A bath or shower drain clogged with gunk and hair is usually the reason for bad smells coming from the plug hole. This partial blockage is the ideal breeding place for odour-causing mould and bacteria. It’s dark, warm, and damp, and makes for the ideal hiding place.
Sometimes, the smell can be sewage gases making their way through the pipes. Either way, we’ll show you what to do about these nasty smells in your bathroom.
Another source of bath and shower drain odours is soap scum that has been allowed to accumulate in the pipes. Shampoos, oily conditioners, shower gels, and soaps all smell nice when fresh, but not when washed down the bath plug hole mixed with body dirt and left to collect – yuck!
Bath drain clogs are more than just annoying, they can cause foul smells to travel through your house, and an embarrassing odour when you have guests around.
Whether your plug-hole drain pipes are clogged with too much soap scum, long hair, limescale, or a mix of all, this is a problem that won’t go away on its own and will only get worse. Fortunately, most bath and shower drain odour and blockage problems can be resolved quickly, without the need to call a plumber.
Deodorise Bath Plughole Drain Naturally
Home treatments like baking soda and vinegar should be able to clean and clear the bath drain, but for stubborn blockages, you can use a plunger and even chemical, but let’s use the natural treatment first.
Home Remedies for Drain Cleaning
Baking soda, when combined with vinegar, is a simple yet powerful home cure that removes all types of filth from pipes, including blockages.
Take 4 tablespoons of baking soda and pile it onto the bath plughole, then pour 200 – 300ml of white vinegar into the baking soda and watch the mixture run into the drain. You may also add table salt and lemon to boost the cleaning power and introduce a better scent.
In any case, pay attention to the ratio of baking powder to vinegar. Most likely, you’ll hear bubbling coming from the drainpipe. Rinse with water after this has vanished. The pipe obstruction should have been eliminated by then.
The combination of baking soda and vinegar will bubble and froth up, breaking up and dissolving the blockage. Repeat the process several times until the drain is cleared and the smell has gone.
Cleaning Chemicals and Drain Unblockers
When it comes to drain cleaning, chemical cleaners have benefits and drawbacks. Despite effectively dissolving grease and grime deposits, they typically significantly contaminate wastewater. When using chemical cleaning products, always follow the directions for usage, avoid breathing in chemical fumes, and provide adequate ventilation.
The obstruction in the drain pipe is typically simple to remove after the designated exposure time. For clingy deposits, you can also use a suction cup.
Let a few litres of warm water run into the plug hole (you can add some baking powder and vinegar) before using the plunger. Make sure the plunger’s rubber part is completely sealed, and then seal the overflow by inserting a wet rag into the hole.
You generate a swift change between upper and lower pressure in the drain pipe with the aid of strong pumping movements. As a result, deposits and obstructions become more easily dislodged, some of which go into the sewage system and some of which are pumped up through the plug hole.
Pump until the water can run off freely, then, for instance, use cleaning wipes (Flash or Dettol) to scoop out big pieces of dirt and sludge.
Cleaning the Bath Drain Pipe
If you tried and failed to clear the blockage and get rid of the smell from your bath drain, then it may be necessary to remove the u bend trap and clean manually.
Don’t worry, this is easier than tightening a loose bath tap. You’ll need to remove the side bath panel to get under the bath. Put a bucket under the syphon to collect the water coming out of the drain first.
You’ll see the u bend trap connected to the plughole at one end, and the main external drain pipe at the other. These connection points should be easily unscrewed by hand. If limescale buildup prevents this from happening at first, wrap the screw in a cloth soaked in vinegar and let it soak in.
With a flexible wire brush or bottle cleaner, clean the removed curved section. In addition, examine the fixed pipe sections on the sink and drain for any grease or hair buildup. The parts can also be washed in water. Put a bucket below, of course.
Try a Drain Cleaning Spiral
A cleaning spiral will be helpful if the drain in the sink, tub, or shower is clogged with hair, without having to dismantle any pipe. Alternatively, you can use a good pair of metal tweezers to pull out the hair.
This spiral tool utilises a sturdy wire with a spiral coiled up on a crank at the end of it.
If you encounter resistance after inserting the wire into the plug hole, start twisting the crank to release the dirt plug. The dirt should next be removed from the drain using the wire, followed by a water rinse. With the horizontal drain at the sink, a water hose can be helpful.
Preventing Blocked Smelly Drains
The best way to keep your drain clean and smelling fresh is to use a drain strainer to trap debris before they enter the plug hole.
Prevention is the best strategy, so try to keep as much dirt and hair out of the pipes up front as you can. You can avoid cleaning the drainpipes and perhaps even hiring an expensive plumber by doing this.
Using a shower drain hair catcher is a simple solution to avoid a clogged shower drain because hair is the main cause of shower clogs and smells. A good hair catcher maintains its position via suction or silicone rims without obstructing water flow.
Make it a practice to regularly clean the bath, shower, and sink, drain to avoid obstructions. Using baking soda and vinegar to clear your shower drain as described above about once a month should keep things flowing.
The shower drain P-trap (also called u-bend) in a rarely used bathroom may become dry and permit sewer gas to escape. This can be remedied by just turning on the shower for a few minutes once a month.