UPDATED FOR 2019
A few years ago I asked all of you how to get rid of the urine smell in my kids’ bathroom. I have consolidated those comments into a list and now bring you 9 ways to get rid of the pee smell in your bathroom.
1. Use a black light specifically made to detect urine.
✓ Searching for pee is soooooo easy by using a small black light in the dark bathroom. Done.
2. Clean the area around and under the base of the toilet.
✓ I had the same problem and sprayed Scrubbing Bubbles, the kind that foams up, all around the base of the toilet and let it foam up there for a while. Then I scrubbed around it with an old tooth brush and it did the trick. Wish I could say it was my son’s fault, but I’m pretty sure it was my husband! Guys just can’t aim.
✓ There might also be icky gooey pee under the toilet. I use a plastic knife to clean under there and scrape that stuff out. If it’s still there, I’d have dear husband move the toilet and scrub. Then I’d seal it.
✓ Shark Steam mop the begeebers out of the area and spray with Urine Out Pet Odor Remover or vinegar and water.
✓ After doing everything you can to clean and you still have that horrible strong pee odor, use a little Snuggle Fabric Softener on a tissue to wipe all over the toilet seat, bowl, rim, etc. No need to rinse, just let it air dry. It immediately gives a fresh clean scent to the bathroom and toilet.
3. Wash the walls AND the molding.
✓ We used to clean the men’s restroom at our church when I was little and I will never forget how much better it smelled after we spent some time cleaning all the walls. Also make sure that they flush the toilet with the lid down. That will help so it doesn’t spray out at all after they are finished.
✓ I have 4 boys. If the bathroom still smells like pee after I clean the toilet, I know it’s the walls.
✓ Do you have molding along the floor of the bathroom? I finally figured out that there was urine dried underneath that! Gross. I’d never really bothered to try and clean under it before.
4. Beware of step stools, laundry baskets and garbage cans.
✓ I have been struggling with the same problem recently. It was driving me crazy, until I finally discovered that the smell was not coming from the toilet, but from the wooden stool in our bathroom. The bottom step doubles as a lid for a storage compartment, and the storage compartment was full of dried pee! That was no accident! So gross. We had to throw it out, and my husband and son spent the day building a new stool together. Here’s hoping pride in workmanship will deter a repeat performance.
✓ If they use a stool to stand on, you might want to get rid of it. My son never misses because he’s so short it barely makes it over the side of the bowl. There is nowhere else for it to go when he’s so close to the target.
✓ I had the same problem. Someone mentioned a shower curtain. Mine was actually the wicker basket next to the toilet that my young son was peeing on when he missed his target (YUCK!). I replaced it with a plastic garbage can that I wash each week when I clean the bathroom. Smell is gone! So, investigate other objects in the room!
✓ Unbeknownst to me, one of my young men was using the plunger and putting it back on the stand, soaked and unwashed. When I finally figured it out, so much relief… I had been washing the outside of it, moving it out and washing the floor, but I did not even know my son knew how to use it.
5. Use powerful cleaning agents (carefully of course).
✓ I wipe down the toilet first to get all of the big yuckies off, then I put one cup bleach straight into the bowl. With a gloved hand and a sponge I scrub the entire toilet inside and out with the bleach water out of the bowl. Flush and let let dry to kill all germs. It always gets rid of the smell!
✓ There is a product out there called SKOE 10x. You can only buy it online as far as I know. It is AMAZING!
✓ Nature’s Miracle for pet stains and odors was also effective for getting bathroom smells out of porous grout.
✓ I have been asking this question forever!!! The teenage boys or husband think I’m nuts. They say they don’t smell anything. I found the product OUT in the pet aisle works perfectly! After thorough cleaning of course. I then spray everywhere around the toilet.
✓ We got rid of the pee smell in our toilet. The rim was very stained and ordinary cleaners just wouldn’t do the job so I used oven cleaner! We sprayed the rim and were sure to get it onto the under side also. The under side of the toilet seat was sprayed also. Let it work about 20 minutes and then put on latex gloves and use one of those green scrub pads to scrub it clean! No more pee smell!
6. Wash the rug.
✓ A bit of an obvious answer is to wash or permanently remove the rug you might have in front of the toilet. My two boys still sit most of the time but still manage to pee out the crack between the seat and the bowl leaving pee running down the toilet onto the floor.
7. Tell the boys to sit down (or get more creative).
✓ Teach them to only pee sitting down at home and to only pee standing up at public restrooms. Works like a charm here.
✓ I have four boys and a husband and hated cleaning after them. I had a cute little urinal installed and no more pee everywhere! Still no mess and it sure has saved on water too.
7. Clean the cracks and crevices on the toilet.
✓ Really, it is probably coming from the wax ring under the toilet. Plumbing is the culprit most of the time, for continuing odors.
✓ Also be sure to clean under the toilet seat hinge caps-lots of pee hides there as well…and yes, I did have my two boys pee sitting down until they had decent control! Now that they are teenagers, guess who cleans the toilets every Saturday?
✓ Check the little crack under the tank and above the seat area. Dental floss the heck out of it. It is absolutely DISGUSTING!
✓ There is a wax toilet bowl gasket under your toilet that wears out over time and it causes your toilet to leak with every flush! In order to get rid of your urine smells you must replace that wax gasket and re-caulk your toilet after replacing the gasket. These gaskets need replacing every few years.
✓ I had the same problem. I finally figured out that even though there is a wax seal between the toilet and the floor it wasn’t doing it’s job. I had the toilet replaced and had new caulking done around the toilet. Problem solved. It hasn’t smelled since.
9. Teach kids to clean the bathroom.
✓ The only other suggestion I have to add to the excellent ones already posted is to start teaching your boys to clean the bathroom. They are not too little to learn to take a piece of toilet paper to wipe off the toilet if they dribble a bit or to take a Clorox wipe and wipe around the floor. Both of my boys were in charge of cleaning their bathroom completely at the age of six (after being helped and taught by me). At 13 and 16 they are really good with their aim, in part, I believe, because if they aren’t good they know they are the ones who will be cleaning it up.
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