Lady in an apron cleaning the toilet

10 Best Tips to Get Rid of Urine Smell in Your Bathroom

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Do you struggle with how to get rid of the urine smell in your bathroom?

I hear struggling with urine odors is worse with boys. However, I also notice this with my girls! So I have been searching for the best way to make my bathroom smell fresher.

We’ve compiled ten tips for getting rid of the urine smell in your bathroom. And trust us, these tips work! So, keep reading to find out more!

Lady with gloves on cleaning the toilet to get rid of urine smell

Why It Is So Hard to Get Rid of Urine Smells in Your Bathroom

The bathroom is one of the most challenging rooms in the house to keep smelling fresh. This is because it’s often humid, there are lots of nooks and crannies for smells to hide in, and it’s used for tasks that often cause foul odors (like using the toilet).

Why Does My Bathroom Smell Like Urine?

The bacteria that form when urine dries out leave a residue. This bacteria eats the urine. As a result, new smelly chemicals are formed. If these bacteria are not cleaned away, the urine smell will stay.  Some areas that need to be concentrated on to prevent this are:

  • Ensure there is caulking around the base of the toilet (see this DIY article about how to replace the caulking yourself)
  • Check where plumbing connects to the wall for crevices that are difficult to clean. Clean toilet thoroughly, including toilet tank
  • Floor around the toilet, including rugs or mats
  • Baseboards around toilet
  • Fixing faulty toilet wax seal or wax ring (See section below to address this)
  • Address poor ventilation system. Check the bathroom fan to be sure it’s working correctly.

Other Possible Reasons for Urine Smells

None of us like our bathrooms to smell like urine. If you go through all of the tips in this article and you still have a smelly bathroom, it could be one of the following:

  • Leaky toilet. This can occur at the base of the water tank that is the result of a bad toilet coupling nut. 
  • Fill valve inside the tank has a faulty washer 
  • Crack on tank or bowl 
  • Rusted pipes
  • Loose or worn out seal at the base 
  • Loose or worn out tank to bowl connections
  • Flush valve assembly

Enlist the help of a handyman or plumber if it is one of these issues.

Tips to Get Rid of the Urine Smell in Your Bathroom

lady cleaning the toilet with gloves on to get rid of urine smell in bathroom

1. Understand All the Areas of the Toilet That Need to Be Cleaned

  • top of toilet tank
  • inside toilet tank
  • flush handle and front and sides of toilet tank
  • toilet seat lid, front and back
  • toilet seat, top and bottom
  • toilet rim
  • inside toilet bowl
  • outside of toilet bowl on all sides going down to base of the toilet

Whew! Remember this as we go through the different cleaning solution options.

2. Vinegar

Vinegar is an awesome powerhouse when it comes to cleaning your bathroom and for unpleasant odors. Vinegar neutralizes and removes the odor-causing bacteria in the urine.

Add a cup of white vinegar to the toilet bowl and let it sit for 30 minutes. Next, pour white vinegar into a glass spray bottle and a few drops of lavender and peppermint essential oils. 

Spritz vinegar all over the toilet and surrounding floor and wall area. Let it sit for 15 minutes. Finally, wipe down areas with a clean, damp cloth or paper towels.

3. Lemon Juice and Baking Soda

This idea is from

  • Mix three tablespoons of baking soda and slowly add lemon juice until you have a thick, stirrable consistency. 
  • Pour along the edges of the base of the toilet. Let this sit for 10-15 minutes. After this, spray vinegar in the same area and let it work for a few minutes. 
  • Clean the area with a damp towel. This is a wonderful chemical-free way to eliminate smells in your bathroom. 
  • Wipe down cabinets and walls that could have urine from young boys (or men!) who missed the toilet.
Cleaning urine smells with white vinegar and hydrogen peroxide

4. Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide helps to destroy odor-causing bacteria. It also helps mold and mildew while safely bleaching discolorations on the floors.

You can pour hydrogen peroxide into a spray bottle and spray it onto all of the toilet surfaces. 

Be sure to cover it from the top of the toilet tank to the bottom of the toilet, floor, and baseboards surrounding it. 

Let the peroxide sit for 15 minutes before wiping down. 

To clean your toilet bowl:

  • Pour ½ cup hydrogen peroxide into the toilet
  • Follow with 1 cup baking soda
  • Let this sit for 15 minutes
  • Clean with a scrub brush and flush

I think this is one of the the easiest ways to clean your bathroom.

5. Clean Your Toilet with Shaving Cream to Banish Odors

  • Cleaning with shaving cream is excellent for that “boy bathroom smell.” 
  • I was surprised to learn that shaving cream contains ingredients such as surfactants, emulsifiers, and cleansing agents found in other household cleaners. So these can easily be used for cleaning purposes.
  • Spray the shaving cream around the rim, the outside of the toilet, the base, and the surrounding bathroom floor.
  • Leave the shaving cream on for 15 minutes and wipe off with hot water and a mop for the flooring.
Man with gloves on cleaning the toilet tank

6. Clean the Toilet Tank

Add 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/2 cup baking soda to the toilet tank. Gently scrub with a toilet brush and let sit for a few hours. Scrub again with the brush and flush the toilet.

7. Clean the Shower Curtain

  • Urine smells can make their way into shower curtains, from little boys missing the target to particles in the air from flushing.
  • Machine wash if you can with detergent and vinegar. Otherwise, you can mix one part white vinegar with four parts water in a spray bottle. Spray on both sides of the curtain. You can use a brush or sponge to loosen any dirt or odor-causing bacteria. 
  • Rinse the curtain with your hand-held shower head or a water container. You can finish by spraying with an odor-removing spray.;
lady Cleaning floor in the bathroom to get rid of urine smell

8. Wash Bathroom Rugs and Mats Once a Week

Fabric bath mats come into constant contact with wet feet and your bathroom floor. Not to mention the urine splashes or the spray when you flush the toilet. Even rubber back rugs can be machine washed. Just be sure to air dry them.

9. Clean Trash Can and Step Stool

Clean the outside of your trash can once a week, along with the step stool if you have one. They can get urine splashes on them or bacteria from the toilet being flushed.

Keep your garbage can lined with a plastic bag. Then you will only have to disinfect the inside once a month or so.

10. Teach Your Family to Keep the Toilet Seat Closed

Keep the toilet lid closed, especially when flushing. Flushing the toilet scatters bacteria out of the bowl. This habit will keep your bathroom cleaner overall.

Bonus Tips

lady with gloves on cleaning the sink in the bathroom

Keep Your Toilet Brush Clean

  • Your toilet brush is the dirtiest item in your house! Clean it once a week by covering it with vinegar inside the toilet brush holder. Leave it for several hours.
  • Dump the vinegar into the toilet bowl and scrub the brush around inside the bowl. You will be rinsing off the brush as well as cleaning the toilet bowl at the same time.
  • Before putting the toilet brush back in the holder, pour a little vinegar into the bottom of the holder, along with a few drops of tea tree oil.
  • Studies have shown that tea tree oil kills several common viruses and bacteria, including E. Coli.

Consider an Air Purifier

  • An air purifier can be a good idea to help with restroom odors. Try and look for an air purifier with an activated carbon filter. This will capture and neutralize most of the odors in your home.
  • Activated carbon filters in the air purifier will capture smaller particles that HEPA filters might not be able to catch.
  • Read this article for the best air purifier recommendations. The article was written with a baby’s nursery in mind, but these highly-rated air purifiers can be used in bathrooms and all other areas of the house.
  • Be sure to remove the urine source to keep your bathroom smelling at its best.
Essential oil diffuser in bathroom

Best Natural Air Fresheners For Bathroom Odor

  • Try a small essential oil diffuser with lavender, lemon, and peppermint essential oils.
  • Scented sachet packets work well tucked into various places in your bathroom.
  • Potpourri is an excellent thing to try. Plus, it looks pretty in a cute basket.
  • Finally, try a natural bathroom spray to spritz when needed.


While all these tips work great for getting rid of the urine smell, it’s also important to remember that prevention is key.

Be sure to always close the lid on the toilet and keep your bathroom clean so that there’s less opportunity for urine smells to develop in the first place.

Comment below to let me know if you have tried any of these methods for getting rid of urine smells!

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