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Mystery toilet smell...


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#1 linen_and_lace

Posted 18 July 2019 - 07:48 PM

Ok, this is a little embarrassing. So a few weeks ago, I noticed the toilet room was a bit smelly. I though it had a vague urine-y smell. I had slacked off on cleaning so I did a deep clean, including scrubbing the floor and kick tiles, taking off the toilet seat etc.

Next day, it smelled again. I had a look inside the cistern - it doesn't look too bad - a little bit of muck at the very bottom corners but overall what I suppose a toilet cistern should look like. I poured some vinegar in there, it turned the water pink for a few flushes.

Next day, smelled again.

In the meantime, we had a sewerage issue (toilet not flushing properly and then woke one morning to raw sewerage in the backyard eeww) and had a plumber out who jet blasted the pipes and got rid of some fibrous tree roots blocking it up. No more sewerage issue, but still the smell.

By now, have worked out that the smell is generally not there in the morning. By about 4pm its starting to get stinky. 7pm and you can smell it wafting down the hallway, even with the door closed. Its a slightly musty, urine-y sort of smell still. Dead animal even??

The man-hole is in the toilet room. Quick inspection doesn't reveal any dead animals in the roof cavity. There is some minor mould on the ceiling of the toilet room - had a mould inspection (for the whole house) - no major issues except gutters need cleaning and there's some overhanging trees.

Cannot work out what this smell is. It's probably been close to a month. I've done a second deep clean and regular normal cleaning.

Any ideas??

#2 JomoMum

Posted 18 July 2019 - 07:58 PM

How frustrating to not be able to find it.

The only thing I was going to suggest would have been covered by a deep clean. We have a mat around the toilet on the floor as DS tends to miss the bowl sometimes, especially during the night or first thing in the morning.

So if our toilet ever gets on the nose, I know it’s either the mat, or the grout holding the smell (which seems to really hold the smell when I mop over the tiles), so it involves a down on your hands and knees scrub of the grout lines.

Is there a floor drain? Has that been inspected?

#3 linen_and_lace

Posted 18 July 2019 - 08:02 PM

No floor drain. And yeah I have hands and knees scrubbed the floor tiles and grout :(

#4 MooGuru

Posted 18 July 2019 - 08:09 PM

There was a thread a while ago where I think someone mentioned a person having very strong smelling urine and the smell lingering?
Could you try a different toilet cleaner? We recently tried one and it almost seemed to have a public toilet aroma

#5 rosie28

Posted 18 July 2019 - 08:39 PM

Clean with an enzyme based cleaner if you haven’t already. Focus on the grout as it might be hiding in there.  Puppy wee neutraliser is also good. I spray that around the kids’ bathroom before the cleaner mops and it keeps the smell at bay. Only one DS (so far) and he has good aim but still!

Edited by rosie28, 18 July 2019 - 08:39 PM.


#6 ~LemonMyrtle~

Posted 18 July 2019 - 08:42 PM

What is near the toilet? Laundry? Bathroom?

Do you have pets or children? Could it be wee in a random spot that was done and not noticed? Could be in the carpet, in the bath, seeped into an architrave. Seeped beneath a cabinet.

Stinky wee smell can be rat/mouse urine too. They can wee or poo in hard to reach places.

Oh, and clean the toilet brush, the toilet brush holder, toilet paper holder, bin, anything in there that may have some splashed wee on it.

Edited by ~LemonMyrtle~, 18 July 2019 - 08:44 PM.


#7 Jenflea

Posted 18 July 2019 - 08:45 PM

Floor drain was my suggestion too.
It doesn't have to be in the toilet, is there one in a bathroom next door?

#8 linen_and_lace

Posted 18 July 2019 - 08:46 PM

I don't think any of us has particularly strong smelling urine.

I am pregnant so have been doing the 'natural' cleaning products thing. Maybe I need to get a bottle of white king and send DH in there.

Failing that - where do I get an enzyme based cleaner?

Thanks for the suggestions.

#9 FeralZombieMum

Posted 18 July 2019 - 08:50 PM

I would run all the taps in the area, as it could be an air pocket.

Then I would get some active enzyme pellets - either from Bunnings or a supermarket. Follow the instructions, and put down all the drains.

#10 linen_and_lace

Posted 18 July 2019 - 08:50 PM

I have cleaned every surface in the toilet, including the brush and roll holder etc.

Bathroom is sort of diagonally opposite, I don't think it's the problem. I cleaned the floor drain in the bathroom on the weekend and it hasn't helped.

That's interesting re rat/mouse wee. I don't think we have any in the house, but there's definitely some kind of creature in the roof every now and then, I hear it at night. Might get DH to have a better look up there. I wonder if they've soiled the insulation?

#11 LucyGoose

Posted 18 July 2019 - 08:50 PM

My friend was telling me of a similar issue and the problem was some of the seals on the cistern. Was fixed by a trip to Bunnings.   Might be worth looking at.

#12 Lifesgood

Posted 18 July 2019 - 09:04 PM

View PostLucyGoose, on 18 July 2019 - 08:50 PM, said:

My friend was telling me of a similar issue and the problem was some of the seals on the cistern. Was fixed by a trip to Bunnings.   Might be worth looking at.
We had the same problem and it turned out to be this.

How old is your toilet?

There is a rubber seal where the toilet connects to the sewer pipe and eventually it goes. Once that happens you have toilet water leaking into the base of the toilet.

The smell would get stronger during the day as it warms up and then calm down at night as it cools again.

#13 linen_and_lace

Posted 18 July 2019 - 09:12 PM

View PostLifesgood, on 18 July 2019 - 09:04 PM, said:


We had the same problem and it turned out to be this.

How old is your toilet?

There is a rubber seal where the toilet connects to the sewer pipe and eventually it goes. Once that happens you have toilet water leaking into the base of the toilet.

The smell would get stronger during the day as it warms up and then calm down at night as it cools again.

Ok I will definitely get DH to look into this...the most perplexing thing has been the timing - really smelly in the afternoon/evening and gone by morning. Toilet is only about 5 years old but it does sound like maybe this is what it is.

#14 rosie28

Posted 18 July 2019 - 09:37 PM

View PostABabyPlease, on 18 July 2019 - 09:30 PM, said:

On another tangent, I was worried about potentially being the oldest in Mothers Group, and I was. Even though there were some women closer to my age, the person I bonded with the most was at least ten years younger than me. So don't give up on the younger ones. I'm always the oldest amongst DS friends parents.

Enzyme cleaners are available in supermarkets. There are even laundry detergents with enzymes, or any odour neutraliser will probably work- just check the bottle.

Edited by rosie28, 18 July 2019 - 09:44 PM.


#15 400

Posted 18 July 2019 - 09:42 PM

View Postlinen_and_lace, on 18 July 2019 - 08:46 PM, said:

I am pregnant so have been doing the 'natural' cleaning products thing. Maybe I need to get a bottle of white king and send DH in there.

Just checking... others can smell it too, like, it’s not your super pregnancy nose that is picking this up?

#16 MooGuru

Posted 18 July 2019 - 09:43 PM

View Postrosie28, on 18 July 2019 - 09:37 PM, said:

Enzyme cleaners are available in supermarkets. There are even laundry detergents with enzymes, or any door neutraliser will probably work- just check the bottle.

What is a door neutraliser?

#17 rosie28

Posted 18 July 2019 - 09:44 PM

View PostMooGuru, on 18 July 2019 - 09:43 PM, said:



What is a door neutraliser?

Haha typo. Odour neutraliser.

#18 qak

Posted 18 July 2019 - 09:53 PM

View Post400, on 18 July 2019 - 09:42 PM, said:

Just checking... others can smell it too, like, it’s not your super pregnancy nose that is picking this up?

I was thinking this too? Does anyone else smell it?

I think plain home brand white vinegar works for urine in grout anyway, just slosh it around (don't slip!) and swab it with a mop and let it stand for a while before mopping up.

#19 linen_and_lace

Posted 18 July 2019 - 09:53 PM

View Post400, on 18 July 2019 - 09:42 PM, said:



Just checking... others can smell it too, like, it’s not your super pregnancy nose that is picking this up?

Haha yep everyone can smell it! 3.5yr DD even walks in there with her nose scrunched up and exclaims "it smells like something died in here"!

#20 linen_and_lace

Posted 18 July 2019 - 09:54 PM

Thanks everyone, I've got a few things to try.

#21 EmmDasher

Posted 18 July 2019 - 09:59 PM

View Postlinen_and_lace, on 18 July 2019 - 08:50 PM, said:

I have cleaned every surface in the toilet, including the brush and roll holder etc.

Bathroom is sort of diagonally opposite, I don't think it's the problem. I cleaned the floor drain in the bathroom on the weekend and it hasn't helped.

That's interesting re rat/mouse wee. I don't think we have any in the house, but there's definitely some kind of creature in the roof every now and then, I hear it at night. Might get DH to have a better look up there. I wonder if they've soiled the insulation?
m

If you have a possum in the roof, it could be peeing up there during the day and making things pretty stinky. They’re nocturnal so they vacate at night.

#22 TheirMum2

Posted 18 July 2019 - 10:03 PM

There have been several articles recently about using shaving cream to neutralise the smell of urine. I don't know how accurate this is (I haven't tried it yet as I keep forgetting to buy the shaving cream), but it might be something else that you could try to get rid of the smell. It is suggested that you spray it on the toilet, seat, floor etc.

I often think that toilet cleaners actually smell like urine and worry that visitors to the house will think my toilet is dirty.

Maybe get someone else to do the cleaning if you decide to try it, as it can be very slippery.

#23 nasty buddha

Posted 18 July 2019 - 10:25 PM

In my experience, the sun heating the roof makes rodent/possum pee stink at end of the day and on hotter days.

#24 Diamonddream

Posted 18 July 2019 - 10:43 PM

Yep. We had this too and it was the seal thingy as well. Fixed instantly by our legend plumber!! Not a job anyone in my house was willing to tackle!!

#25 I'mBeachedAs

Posted 19 July 2019 - 06:04 PM

View Post400, on 18 July 2019 - 09:42 PM, said:



Just checking... others can smell it too, like, it’s not your super pregnancy nose that is picking this up?
Yep, agree with this. Check if other people can smell it. I was convinced something stunk in the fridge my entire pregnancy with my eldest. Every weekend I'd make my husband clean out the fridge and still I'd be gagging. The bad smell magically disappeared with the placenta 😂




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