How To Remove Urine Smell From Bathroom Tile: A Guide from Someone Who’s Been There

Urine smell can be embarrassing and unpleasant to breathe in, not to mention it can mask the clean scent you’ve worked so hard to achieve. It’s essential to eliminate the urine smell as soon as possible. But how to remove the urine smell from the bathroom?

I have dealt with the same problem in my bathroom and have researched removing urine odor from bathroom tiles. Ultimately, I have found the causes and solutions of this issue and tried different methods to see what works best. In this guide, I will share with you everything I know and help you make your bathroom smell great again.

How To Remove Urine Smell From Bathroom Tile?

Common Causes And Solutions Of Urine Smell On Bathroom Tiles

If you want to maintain your house environment, you must give your bathroom a top priority. But you must know the causes before taking further steps to eliminate the urine smell in your bathroom tiles. Here are the common causes and solutions I found:

You Didn’t Clean The Urine Properly

If you don’t clean up the urine right away and well enough, it can get into the tiles’ grout lines or porous surfaces.

That can make the urine smell stick around. This is because urine has uric acid and other stuff that can smell really bad if you don’t clean it. Ensure thorough and regular cleaning of the affected areas.

The Grout Absorbed The Urine

Grout is the stuff that fills the spaces between tiles. It’s kind of like a sponge that can soak up urine and keep the smell. The more urine gets into the grout, the more difficult it is to get rid of the smell.

If the grout has absorbed urine and caused a smell, consider using specialized tile and grout cleaners designed to penetrate and eliminate the smell.

Improper Sealing

Tiles and grout should be sealed periodically to create a protective barrier against moisture and spills. Suppose the sealing is inadequate or has worn off. In that case, urine can penetrate the tiles and grout, resulting in an ongoing smell. Reapplying with a suitable sealant can help resolve this issue.

Some Urine Left On The Floor Or Tiles

Sometimes, you might miss some urine when you clean the bathroom. This can happen around the toilet area or if someone misses the toilet bowl. Even a little bit of urine can greatly affect how your bathroom smells.

Pay close attention to areas around the toilet and ensure thorough cleaning to prevent residual urine from causing odor issues.

A Leak Or A Splatter

Urine can also get onto the bathroom tiles from leaks or splatters from the toilet or urinal. Broken plumbing, worn-out seals, or careless usage can cause these. The urine can pile up over time and make your bathroom stink.

If there is a leak or splatter, it’s crucial to address these problems promptly to prevent the accumulation of urine and the resulting odor.

Mold Or Mildew On Or Under The Tiles

Sometimes, the smell might not be from urine at all but from mold or mildew growing on or under the tiles. These are tiny organisms that love damp places, and if your bathroom is not airy enough or your tiles are always wet, they can grow and make nasty odors.

These fungi thrive in damp environments. Ensure proper ventilation and keep the tiles dry to prevent mold or mildew development. You may read another article on cleaning marble shower mold.

There’s Something Else Going On

Sometimes, a bad urine smell in your bathroom might mean there’s something else wrong, like a plumbing problem, a subfloor soaked with urine, or urine residue in places you can’t see. You might need to call a professional to help you find and fix the problem in these cases.

Causes Of Urine Smell In Bathroom

If you have tried the solutions above and the urine smell does not seem to go away, then the problem might be elsewhere. Urine does not contain a pleasant smell. It can make you feel uncomfortable in your own home.

A few things can cause this smell in your bathroom, and some might need more than just a quick wipe-down. Let me tell you what they are and how to fix them:

Dirty Toilet

A dirty toilet can make your bathroom smell bad and make it harder to flush. The little holes under the toilet seat can get blocked with dirt and minerals, and that can lower the water pressure. The area under the seat and around the rim of the bowl is also where most pee stains end up, especially if you have kids or pets who don’t aim well.

If you haven’t done it in a while, you might need to hold your nose and brace yourself to clean this part of the toilet. To get rid of the pee smell, you need to scrub the toilet really well with a cleaner that kills germs and a brush and don’t forget the hidden spots.

Leaky Toilet Seal

A toilet seal is a ring of foam or wax that goes between the bottom of the toilet and the floor. It’s supposed to keep water and sewer gas from getting out. But if the seal is old, broken, or not put on right, it can leak water and air into your bathroom.

 This can make your bathroom smell like pee and also damage your floor and the wood underneath. To fix this problem, you need to put on a new toilet seal that fits right.

Clogged Drain

A clogged drain in your shower or sink can also make your bathroom smell like pee. This is because hair and other stuff can get stuck in the drain pipe and trap water and bacteria. This makes a nasty-smelling gunk that blocks the drain.

To unclog the drain, you can use a tool like a plunger, a snake, or a liquid that dissolves clogs. You can also stop clogs from happening by putting a cover on the drain that catches hair and other things before they go down the pipe.

Poor Ventilation

A bathroom that doesn’t have enough airflow can trap odors inside. Without fresh air, the moisture from the toilet area can also help bacteria grow that produce strong smells, including urine smells.

You need to improve the ventilation in your bathroom. You can do this by opening a window, using a fan, or installing an exhaust system. This will help remove the moisture and odors from your bathroom and keep it fresh and dry.

Infrequent Use

A bathroom that is not used or flushed often can have urine build up in the toilet bowl or trap. This can create a lasting smell that is hard to get rid of.

So, you need to use and flush your bathroom regularly. You can also add some vinegar or baking soda to the toilet bowl or trap to neutralize the urine smell and prevent it from returning.

Moldy Grout

Mold can grow in wet and dark places, like the grout between your tiles or shower walls. Mold can have a musty or ammonia-like smell that is like pee. To get rid of mold from grout, you can use something like bleach or a product that kills mold.

You can also stop mold from growing by putting a sealer on the grout that keeps water out and airs out your bathroom well.

Pet Accidents

If you have pets that can go into the bathroom or use it as a designated area, their urine can add to the smell. This can happen if they pee on the floor, rugs, or other surfaces in the bathroom.

You need to train your pets to avoid peeing in the bathroom or use a litter box instead. Also, you need to clean up any accidents as soon as possible with an enzyme-based cleaner that breaks down the urine odor and stains. You may additionally use a spray or diffuser that repels pets from entering the bathroom.

Stained Rugs Or Mats

Sometimes, the pee smell in your bathroom might come from your rugs or mats that have been peed on by accident. This can happen if someone (your kid or pet, maybe) peed on them, and you didn’t see it.

To get rid of the pee smell from rugs or mats, you need to wash them with hot water and soap or use something that gets rid of the pee odor. You can also avoid this problem by keeping rugs or mats away from the toilet area or using ones that you can wash easily.

Dirty Bathroom Accessories

Bathroom accessories like toilet brushes, trash cans, or mats can hold bacteria and smell if not cleaned often. These items can make your bathroom smell like urine if they are not properly taken care of.

So, clean your bathroom accessories regularly with a disinfectant cleaner that kills germs and odors. You can also replace them with new ones if they are too old or worn out.

11 Best Ways To Get Rid Of Urine Smell From Bathroom

You already know the causes and solutions if there is a urine smell from your bathroom or bathroom tiles. If the above-mentioned solutions do not work, you may try the following ways to remove the urine smell from your bathroom:

1. Sprinkle Baking Soda

Baking soda, a versatile and practical household ingredient, can effectively combat urine odor. Keeping some on hand is always good for various applications, including home remedies and cleaning tasks.

To remove the stench of urine from your bathroom, simply sprinkle baking soda around the toilet and in the room. After letting it sit for an hour, wipe it off with water. The baking soda will work its magic.

2. Use Shaving Cream

Shaving cream is not only good for your skin but also for your bathroom floor. It contains potassium hydroxide, a chemical that dissolves in water and breaks down dirt and grease. To use it, follow these steps:

  • Spray or spread a generous amount of shaving cream all over the toilet, especially in areas that are hard to reach or often overlooked.
  • Let it sit for about 30 minutes, but don’t let it dry or harden, as it will be harder to remove later.
  • Use a mop and hot water to wipe off the shaving cream and rinse the floor well.

You will be amazed by how clean and fresh your bathroom smells after using shaving cream. It is more effective than regular floor cleaners because it penetrates deeper into the surface and removes any traces of urine.

3. Use Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is a natural disinfectant that kills bacteria that cause bad odors. It also has a mild bleaching effect that can remove stains, mold, and mildew from the floor. To use it, follow these steps:

  • Mix hydrogen peroxide with your favorite liquid detergent in a spray bottle or a sprinkler. You can use dish detergent if you don’t have anything else.
  • Spray or sprinkle the mixture on the bathroom floor and let it sit for 20-30 minutes.
  • Scrub the floor with a brush or a sponge and rinse it well with water.

Hydrogen peroxide will make your bathroom smell fresh and clean by eliminating the source of the odor. It will also brighten up your floor by removing any stains or discoloration caused by urine.

4. Use An Essential Oil Spray

Essential oils offer a fantastic solution for eliminating unpleasant bathroom odors, including urine smell. These oils work in multiple ways, effectively neutralizing odors and leaving behind a fresh scent.

You can enhance the air quality in your bathroom by adding a few drops of essential oil. Just add it to the toilet tank or sprinkle a small amount into the toilet bowl. This will help spread the pleasant aroma throughout the room, leaving your bathroom smelling fresh and inviting.

5. Try A Vinegar Spray

Cleaning with vinegar is highly effective as its acidic properties help remove stains and neutralize urine odors. Vinegar can be used to eliminate pet smells, clean toilet stains, freshen kitchen sink drains, and more.

To remove the urine smell from your bathroom, simply spray vinegar into the toilet and the affected area. After 15 minutes, use a microfiber cloth to clean the entire space thoroughly and say goodbye to unpleasant odors.

6. Opt For A Subtle Air Freshener

An air freshener can help mask urine odor temporarily but make sure you choose a subtle and natural scent. A strong or artificial scent can make the odor worse or more noticeable. Some good options are sea breeze, pine, floral, eucalyptus, or citrus.

7. Use Coffee Grounds

Coffee has a strong aroma that can effectively cover up undesirable odors in your bathroom. To eliminate the urine smell, try using coffee grounds. Simply pour some coffee powder into the toilet. Then let it sit for 15 minutes before flushing it with water.

Additionally, you can place a few open coffee packets in the room to counteract the smell of urine. Let them sit for a few days and enjoy a bathroom that smells much better.

8. Apply Clear Caulk Around The Toilet’s Base

If toilet splashes do not solely cause a foul odor in your bathroom, they might be due to a base leak that allows urine and water to seep through.

To prevent this, apply a clear caulk around the base of the toilet. This will prevent water and urine from accumulating between the toilet and the flooring, effectively eliminating the foul smell.

9. Install A Toilet Splash Guard Shield

For individuals who urinate while sitting, a toilet splash guard shield can be a helpful solution to prevent urine from splashing beyond the toilet bowl. By installing a shield under the front portion of the toilet seat, you can ensure that urine remains contained within the bowl.

This is particularly beneficial for potty training young boys and men, helping to keep your bathroom cleaner and odor-free.

10. Clean The Toilet’s Cracks And Crevices

Persistent bathroom odors often originate from the wax ring below the toilet or hidden areas where urine tends to accumulate. Make sure to clean the area around the hinge caps on the toilet seat, as urine often hides there.

Use dental floss if necessary to check for any small fissures above and under the seat area. Over time, the wax toilet bowl gasket can deteriorate, leading to leaks with each flush. If you want to eliminate the urine smell, consider replacing the wax gasket and re-caulking the toilet every few years.

11. Encourage Seated Urination At Home

To minimize the mess caused by urine in the bathroom, teach children to urinate while seated at home and only stand while using public facilities. This simple practice can significantly reduce splashes and ensure a cleaner environment.

Remember, personal hygiene is important, and a clean bathroom enhances your home’s overall freshness and comfort. By following these effective methods, you can successfully remove the urine smell and enjoy a pleasant bathroom experience.

Important Tip: Don’t Try to Cover Up the Smell

When you are trying to get rid of the urine smell from the toilet, you should know what not to do. Don’t use air fresheners to hide the smell.

These only add more fragrance to the urine odor, which can make it worse. Instead, focus on eliminating the odor by using the right cleaning products and methods.

Read more: how to protect bathroom floor from urine.


I think you now clearly know how to get rid of the urine smell from your bathroom. However, the following questions will further aid you in this matter:

How To Get Rid Of Urine Smell In Bathrooms Naturally?

You don’t need to use harsh chemicals to get rid of urine odor from the bathroom. There are some natural and effective solutions that you can try. Here are two of them:

Vinegar spray: Vinegar is a natural acid that can neutralize urine odor and kill bacteria. To make a vinegar spray, mix equal parts of water and vinegar in a spray bottle, and spray it on the urine-smelling areas. Let it sit for a few minutes, then wipe it off with a damp cloth.

Baking soda: Baking soda is a natural deodorizer that can absorb urine odor and freshen the air. To use baking soda, sprinkle it generously over the entire bathroom floor, especially around the toilet. Let it sit for an hour, then vacuum it up or sweep it away.

What Destroys Urine Smell?

To get rid of the urine smell, you can make a solution with dish detergent, baking soda, and hydrogen peroxide. These three ingredients can often remove strong urine odors by themselves. Mix eight ounces of peroxide, three teaspoons of baking soda, and a few drops of dish soap to make the solution.

Why Does The Toilet Smell Of Urine Despite Cleaning?

If you have cleaned your toilet properly, but it still smells like urine, don’t panic. The problem might be the seal under the toilet that connects the bowl to the drain. Sometimes this seal leaks and causes a constant urine odor.


There you have it! These are some of my tried and tested tips on removing the urine smell from the bathroom. Remember, regular cleaning and maintenance are essential for a fresh-smelling bathroom, so make sure to keep up with the cleaning routine.

Prevention is better than cure. So, encourage your family members to aim properly when using the bathroom and clean up any spills immediately. This will help avoid urine stains and unpleasant odors in your bathroom.

Also read – Shower Curtain Weights DIY

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