toilet smells of urine despite cleaning
Kristina Davis

A common question among homeowners is, why does their toilet smells of urine despite cleaning?

Toilets can be frustrating especially when it smells even after we have cleaned them. For years now, smelly toilets and bathrooms have been a source of frustration for homeowners.

The odor from the toilet can be really unpleasant and very embarrassing when you have guests over. 

Therefore we clean and clean our toilets but these odors, especially that of urine, seem to never leave.

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Read along, this article aims to discuss the numerous reasons why toilets and bathrooms smell urine.

And how despite being cleaned and the odor cannot seem to be eliminated for good.

A major reason why our toilets smell of urine is mostly due to spills in several places in the toilet.

Why Does Urine Smell So Strong?

urine smell so strong

In understanding why our bathroom smells of urine after cleaning, we need to first understand why the smell of urine is so strong and pungent.

Urine is a combination of water and various byproduct from the body. This byproduct comprises various waste that is filtered out from the kidney.

They are mainly gotten from the food we eat or drink.

This byproduct comprises certain salts, proteins, fatty acids, carbohydrates, certain hormones, and a nitrogen waste called urea.

The water we drink filters out all of these wastes from our kidneys.

That is why, when we are properly hydrated, our urine contains more water than waste. 

This makes the urine smell less pungent. But when we are not properly hydrated, our urine composes of more waste than water and has a stronger smell.

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Are There Other Reasons Why Urine Smells?

why urine smells

There are other reasons why our urine could have a stronger smell such as illness and infections.

Whenever there is a spill or leak in the toilets, the water part of urine dries off and leaves the waste component.

Note: Each of these waste components filtered from the kidney has an odor. But that of urea is the strongest.

Why Does Your Toilet Smells Of Urine Despite Cleaning

When your toilet smells like urine despite cleaning, you feel as though you haven’t cleaned it well enough.

Actually, that might be the case, or maybe not. It could also be due to a fault in your drainage system.

Whatever the cause may be, the stench of urine is very pervasive and needs to be put out.

There are numerous reasons why our toilets smell like urine. 

Some of them are caused unintentionally by the users of the toilets. While others may be a fault in our drainage system.

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Top Reasons Why Toilet Smells Of Urine

reason why toilet smells

Below are some of the reasons our bathroom smells of pee even after cleaning;

Reason #1. Urine Spills

This is a major reason why our toilets smell urine. Maybe from our kids, or our dementia old parents, or even we ourselves.

Either having a hard time peeing in the bowl or we just missed our mark.

There are spills one way or the other. These spills might be on the toilet seat, the area below the toilet seat, or the toilet seat lid.

Or the spills can be on the floor and on other things in the bathroom such as the mats, the plungers, and just about any place in the bathroom.

When these spills occur, we are left with residues from the urine.

Note: Although we clean our toilet, we most times fail to clean every possible area the spills might have occurred. Make sure to pay attention to every possible area when cleaning.

Reason #2. Damaged Seal

damaged toilet seal

All toilets have a seal at the base of the toilet. This provides a firm hold for the toilet at the base to prevent water from leaking through.

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Should your seal be damaged or old, it could leak urine to the basement of your toilet.

Without your knowing, urine and other dirty water could be forming at the base of your toilet.

Therefore with all the cleaning you do, the moment you take a piss, urine is spilled on the floor.

Reason #3. Damaged Or Broken Toilet

Just like a damaged seal, a broken toilet can as well cause our bathroom to stink of urine.

It might be a crack on the bowl or a tear in the pipe that connects the toilet to the drainage.

Either way, having a faulty toilet can spill pee and cause the toilet to stink of urine.

Reason #4. Bacteria Growth

growth of bacteria

Certain bacteria are known to use urine as a food source and pollute the air. A toilet is probably a place with a lot of bacteria and microorganisms.

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Therefore, it is no new thing that we have odor-causing bacterias that act and feed on urine.

These microbes grow fast, act on any spill, and increase the amount of urine stink in the toilet.

Reason #5. Dirty Waste Bin

A dirty waste bin might be another cause of urine-smelly bathrooms. We throw wipes and all sorts of things in the waste bin we keep in the toilet.

Some of these things have urine spills on them. And gives a chance for bacteria and other microbes to act on them.

We tend to leave the bin full and only dispose of it when it has no space to accommodate dirt.

How To Stop Toilet From Smelling Of Urine

stop smelling of urine

Getting rid of urine smell might seem a big task but it’s actually quite easy. We have numerous ways to eliminate urine smell from our bathrooms.

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Method #1. Deep Cleaning Of The Toilet And Environs

The best remedy to eliminating the smell of urine is to give your toilet a deep cleaning.

Deep cleaning entails cleaning every area of the toilet. This means from the toilet bowl to the toilet seat/ cover and the hinges of the toilet.

The things around the toilet and bathroom should be cleaned thoroughly as well. This includes the floor, the bathmat, the plunges, and the brush.

Ensure to use the right cleaning products. Such as bleach, vinegar, toilets cleaners with strong scents, and liquid soaps. Ensure to brush and scrub every nook and cranny of the toilet.

Ensure to dispose of your waste bin constantly. Do not leave any dirt or used wipes in the trash can for too long.

Tip: A good tip is to always clean your toilet at least thrice a week and deep clean once a week.

Method #2.  Check For Damages And Breakage That May Leak Urine

check for damages

Toilet damages such as broken seals or broken toilet bowls tend to leak out urine and cause the bathroom to smell bad.

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It is a good idea to be very observant about your toilet to know when there is a leak or spill.

This way you either fix the damages yourself or call for the help of a professional plumber. Or rather change the latrine if need be.

Tip: Ensure the floor of the toilet is dry at all times, this way you can easily notice when there is a leak.

Method #3. Use Humidifiers With Natural Air Fresheners

use humidifiers

While the use of commercial-based air fresheners is strongly not recommended for eliminating odor in the toilet.

You can use a combination of humidifiers with a mix of natural room fresheners such as essential oils.

Using commercial-based fresheners have the tendency to mix with the odor. And this may cause the air in the toilet to be choking and unpleasant.

With a humidifier, the spraying of the natural freshener can be regulated. Thus making the air a good and pleasing scent.

Tip: If you must use a humidifier and freshener, do so only after the toilet has been cleaned. Using a humidifier in a dirty toilet can spread air-borne germs easily.


At this point, you can no longer be worried about why your toilet smells of urine despite cleaning.

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This is because, with all that has been discussed in this article, you should have found the answers.

But if after trying out the suggested solutions, your toilet still smells of urine.

Then you should consider the help of a professional cleaner or a plumber. Just maybe you might need a change of toilet. 

There also be a fault in your drainage system or an overall cleaning of the bathroom is needed.

You don’t have to live with the continuous stench of urine in your bathroom. And of course, there are times the smell becomes so strong it creeps into your living area.

Get rid of that odor at all costs.