Here’s What To Do If Your Toilet Reeks

Here’s What To Do If Your Toilet Reeks

smelly toilet antoniodiaz/Shutterstock

The bathroom is a private place, and as such, most people feel best when their bathroom looks clean and smells fresh. A stinky bathroom, on the other hand, can be a nightmare. If you’ve narrowed it down to the toilet as the source of the foul odor, here’s what could be causing the smell and what you can do to fix it.

Closing the toilet lid mid flush may not seem like a big deal…until you learn about the harm that it’s causing your health.

1. Wax Ring. The wax ring that’s between your toilet and the floor beneath could be the cause of the bad smell. Every toilet has a wax ring (yes, it’s really made of wax) and over time these rings can fail. If that’s the case, leaking water may be getting into your flooring and subflooring, causing smelly rot. Here’s everything you need to know to fix a leaky toilet.

2. Water Jets. Under the rim of the toilet bowl are small holes that the water shoots out of. If these holes get clogged, even part way, stinky mildew can form. To check the jets, get a small mirror and a piece of coat hanger wire or a small screwdriver. Hold the mirror so you can see the jets and use the wire or screwdriver to clean out any debris. Check out these 9 super-simple toilet tune-ups, including water jet cleaning.

3. Condensation. When the humidity is high, condensation may build up on the outside of the toilet and drip down onto the floor below. These drips can turn into a puddle that can go unnoticed, and that water can get smelly if it sits there long enough. During periods of high humidity, place an absorbent towel on the floor under the toilet tank to catch condensation. Check the towel daily and replace when it feels damp.

No sign of any of these issues? It’s probably time to contact a professional!

If you spot these troubles with your toilet, don’t wait around for them to go away.

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Alexa Erickson
Alexa is an experienced lifestyle and news writer, currently working with Reader's Digest, Shape Magazine and various other publications. She loves writing about her travels, health, wellness, home decor, food and drink, fashion, beauty and scientific news. Follow her traveling adventures on Instagram: @living_by_lex, send her a message: [email protected] and check out her website: