Why Does My Toilet Smell Like Urine? Causes and Quick Fixes

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Your toilet should be a place of ultimate comfort and cleanliness. Homeowners do everything to make their toilets bright and clean, but sometimes it feels like there is no solution for that awful urine odor.

You’re probably wondering: Why does my toilet smell like urine?

The main reasons include leftover pee on the toilet seat or urine on the bathroom floor, but they aren’t the only possible causes. Keep reading if you want to discover all problems and their solutions.

Problem 1: Toilet Seat Hides Urine

The first problem is by far the most common because many people pee on the toilet seat unintentionally. It only takes a moment of deconcentration to spill a few urine drops on your toilet seat. 

Pee droplets quickly hide underneath, so you can’t even see it – especially in the dark bathroom. What you can do is lift the toilet seat to check for urine traces. It’s easy to spot yellow stains, so it’s time to do something about it.

Solution: Clean the Seat

Luckily enough, solving the toilet seat issue isn’t complicated. It’s just that you have to clean your toilet seat properly, and that awful urine odor will disappear. To make the job easier, we suggest removing the toilet seat.

A couple of bolts attach it to the toilet, so you must unscrew them using a screwdriver. Twist the bolts counterclockwise until they become loose enough to pop out. After that, clean the seat and the entire bowl to eliminate the bad odor.

Problem 2: Wax Ring Doesn’t Work

A wax ring is a rubber gasket that seals the bowl to ensure an airtight seal. It goes inside the toilet – between the sewer pipe and the floor – keeping the toilet firmly against the ground. 

If it’s damaged, water and urine can leak under the wax seal and cause it to fail. You won’t see pee on the floor, but it is right under the toilet bowl. The only way to prevent it is to clean the toilet base and replace the wax ring.

Solution: Replace the Wax Ring

First of all, you must turn off the shutoff valve to avoid water splashes and flushing incidents. Do it by turning the supply valve clockwise. After that, unscrew the bolts and nuts connecting the tank and the supply hose to your toilet bowl.

Now that there’s only the bowl on the floor, you must detach it from the base by unscrewing a couple of bolts. It allows you to move the toilet bowl, so lift it and place it on the side against the floor.

The wax ring is probably falling off, but you can use a putty knife to remove its remnants from the bottom of the bowl. Then, you should clean the toilet thoroughly and apply a new wax ring. There’s be no urine smell anymore.

When you do that, you can start reassembling the toilet. Put the bowl back in its place and then reinstall the tank along with the fill hose. Turn on the supply valve, so your toilet can receive water again.

Problem 3: You Have a Weak Flush System

Every toilet should flush urine, but sometimes the flush system is too weak to do it properly. It means that some urine remains in the bowl even after flushing, which is why your toilet smells.

Solution: Improve the Flush System

In case you have a low-flow toilet at home, you should consider upgrading it. It’s not possible to convert a low-flow toilet to a high-flow toilet, but you can make the flush system more potent with these tricks:

  • Lift the tank float to increase the water intake
  • Unscrew the fill valve to allow more water to flow into the tank
  • Reposition the cylinder float in the toilet tank

Problem 4: There’s Pee Around the Bowl

Accidental peeing on the toilet seat is not the only option. On the contrary, there might be some leftover urine on the floor as well. This is particularly the case with families with boys who still don’t have the patience (or height) to target correctly.

Solution: Clean the Floor and Target Precisely

Luckily enough, the solution to the problem is simple – you only need to clean the bathroom floor and teach your kids to pee in the bowl. Pay attention to the area around the toilet because urine can go in all directions.

Problem 5: There’s Pee on Other Things in the Bathroom

Sometimes the same problem hits other things in the bathroom. For instance, there might be some urine on the walls, garbage cans, or toilet brushes. All these things are near your toilet, so a few drops can end up there.

Solution: Clean the Bathroom

Once again, the solution is to clean every item sitting around the toilet. Use your favorite cleaning product to wipe each element – it should be enough to eliminate urine smells from your toilet.

Problem 6: Poor Ventilation System

Sometimes there are no urine stains or leftovers in your toilet, but the urine smell stays there because of poor ventilation. It’s mainly the case in bathrooms with small windows and no exhaust fan.

Solution: Install an Exhaust Fan

It takes a serious bathroom remodeling project to add windows to your toilet, but you can install one of the best exhaust fans. It’s a practical device that removes stubborn urine odors and fends off moisture.

Why Does My Toilet Smell Like Urine if I Use Cleaning Products?

Sometimes you’ll clean the toilet regularly, but the smell of pee is still present. The usual explanation is that you forget to clean all elements around the toilet, like the shower curtain, toilet brushes, and laundry baskets.

Another explanation is that your cleaning product is not too efficient against pee smell. We recommend using natural ingredients such as white vinegar, lemon juice, and baking soda

They are highly efficient, but they don’t harm nature and your health.

Can Worms Make That Urine Odor in My Toilet?

Many homeowners struggle with tiny black worms in their toilets. Although annoying, worms are not the reason why your toilet smells like urine. They just don’t smell like that, so the cause must be something else.

However, worms in the toilet indicate a different problem. It’s not the topic of our article, but worms should warn you to inspect the plumbing system thoroughly.

The Bottom Line

So why does my toilet smell like urine? Now you should know all reasons why it might happen, but let’s run through them briefly:

  • There’s pee on the toilet seat or the floor around the bowl
  • There’s urine under the toilet bowl because the wax seal is damaged
  • Your toilet has a weak flush system
  • Some urine drops may be on other items in the bathroom
  • You have a poor ventilation system in the bathroom

Each of these problems has a specific solution, so remember to follow our tips – they will help you get rid of the smelly toilet.  


What causes a urine smell in my toilet?

Many things can cause a urine smell in your toilet. It mainly happens because you accidentally pee outside the toilet bowl, so some droplets stay on the toilet seat or under the toilet.

How do I stop the toilet from smelling like urine?

If your toilet smells like urine, you have to clean it thoroughly. The second step is to identify the cause of the problem and prevent it. For instance, you could replace the toilet wax ring or start peeing directly into the bowl.

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