bathroom smells like urine after shower

6 Reasons Why Your Bathroom Smells Like Urine After Shower

If your bathroom smells like urine after shower, the first thing you must do is to determine the source of the smell or what could be causing it due to the elevated temperature and humidity that makes the odor bloom.

That can be frustrating and  disgusting to sniff and check around, it will save you tons of cleaning time. However if you have not done a thorough cleaning of your bathroom recently then you should take care of that first. 

If you have already done so and the problem persists, do not worry. In this article we discuss common and uncommon causes of the urine smell after a shower and ways you can fix the problem easily.

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Reasons your bathroom smells like urine after shower

Old Urine in Shower Drain

You will be surprised to know that about 70 % of people confess to urinating in the shower. And if the drain is not thoroughly deodorized then the smell of urine will linger back especially after you shower.

Mold on floor or shower walls 

It could be smell from an unnoticeable mold growth in between floor tile grout or shower walls. Bleach in low concentration can easily get rid of mold in between grout.

If there are any cracks in the grout letting water behind it, this also activates ammonia smell. This can be isolated if you cover parts of the bathroom with plastic sheeting and sniff under each after some time has passed.

Check the medicine cabinet

Do not overlook that the smell could be emanating from expired medicines in your cabinet or shelf. You just would want to leave anything unchecked.

In particular check outdated vitamins releasing pungent smells or old cotton wools that might have mold growing on them.

See also Why is there urine around the base of the toilet?

Potted plants

With the trend of having potted plants in bathrooms, they could be the source of the unpleasant smell. If the water gets stagnant in the pot it ends up smelly and slimy. You will need to pitch the plants outside to get rid of the odor.

Inspect wax seal under the toilet

For this, you might need a plumber or if you are up for a DIY then you can save on that bill. You will need to unscrew the toilet floor bolts, lifting and check the wax ring underneath.

In some cases, due to a partly not so level floor. Urine leaks find their way underneath and once humidity rises when you shower, the odor finds a way out. 

Solution would be to seal around the front of the toilet with silicone grout to avoid urine misses from wicking inside again.

Old scrub brush or bath mat

You could have inspected everything and found no problem. But another source of ammonia smell could be coming from an old scrub brush which over time accumulated dirt and wasn’t deodorized.

Urine splatter onto bath mats or shower mats might be causing the odor. You can choose to deodorize or get a new one.

Read also How Do I Stop Peeing Under the Toilet Seat

How prevent bathroom smelling like urine after shower

Cleaning Shower Drain

To get rid of this you will need to use baking soda as the deodorizer and white vinegar. Pour ¼ cup of baking soda down the drain followed by ½ cup white vinegar. 

The two will foam which is normal, then cover the drain for 30 minutes. Follow it with about 2 L of boiling water and rinse till the odor is clear. 

Read also Is drano Safe for Shower Drains

Use mildew cleaner frequently

You can choose to make your own homemade mix of distilled white vinegar either straight or diluted with water. Or use bleach and two parts of warm water to clean your shower wall, tile and floor.

In the case mold and mildew is not on shower walls and ceiling, the shower curtain is the breeding area. Getting a mold and mildew resistant shower liner will keep the problem at bay.

You can also use a mold and mildew remover gel on hard to clean areas such as around the tub and sink sealant.

Frequent bathroom thorough cleaning 

Clean the tub, tub floor, shower walls, shower curtain or glass door, shower head and all bathroom fixtures. Clean until pristine taking care of overlooked areas such as in water traps in the sink, tub, soap dish on wall and under shower doors. 

To keep your bathroom sparkling daily, you should wipe down shower walls and doors with a squeegee to leave it dry. Use a natural shower spray cleaner that is plant based and non toxic with no scrubbing required to keep it smelling fresh and mold free.

Ventilate your bathroom often

Humid areas are breeding grounds for mold. You will need to open bathroom windows after you shower. Run bathroom exhaust fans during and for about 30 minutes after you shower.

For windowless bathrooms a dehumidifier could be a great alternative to keep the humidity less than 50%.

Consider also wiping down all wet areas after you shower. Keep the shower curtain up and spray the shower mat with a mold and mildew remover spray every so often. 

See Also Why Luxe bidet toilet seat doesn’t fit


It is quite frustrating when your bathroom smells like urine after shower. However, this should not give you sleepless nights. First thing is to identify the source of the problem. 

It could be old urine from the shower drain, mold on the floor or shower walls, expired medicine in the cabinet, wicked urine under the toilet, an old scrub brush or potted plants in your bathroom.

Baking soda and white vinegar will quite easily solve these problems. You can use it to thoroughly deodorize the shower drain, get rid of mold and deodorize your shower walls and floor off any urine leaks.

Read also How to protect bathroom floor from urine

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