As a homeowner, you have probably had a few situations on your hands that have been less than pleasant.
Unfortunately, the bathroom is an area of the house that tends to get some unusual and unpleasant smells.
If you walk into your bathroom and notice that it smells like poop, there could be several reasons behind this.
For starters, it could be simply that someone forgot to flush the toilet.
If you have realized that this is not the case, look at these five potential reasons your bathroom may smell like poop.
Bathroom Smells Like Poop (5 Potential Reasons)
1. Missing Cleanout Plug
A cleanout plug ensures that the sewer gas cannot bypass the water trap.
There is always sewer gas circulating through your sewage system, and it is essential to make sure that this gas stays out of your bathroom.
Sometimes the cleanout plug goes missing and you will be allowing this sewer gas to get into your bathroom.
If this is your issue, you will be in luck because replacing the cleanout plug is something you can do easily after a quick trip to a hardware store.
You will have to spend a bit of time diagnosing this issue and look for the spot in the floor drain where the cleanout plug should be.
The quicker you can fix this issue, the faster you can get the smells out of your bathroom.
2. Dried Out Water Trap
A dried-out water trap is an issue that will lead to smells throughout the house, not just in the bathroom.
Under the floor or tub drain, there is an area where the sewer gas can escape if it is not filled with water.
When the trap dries out, the sewer gas can travel up through the trap and release into the bathroom.
The trap can sometimes be in a laundry room as well as any areas where there are drains to the outside for water and sewer water.
The great news about the dried-out water trap is that it is one of the easiest and quickest fixes for your bathroom.
All you need to do is pour a pitcher of water down the drain, and the smell should start to dissipate almost immediately.
This issue mostly comes up when a tub or a shower has not been used for quite some time.
The trap just simply dries out, and the resulting impact is a smell permeating through the home.
One trick that many homeowners will use is that to put some oil down the drain in addition to the water.
The vegetable oil can help to make sure that the water does not evaporate as quickly.
3. Leaky Wax Ring Seal
A leaky wax ring seal could also be causing the poop smell in your bathroom.
There is a wax ring seal that goes around your toilet’s drain, and because of the pressure on this seal, it tends to not hold up quite as long as the toilet itself.
As the seal starts to deteriorate, you will notice that the smells will become worse.
Over time, you will have no choice but to replace this seal.
Essentially, allowing the broken seal to remain in place also allows for the sewer gas to make its way into the home.
In order to fix a leaky wax ring seal, you will have to completely remove the toilet.
Once the toilet is out, you can pop out the old wax ring seal and put in a new one.
As long as you make sure that the size is the same as your previous wax ring seal, this is a quick and easy fix.
If your toilet tends to rock on your floor, your wax ring seals will begin to deteriorate at a much faster pace.
To avoid this, it is a good idea to use a shim on the floor to balance the toilet.
Sometimes the toilet or the flooring is out of level, and this could cause these issues.
However, once you replace your wax ring, you won’t want it to deteriorate so quickly.
Balancing the toilet is the best way to avoid further damage.
4. Broken or Cracked Sewer Line
If you have tried out other solutions and you are still having trouble getting rid of the poop smell in your bathroom, it could be a broken or cracked sewer line.
This tends to be a bit of a bigger issue.
A broken or cracked sewer line will likely require you to call a plumber to come in and fix the issue immediately.
There will be no way to get rid of the smell or stop it from entering your home until you handle the issue and get it fixed.
Plumbers will have to use special diagnostic tools to find the crack in the line, and this will end up being a bit expensive.
Although this is an unfortunate thing to happen, as soon as the cracked or broken line is fixed, you should have no issues with the smell in your bathroom anymore.
The fix will be worth the price that you pay to have it done.
5. Dead Animal
Although the smell in your bathroom may be caused by the toilet or plumbing issues, there is a chance that there is something entirely different causing the smell.
Unfortunately, a dead animal smell can also be a bit like a poop smell in your bathroom.
Sometimes the smell could be a lizard or a mouse that has snuck into your bathroom and not been able to escape.
You will have to look into all cabinet space and vanities to try and find the creature.
You also may notice that the dead animal could be inside a wall in your home.
This is unfortunate as it could require having a critter control company come in and remove the dead animal from inside the wall.
Once you have this dead animal smell in your place, it will take a very long time to remove it and get it to smell right again.
How to Avoid Smells in Your Bathroom
Chances are, if you have just cleared the smell in your bathroom, you are going to want to make sure that it stays away for good.
These smells are sometimes difficult to get rid of, and they can completely change the opinion about the cleanliness of your home.
Here are some ways to help prevent your bathroom from starting to smell like poop.
1. Increasing Your Cleaning Regimen
Ask yourself whether you are truly cleaning your bathroom enough.
Do you spend enough time making sure that all smells are removed and that it is truly free of bacteria?
If you live in a home with a large family, your bathroom is going to need extra cleaning each week.
For most people, a once-a-week cleaning should be enough to keep the majority of smells out of the bathroom.
Of course, if someone is sick or you had company using the bathroom more often, you will want to give it an extra cleaning.
Another thing to consider when you are cleaning your bathroom is those hard-to-reach areas.
Behind the toilet can get dirty, and there are lots of crevices around the toilet bowl that also need to be cleaned.
If you don’t take a look at the entire toilet and area surrounding it, there will be long-term issues with cleanliness and smells developing.
Almost all bathrooms have some type of ventilation.
You may have an exhaust fan that helps to eliminate some odor in the bathroom, but you will need to use it to get the full benefit.
Try to encourage all who use the bathroom to use the exhaust fan to help keep the odor down.
These fans are very effective, and they will help to control smells that are difficult to get rid of.
In addition, you may want to use a window in your bathroom to let some fresh air in.
Sometimes, even in the winter months, it makes sense to open the window in your bathroom and allow for some extra ventilation.
Do this before you use the bathroom, and the smells will likely head directly out the window.
One important factor regarding exhaust fans that many people forget is that they need to be cleaned from time to time.
If you look at your fan and see that it is covered in dust, chances are you will need to clean it to get it to work properly.
The cleaner the fan, the better the job it can do to get the poop smells out of your home.
If you find that your bathroom fan is not functioning as it should, you can replace it or have an electrician come in and take a look.
To keep the bathroom fresh and enjoyable to be in, take advantage of having one of these fans.
3. Odor Eliminators
There are many odor eliminators that you can use in your bathroom.
Some of these are sprayed after the bathroom is used, and others are left in the bathroom at all times and periodically work to remove bad smells.
The type of odor eliminator you use will depend on the type of smell you enjoy in your bathroom and whether or not you want these smells in your home.
Some of the most effective odor eliminators are also cleaning solutions for the toilet.
Each time the toilet is flushed, a bit of the chlorine water heads back into the toilet and does a great job of masking or eliminating the odors completely.
Again, the best odor eliminator out there is the consistent cleaning of the toilet.
4. Consistent Flushing
In order to keep the odors down in the bathroom, consistent flushing can also help.
Sometimes one flush is not enough to completely clean the toilet bowl and the drain.
To fix this, you may need to do an extra flush or two when you finish using the bathroom.
If you have an older toilet that is not all that efficient, you will end up costing yourself a bit extra on your water bill.
This is unfortunate and something that you should consider so that you are not wasting water, but sometimes it cannot be avoided.
It may be time to update and replace your toilet bowl if you find that these smells are continuing to come up.
Is Sewage Smell in the Bathroom Dangerous?
Of course, the sewage smell in your bathroom is annoying to deal with and makes it uncomfortable to use your bathroom, but do you ever wonder if it is dangerous?
Unfortunately, the smell that you are probably being exposed to is hydrogen sulfide.
This is a dangerous gas even at very low levels.
If you are noticing this problem with sewer gas and it is not stopping, you will likely start to experience some health complications and symptoms.
Some of the first signs of irritation are going to be headaches or fatigue.
You will sometimes feel a bit dizzy or have poor memory skills.
The best thing you can do is to get to the bottom of the issue as soon as possible and do whatever you can to get rid of the sewer gas that you are smelling.
Again, try our tricks first as it may not be sewer gas that you are exposed to.
It could be something else causing the smell in your bathroom.
Hopefully, you now feel better equipped to get to the bottom of the issues with a smelly bathroom.
These bathroom smells should not be allowed to continue for a long time without being attended to because these smells can cause headaches and other irritation.
We highly recommend contacting a plumber if you can’t seem to get to the bottom of the issue on your own.
The more time you spend trying to figure it out, the more potential exposure to sewer gas you could have.