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Dead Animal Smell in Bathroom: Causes & How To Fix

When we fail in the proper upkeep of our bathroom, there can be plenty of health risks and negative effects. Are you dealing with a dead animal smell in bathroom facilities that won’t go away? While this problem is irritating and concerning, it’s far from unfixable.

If you’re dealing with strange or intense odors from your restroom, we’re here to help. Read on to learn some of the common causes of these foul stenches. Afterward, keep reading for information on how to fix the problem. Let’s get started!

Dead Animal Smell in Bathroom

Possible Causes

Bathrooms are high-traffic, frequently-used areas. Because of this, many issues can arise if maintenance falls behind. Here are some of the most common reasons that foul odors may appear in your restroom.

Clogged Drain

A clogged drain is one of the most common problems you’ll deal with in a bathroom. It can be any drain—sink, toilet, shower, bath, hot tub, or similar area. If there’s an area where water drains, the drain can clog.

But why does a clog cause a nasty smell? It depends on where the clog is and what’s stuck in your drain. A clogged toilet is obvious, as it can cause human waste to remain behind. Feces and urine will fester, and the smell will quickly become unbearable.

However, this typically won’t cause a dead animal smell in the bathroom. What’s more common is the shower or bathtub drain. If there’s a clog in these areas, pieces of the residents can become trapped.

When you shower, countless skin cells and hair strands come off your body. These parts are often washed down the drain without issue, making them far from hazardous. But if your drain clogs, these parts will become stuck in the drain.

Once this occurs, the clog will cause materials to build up in the drain. As it gathers, it can encourage the growth of mold, mildew, and other unpleasant materials.

As the problem worsens, the smell will become worse and worse. If you find your bathroom emitting a foul odor, check your drains to ensure they aren’t filling your home with toxic fumes.

Dead Pests

Sometimes you smell a dead animal because there’s a dead animal! Bathrooms attract many pests, from ants and flies to rats and mice.

Check through your restroom to make sure that nothing has entered your restroom as a final destination. This is especially common if you’re smelling the stench from one focused area. For example, is the smell specifically coming from a closet or cabinet? A rodent may have become trapped, starved, and is rotting.

If you find anything of the sort, clean it up properly. These animals can carry many diseases or illnesses. Sanitize, wear gloves and a mask, and dispose of the animal in a sealed bag. You’ll also want to mop, if possible!

Cleaning Bathroom

There’s more than just rodents, though. Flies are especially common, particularly during the warm summer months. Check dark, obscured areas of your cabinet to ensure flies haven’t made a nest. If you find any maggots, use your preferred pest elimination spray and sanitize the area fully.

Roaches, ants, and other pests may appear (if you have tiny bugs in your bathroom, read our guide on how to deal with it). Contact a local pest control agency to investigate if you suspect you have a pet problem but can’t find anything.

Sediment Build Up

There’s more building up in your restroom than hair in your drain. So one important step of maintenance is ensuring no sediments are building up. If there is sediment at the bottom of your toilet bowl, read here.

Sediment can include dirt, grass, soil, and other substances from outside. These could come from your shoes, clothes, or hair when you shower. A clogged drain will cause these sediments to build up faster. So keep these areas clean to fend off foul smells.

Dirty Tub or Toilet

Finally, a dirty tub or toilet can cause foul odors to emanate from your restroom. As you shower off in the tub, you’ll leave behind dirt, skin, hair, and other small items you can’t see with your naked eye.

As the weeks go on, your bathtub or shower will need cleaning to prevent these substances from building up. Some showers or bathtubs may also grow mold or mildew, worsening the smell.

Water may drain slowly from the bathtub if you have an issue with your drains (see our post ‘Bathtub Won’t Drain Not Clogged‘ for more information). This gives materials floating in the water time to stick to the walls or floor of your tub instead of going down the drain. Make sure your drains are flowing correctly to stop substances from building up!

The toilet suffers from the same issue. You also should ensure the area around your toilet is clean. This is especially the case if you have a home with small children who sometimes miss the toilet during potty training.

How To Fix

Now that we know what can cause this corpse-like stench, how can we fix it? Thankfully, the issues usually have quick fixes! Here are some of the best ways to remedy the odor of your restroom.

Unclog Drains

One of the most effective things you can do is ensure your drains are running correctly. As the drains clog, substances and sediment becoming lodged in the pipe and drain can cause awful smells.

Visit your local hardware store and get your preferred method of clearing a drain. If you’re using harsh chemicals, ensure you have a pair of gloves, a mask, and eye protection to prevent harming yourself.

If using a drain snake, you may want to use a mask. Dislodging the clog could put unsanitary particles in the air. It’ll also help combat the smell.

If you’re lucky, the clogged drain might only require some plunging, which is an easy fix. 

Sanitize Bathroom

Sanitize Bathroom

Whether dealing with odors or not; you should adequately sanitize your bathroom with relative frequency. Use the proper cleaners to ensure that your bathtub and toilet aren’t building up human fluids or other issues.

Clearing your drains is also part of sanitization! Another issue with restrooms is that they’re often humid due to hot showers steaming up the room. When this occurs, the moisture can cause clothes to mold or mildew. This can also affect some areas on the walls, baseboards, and ceilings.

Sanitize the restroom by scouring away any sign of mold or mildew. Then, check through drawers and cabinets to ensure everything is safe and sanitary. Not only will this combat smells, but you’ll also lower the chance of illness and beautify your bathroom all at once!

Clean Areas

Along with sanitization, you should ensure that you’re keeping your bathroom clean. Areas near your toilet, the bathtub walls, sink walls, and other areas all need regular cleaning. Cleaning your bathroom also includes cutting down on the clutter that can cause foul smells. 

Many of us keep a clothes hamper in our restroom, for example. When showering or undressing, don’t leave your clothes on the floor or sitting in the hamper too long. Doing so can cause dirty clothes to make your restroom smell worse. This is particularly common if the restroom has a shower which will make the room more humid.

Dealing With Stenches

Restrooms need frequent cleaning and sanitation to fight against the growth of mold, mildew, and other substances. Make sure you regularly clean your restroom, especially near the toilet and bathtub. If you’re dealing with a dead animal smell in bathroom areas, clean your drains and all other areas to try and eliminate the source.

Contact us if you’d like to learn more about proper restroom maintenance. You can also browse our site for more informational articles.

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