Bathroom Drain Smells like Rotten Eggs- Here’s how to Fix - Washroomtips (2022)

Is your bathroom drain smelling like rotten eggs? Learn the causes of shower drain odors including the solutions to stop them. When do-it-yourself solutions don’t get rid of the smell, contact your local plumber for professional solutions to stop the stench and protect your plumbing system.

Find the Source of the Smell: Drain or Water?

Before you get rid of the smell, you must find out if the smell is emanating from the water or the drain. To test this, fill a glass with water from the tap and take it outside to smell. Do this for a second time with hot water in glass instead.

If there is odor in both samples, then you conclude that there is a high chance that the contamination is in water supply. However, if the smell is only present in hot water, it might then be the hot water heater. If there is no smell at all, the source is likely coming from the drain.

Isolated Smell vs. Multiple Fixtures?

After testing to find out where the smell is coming from, you then need to find out if it is limited to the source. If the water is the source of the odour, check your water in other fixtures at home.

If the contaminated water smell is only from that one sink, then it could be a localized plumbing condition causing the smell as bacteria might be growing in those pipes. If the smell exists in those other faucets, it could be a contamination in water supply.

(Video) Why does my Bathroom Smell like Rotten Eggs, Sewer, the Trap Primer Needs Replacement

If the smell is limited to the drain, it could be contaminated waste pipes or even blocked vents—especially if the smell increases after flushing the toilet.

How to Fix the Sulfur Smell in Your Bathroom

Now that you have already tested to find out where the smell is coming from, here are some tips that can be used to fix the smell.

1. Hot Water: Multiple Fixtures Affected

If the water heater is contaminated, it is likely the cause of magnesium in anode rod which is reacting with the bacteria leading to the odour.

To repair this issue, you will be required to replace the rod with an aluminum rod then disinfect the tank water using hydrogen peroxide. You may also remove the anode rod, but this can shorten the life span of water heater.

2.Cold Water: Multiple Fixtures Affected

If you are a homeowner with a well, the pressure tank could be affected. This can be resolved by disinfecting the tank and adding 1 gallon of bleach for every 1,000 gallons of water. You may also be required to disinfect the well. A common cause of the odours is contaminated water softeners, you may need to replace the filter so as to fix this issue.

(Video) How to clean a smelly drain in shower or sink

3.Hot or Cold Water: Only One Fixture Affected

If your plumbing was renovated in the recent past and a pipe which was no longer needed was capped off, then the anaerobic bacteria which produces hydrogen sulfide gas could be flourishing there since water cannot flow through.

To fix this particular problem, this should be cut and completely removed from plumbing system.

4.Sink Drain and Drainage Problems

If there is a vent blockage which is interfering with water flow, drainage from toilet or any other large fixture could be creating pressure pushing sewer gas through the drainage trap. You might notice gurgling sounds with slow draining. The blockage could be caused by obstruction in waste line, so you can benefit from plunging the nearest bathroom.

5.Contaminated Sink Drain

If you have a contaminated bathroom drain, you can disinfect it so as to kill any odour-causing bacteria found in the waste pipe. Simply pour half a cup of bleach into the drain. To disinfect the overflow, pour in half a cup of bleach, and continue filling the sink until the water starts to overflow.

After about a cup of water has over flown, wait for a period of about five minutes before draining the sink. You can also use half a cup of baking soda, if bleach is too strong. Let this mixture fizz for about 10 minutes, then rinse with boiling water.

(Video) Fix your smelly shower drain without a plumber

If you can disassemble the trap, give it a good cleaning with either of the home remedies.

What to Do About Smelly Shower Drains

Try the following DIY solutions so as to eliminate foul shower drain smells.

1.Manually Clean Drain

After each shower, ensure that you clear the drain cover of hair and soap scum that has buildup. Pull as much of the material out of the drain. Use a drain cleaning tool so as to reach deeper below the drain opening.

2.Treat Drains for Mold Growth

Prevent any mold growth and including musty shower drain odors –ensure to treatyour drains using the below process:

  • Create a 50:50 solution with one cup of baking soda and one cup of pure water.
  • Use an old toothbrush in scrubbing and application of the solution to the drain.
  • Next, add 2 cups of white vinegar to the drain.
  • Cover the drain for about 30 minutes allowing the solution to fizz and soak, working to kill all odor-causing bacteria.
  • Flush with hot water after about 15 minutes.

3.Fix a Dry P-Trap

When the trap dries up, odors often result. Look down your drain if you can see any water. If not, the trap is dry. Remedy a dry trap using the following process:

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  • Pour up to about three cups of water into the drain.
  • Wait for a period of about one hour.
  • Look into the drain to see if there is any water remains – if not, time to call a plumber for trap repair.

4.Blocked Plumbing Vents

During extreme low temperatures, plumbing vents might be blocked by snow and ice, causing sewer odor backup in shower drain. Safely clear the roof of any snow and ice. If plumbing vents have iced up, ensure to locate the vent in the home’s attic and using a hairdryer at the vent’s roof exit to melt the blockage.

Professional Solutions

When the above DIY solutions don’t offer expected relief, you may need to contact your plumber who has professional solutions in elimination of foul shower drain smells. Depending on source of your shower drain smell, the following solutions can also provide relief:

  • Drain cleaning:Professional drain cleaning methods are able to clear tough clogs homeowners cannot fully access.
  • P-trap repair and or replacement:A cracked p-trap doesn’t hold the water necessary to do its job as required. Your plumber can make repairs oreven replaces the p-trap components so water can stay in, which also prevents leakages and water damage that is beneath the shower drain.
  • Plumbing vent inspection:Plumbers can inspect plumbing vents for any blockages and damage causing sewer odor backup in your drains. Plumbers identify the issue so the appropriate repair can be made.

What causes the sulfur smell in your drain?

The smell in a funky drain can have several potential causes. The most common is a clogged drain. When sinks are clogged, they tend to drain slowly and bacteria builds up in thetrapcreating the hydrogen sulfide gas.

It could also be caused by a sink which hasn’t been used in the recent past – because when the water in the p-trap dries up from lack of use, gas from sewer line rises out of the drain.

What to do about sulfur smell in drain

To prevent sulfur from smelling up your bathroom or stinking up your kitchen, there are a few things you can do.

(Video) Why Do I Have a Sewer Smell in My Bathroom? 3 Potential Reasons. Seattle Best Plumbing (206)633-1700

First, make sure your garbage disposal is clean. Run it regularly and use a garbage disposal cleaner or some ice cubes thus keeping the blades clean. Additionally, you may also use a few lemon wedges to help reduce the smell.

In your bathroom, you canclear a clog several ways, including pouring a half-cup of baking soda into the drain, a cup of vinegar, and flush with hot water.


Therefore, if your drain smells like rotten eggs, either in your bathroom, or shower, it could be something simple to resolve the issue – like a routine clog or empty p-trap. But it could also be something serious.


How do I fix a rotten egg smell in my drain? ›

Contaminated Drain

If your drain smells like rotten eggs, you must disinfect the pipes to get rid of the odor. You can eliminate the bacteria by pouring a ½ cup of bleach down your drains. However, if you would like an alternative, pour down ½ a cup of baking soda and 1 cup of vinegar.

Why do my bathroom drains smell like rotten eggs? ›

If you are noticing the smell of rotten eggs, it is possible that your water or sink drain is contaminated. It could also be that the drain is clogged or partially drained. When sinks are clogged, they drain slowly, which can cause bacteria to build up in the p-trap and create the hydrogen sulfide gas.

How do you fix a smelly bathroom drain? ›

Baking soda is an ever-popular cleaning method as it reacts with boiling water and kills most odours. Sprinkle a teaspoon of baking soda down the plughole of your troubled drain and follow it up with boiling water – remember to take care while you pour. This will allow the baking soda to do all the work.

Why does my bathroom smell like rotten eggs after shower? ›

If your drain smells like rotten eggs, either in your kitchen, bathroom, or shower, it could be something simple – like a routine clog or empty p-trap. But it could also be something serious. Don't take chances with your plumbing.

Can I pour bleach down the drain? ›

You may permanently damage your septic system. Bleach and cleaning fluids create toxic gasses when mixed together. If you pour bleach and other cleaning agents down your sink drains, and they mix in your pipes, you can contaminate the air in your home with the resulting gas created.

What do you do when your shower drain smells like sewer? ›

Mix 1 part bleach and 1 part water, then pour down the drain. First, pour one cup of baking soda down the drain. Then add a cup of white vinegar. Cover the drain as the mixture fizzes, then flush with hot water.

What is causing a sewer smell in my bathroom? ›

Common Causes of Sewer Smell in House

evaporation of water in the P-trap piping. broken seal around the toilet in the wax ring or the caulk. A burst pipe. tree's roots have grown into or have caused damage to your sewer pipes.

Can you pour bleach down a smelly drain? ›

Pour Some Bleach in It: Bleach, like other disinfectants, kills almost every species of odor-causing bacteria commonly found in drains and sewer lines. So, an easy DIY step to reduce drain odor is to use bleach.

Does vinegar damage drain pipes? ›

The answer is that vinegar will not harm your pipes if used in small doses as recommended in many of the recipes that you find online. No matter what your pipes are made of, pex, pvc, copper, etc. Vinegar will not harm your water pipes.

Is baking soda and vinegar safe for pipes? ›

In fact, baking soda and vinegar are two of the safest and most effective ways to clean pipes. They will not cause any damage to PVC pipes and can actually help to keep them clean and clear of blockages.

Does peroxide damage plumbing? ›

Did you know you can also use it to unclog a clogged drain? Clogged drains are unpleasant and can smell bad. Hydrogen peroxide may already be in your medicine cabinet, and it is gentle enough to use in your pipes.

How do you get rid of sulfur smell in bathroom? ›

Pour a half cup of baking soda into the drain and then a cup of vinegar. Or, if you prefer, you can use a half cup of bleach. If neither of those eliminate that rotten egg smell, give us a call and we'll help diagnose the problem and offer you a solution.

Why does only one sink smell like rotten eggs? ›

There are three main reasons for the sulfur smell in one faucet; bacteria in the water heater, bacteria in the water supply, or bacteria in the drainage. If it's the lattermost, you're likely to experience this particular odor when you're near a particular faucet.

Why does my sink water smell like rotten eggs? ›

Bacteria growing in the drain

Bacteria growing in the drain is the most common reason for this smell. Over time, organic matter, like food waste, will accumulate on the walls of the drain and act as a nutrient for bacteria to grow. The bacteria can produce a gas (sulfur) which smells like rotten eggs or sewage.

How do you get rid of sulfur smell? ›

Chlorine bleach can effectively remove medium to high levels (over 6 mg/l) of hydrogen sulfide. The chlorine in the bleach chemically reacts with (oxi- dizes) the hydrogen sulfide eliminating the "rotten egg" odor. Chlorine bleach also reacts with iron or manganese, and disinfects water supplies.

Why does my kitchen sink drain smell like rotten eggs? ›

One of the most common reasons for a kitchen sink to have a rotten egg or moldy smell is from grease or fat getting stuck in your drains. When you pour grease down your drain, it can congeal to the sides. And then, as it begins to decompose the smell can make its way back into your home.


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5. Water Smells Like Rotten Eggs? Here's the Simple Fix | Ep. 153
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