Why Toilet Smells Worse After Cleaning (7 Reasons)

The sewage smell hits your nose after entering the toilet. But wait a second. You cleaned your toilet a while ago. Then why is the weird smell coming?

You might clean your toilet every day with different types of cleanser, harsh one, natural one but didn’t get any satisfying result. So, the question makes you panic, why does my toilet smell worse after cleaning, and how to get rid of it.

Your toilet smells even after cleaning because of several reasons. Such as growing extreme bacteria, damaging the wax seal, clogging the toilet vent or drain, dirty toilet tanks, or cracking the toilet bowl. 

Come on. If your toilet has a disgusting smell despite cleaning, there should be more profound issues. So, we discuss here several common reasons in detail why your bathroom smells worse. In addition, we show you several ways to overcome this awkward condition. 

Are you ready? Let’s spill the beans!

Toilet Smells Worse After Cleaning

7 Most Common Reasons of Why Toilet Smell Worse After Cleaning

When your toilet smells terrible, it might badly embarrass you in front of your guest. Otherwise, your little kids and family members can be disturbed while using it. But before you know how to get rid of toilet odor, find the cause behind this. So, what are the reasons for a smelly toilet? Let’s find out some.

Problem 1 of 7: Evaporation in P-Trap

toilet p trap diagram

If you’re getting a bad and sewage-like smell from the toilet that’s rarely used in your home (guest washroom or outhouse toilet), or you’re using it after a long vacation, then you should blame evaporated water in P-trap.

P-trap is a part of the pipe behind your toilet. Usually, it remains filled with water and helps to prevent sewer gas from escaping. But when your toilet isn’t used regularly, the water gets low and causes evaporation. Thus the sewage gas comes out and fills your toilet with a worse smell.


In this case, you should flush the toilet regularly, even if you’re not always using it. Flushing frequently will allow the water to remain filled in the P-trap and will block the sewer gas from coming out. 

Problem 2 of 7: Damaged Wax Seal

toilet wax ring seal

Another complex reason behind the bad smell of your toilet can be a damaged wax ring seal. This ring is situated underneath the toilet to keep it in place and prevents sewer gas from getting into your toilet. 

However, the wax seal can be loosen or damaged when it becomes old. Thus, sewer gas leaks through the cracks and makes your toilet nasty-smelly.

If your toilet becomes loose and starts moving when you sit on it, you’ll know something wrong is happening with your wax seal, and it’s time to replace it.


If your wax seal is damaged and leaking, you need to replace it as early as possible. But if you’re not experienced with it, don’t try to fix it yourself. Instead, call a plumbing professional to install a new wax seal. Hopefully, you’ll get rid of the foul odor after replacing it. 

See also  How To Use Comet To Clean Toilet [ A Detailed Guide]

Problem 3 of 7: Sewer Bacterial Growth

toilet drain pipe diagram

Microorganisms or bacteria usually remain in sewer pipes. But sometimes, they make their way from the sewer to up into your toilet bowl. And to save life, the bacteria cling to the rim and begin to propagate.

Once the bacteria starts growing, it spreads foul gasses throughout your toilet. Even if you clean the bathroom, the smell is still there. You’ll face this problem mainly during the hot summer season as this soggy condition helps bacteria thrive.


Luckily, you can boot these bacterias quickly with some bleach following these simple steps.

  • Pour several cups of bleach into the flush valve or overflow pipe. A flush valve is placed inside your toilet tank. 
  • Next, flush the toilet a few times. After flushing, the bleach you poured in the flush valve will release around the rim and run down through the side of your toilet bowl. Thus, it effectively wipes away the microorganisms, and the nasty-smelling also disappears quickly.

Problem 4 of 7: Vents That Are Clogged up

Toilet Vent Pipe

It’s normal to have a slight sewage odor after using the toilet. But when the smell leads stronger and persists, you should check the Toilet Vent Pipe whether it’s clogged or blocked.

Every toilet has a vent pipe to keep them ventilated and allow foul odors to escape outside. It lets the air enter the system so the waste water can freely flow. 

But when the vents get clogged or blocked, the ventilation system doesn’t work. So, the unpleasant smell formed into your entire toilet and became the reason for your headache.

The vent pipe can be blocked for the following reasons:

  • By pile
  • By a dead bird
  • By bird nest

Or the vent gets clogged due to:

  • Soap scum
  • Grease
  • Or frost in cold weather


As the clogging happens, it’ll require some tools for unclogging. So, we recommend calling a plumber who can understand the condition of the vents. Plumbers will use their devices to remove the clog safely, and the odors will go away. 

Problem 5 of 7: Dirty Toilet Tank

Dirty Toilet Tank

Though you regularly clean your toilet bowl, sometimes your toilet tank can be responsible for the sewage smell. Toilet tanks can absorb the nasty odors of sewage gas and urine and release a strong urine smell. So, the toilet smells like urine despite cleaning. For details, you can check this article; Does the toilet smell like urine


Fortunately, you can clean the toilet tank yourself without any hassle. You’ll only need:

  • 1 cup of white vinegar
  • A toilet brush

Vinegar is an excellent smelly toilet remedy for cleaning your home and bathroom. It contains acetic acid that helps to neutralize the source of the odor. This acid also effectively disinfects the properties.

Following these steps, you can immediately get rid of foul odors coming from the toilet tank.

  • Pour the white vinegar into the tank
  • Take a toilet brush to scrub inside the tank. 
  • Scrub around the wall of the tank and the bottom. 
  • Now, let the vinegar sit for 5-10 minutes. 
  • Flush the toilet multiple times to move down the water away from the tank
See also  How To Get Rid Of Black Soot On Toilet Seat?

Problem 6 of 7: A Crack in the Toilet

toilet bowl crack repair

Another common reason for worse smelling in a clean toilet can be the crack in the toilet bowl. Notice whether there is a tiny hairline crack in the bowl or not. If it’s there, it can lower the water level. As a result, the water will leak to the drain and subfloor area, causing a bad odor in the toilet.


In this situation, you may need to replace the toilet to fix the problem. So, contact a plumber as soon as possible before your toilet floor gets damaged or even worse.

Problem 7 of 7: Clogged Toilet Drain

Clogged Toilet Drain

Sometimes your toilet drain can be clogged with some unusual things like hair, soap, toilet paper, cat litter, etc. In that case, it won’t remove only flushing since the clog begins to emit the smell throughout your toilet. 


There are multiple alternative ways to fix this issue. For example

Method 1: Using a snake

You can use a toilet snake or plunger to unclog the drain of your toilet. 

Method 2: Hot Boiling Water

Pour a few cups of hot water into the toilet bowl and leave it there for a few minutes. After that, flush the toilet several times to ensure the clog goes down in the drain.

Method 3: Baking Soda and Salt

Pour 1 cup of baking soda and ½ cup of salt into the toilet drain. Leave it to sit for 4-5 hours. Next, pour 2 cups of hot water and flush the toilet to remove clogs as well as odor from the drain.

How To Get Rid Of Toilet Odor Naturally

If you do not find any reason for your smelly toilet bowl, you can try some natural ingredients to fix them. All these ingredients are readily available near your hand, so you can use any of them quickly and make your toilet fresh.

  •  Baking Soda

Yes, we have talked about baking soda at the top of our list because it’s excellent in absorbing and always available in the kitchen. Place a cup of baking soda on top of the flush tank or a shelf. It will absorb the stench slowly and keep your bathrooms smell-free for one month.

  • Lemon

Lemon is not only good for your health but also useful to remove unpleasant smells. Cut a slice of lemon and place it in your toilet. You will slowly notice that the lemon neutralizes the odor and gives your bathroom a fresh and good smell. Remember to change it once per week for excellent odor control.

  • Essential Oils

Essential oils are not bound for your skin and hair care anymore. If you’re looking for a natural air freshener with a beautiful scent, essential oils are the top of that. It lingers around your toilet for an extended period. 

Dip a cotton ball into the essential oils and place it in your toilet. You can also use a diffuser. If you like a refreshing scent, go for lemongrass or a floral scent like lavender. 

  • Desiccants
See also  How To Prevent Black Ring In Toilet: 5 Proven Steps

If your bathroom always remains in a humid condition, it can leave a bad odor. As this happens, a dry substance like desiccant can help you to absorb the moisture and keep the toilet from smelling. 

For that, you can place silica gel in your bathroom. Or keep ferns or lily plants as a natural solution to absorb the damp smells.

Quick Pro Tips To Avoid Worse Smell

Once you remove the horrible smell from the toilet, it can come back again. So you have to take some previous precautions to stop re-smelling. Maintaining the following tips and tricks can help you avoid bad smells in your toilet.

  • Arrange a ventilation system into your toilet with windows or extra fans. Or you can invest in some air purifiers to keep your toilet odor-free. 
  • Don’t let bacteria grow in your toilet bowl. Use a commercial or DIY cleanser that can suppress bacterias.
  • Molds also cause nasty smell in the toilet. Make a mixture of 2 tablespoons of borax, 2 cups of warm water, and a quarter cup of white vinegar. Scrub the black mold with this solution and clean it with a cloth.
  • Close the toilet lid while you’re flushing as it prevents the odor from coming outside.
  • Don’t flush any hard substance in the toilet that clogs the drain. Although something like that happens, try to remove it fast.
  • If your toilet is old enough, it’s wise to upgrade it soon. 

How to remove bad smell from bathroom drain? 

First, you have to kill bacteria and prevent its growth to remove a bad smell from the bathroom drain. Applying baking soda and bleaching powder coat on the toilet bowl can be an excellent solution to this problem.

Why does my toilet bowl smell so bad?

If the water level of your toilet bowl becomes low, it allows the smelly gasses to escape through the toilet pipe. That happens because your toilet pipe may have a small block, and the water doesn’t fill the bowl that much it should have. 

Why does my toilet smell like rotten eggs?

If your toilet smells like rotten eggs or sulfur, there must be harmful bacterias in the water.

Is vinegar safe for septic?

Absolutely yes. Vinegar is a kitchen ingredient and good for a cleaning remedy. So, it’s not harmful to your septic system like the harsh chemicals. 

How do you tell if your toilet is vented?

Look out for a vertical pipe in the plumbing connection (where a drain pipe and sink pipe tie together) that goes upward to the roofs. If it’s here, you’ll know the toilet is vented.


Finally, we’re at the final words of our comprehensive article on why toilet smells worse after cleaning. Do you get your answer? Hope we’re successfully answering this. Now as you know the major reasons behind smelling and getting the fixing solution, why late?

Follow this article and drive away from the awful stubborn smell from your toilet forever! 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *