilet smells like urine

Bad wax ring

Why does my toilet smell like urine?

Many people confuse urine smell with a dirty toilet. You may be cleaning your toilet regularly and thoroughly, but it will still smell. However, if you’ve tried every cleaning trick and the pee smell still lingers, you should inspect the bottom of your toilet.

The work of a wax seal is to provide a proper seal between the drainpipe and toilet. However, when the wax seal becomes outdated, it starts to leak water from the toilet bottom. And since this water is mixed with urine, it may flow on your bathroom floor and leave a stingy urine smell.

Apart from normal wear and tear, the wax ring may also leak because it was installed poorly. If that’s the case, you may have to call a plumber to help you fix the problem.

The floor

Why does my toilet smell like urine?

In some cases, you may be blaming a toilet leakage, but in a real sense, it may be the boys peeing outside the toilet. It’s normal to have small boys trying to aim at the toilet bowl from a distance. If they miss the bowl and the urine finds its way on the floor or toilet parts, the smell of urine will linger around.

If you have small boys at home, it’s vital to teach them how to pee the right way. Failure to do so, you may continue to have a toilet that smells like urine even after giving it a thorough clean. Teach your boys how to urinate, and the smell will disappear.

Related article: The common reasons for toilet bubble

Poor ventilation

Inadequate ventilation can also make your toilet smell like pee. When urinating or pooping in the toilet, there will be an immediate lousy smell. If the ventilation is terrible, this smell will get trapped, which will worsen over time.

That’s why you need to ensure that your toilet has proper ventilation. In addition, installing a high-quality exhaust fan will keep the bathroom odor and moisture-free. So, repair your exhaust fan or install a new one if you don’t have one.

Toilet seat

It’s crucial to clean your toilet thoroughly once every two weeks or weekly. Besides, some people clean the entire toilet but forget its seat. When cleaning a toilet, you should also clean the toilet seat.

The toilet seat is not only meant to protect people and maintain hygiene, but it also provides comfort to toilet users. However, the same seat that’s supposed to maintain hygiene can be the reason why your toilet smells like urine. Since many people use this seat, urine can splash on it and smell when not cleaned in due time. Also, if your seat is damaged, immediately replace your toilet seat with a new one.

Also, boys can pee on the toilet seat as they try to aim. The pee may find its way around the toilet seat hinges, which may hide it if you don’t give your seat thorough cleaning. That’s why it’s recommended to clean your entire toilet at least twice a month thoroughly.

Besides, it would help if you unscrewed the toilet seat while thoroughly cleaning the toilet. If there’s urine hiding on the hinges or mounting holes, you will be able to clean it.

How to get rid of urine smell in the bathroom

Since several things can cause a pee smell in your bathroom, it’s essential to identify them before cleaning the toilet. Here is how you should fix the urine smell problem in your toilet:

Fixing the toilet wax ring and flange

If the smell is coming from the base of the toilet, you may need to change the wax seal. When you have an unending urine smell in your bathroom, the first thing to look at when you have an unending pee smell in your bathroom is the toilet wax ring. A worn-out or poorly installed wax ring will leak the base of the toilet. As a result, it will cause water and urine from the toilet to leak on your floor. If the wax ring is the problem, replace the toilet flange and wax ring on your own or call a professional plumber to fix it.

Educate the boys

If your boys play with urine during peeing, educate them to stop this behavior and do the right thing. Tell them about the awful smell their urine is causing the bathroom to have.  

Inspect the exhaust fan

A toilet exhaust fan is critical when it comes to the bathroom’s smell. Therefore, if the fan fails, your bathroom may start to smell bad. Call a technician to install or repair a damaged fan.

Thorough cleaning

If you suspect your boys have been peeing on the floor or there’s a leakage beneath the toilet, repair the wax ring and thoroughly clean your toilet floor. A dirty toilet tank also creates an unpleasant odor. A mixture of white vinegar and water would help clean inside the toilet tank easily. Don’t forget to wash the shower curtain if it is located near the commode. If it still smells bad, it would be best to give your toilet a thorough clean to eliminate any urine smell. Wear rubber gloves while cleaning your toilet.

Related article: Easy steps to fix a toilet clog by yourself

Some of the items you will need for thorough cleaning are baking soda, lemon juice, washcloth, toothbrush, and white vinegar.


With this detailed post, you no longer have to worry about your toilet smelling like pee. Find out the cause and rectify the issue. Your toilet may smell like urine because of boys peeing on the toilet, leakage beneath the bowl, a faulty fill valve, or a dirty toilet seat. Whatever the cause is, it can be rectified, and you can get rid of the smell.

We hope we’ve tackled your bathroom issue, and you can now have a peaceful mind as you go to pee or poop.


Hi, this is Robert Crossan, the owner of this website, has 17 years of experience in the installation, maintenance, and repair of toilets and plumbing systems. After completing the Level 2 Basic Plumbing course in 2005, I started working in both domestic and commercial buildings as a professional plumber. So I can figure out the core difference between different toilet models and brands. It also helped me monitor their work performance and setbacks.

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