Musty Smell in Bathroom & How to Get Rid of

Musty smell in bathroom is not strange thing for most of us, and there are not so many ways to express how disgusting this is. This smell can be generated from different ways like mold, urine, unclean or grimy toilet tank and so on. Along with unpleasant, it is also hazardous to the health of you and your family members. It doesn’t matter where the source of this musty smell is. Actually, this odor is without a doubt, awful and embarrassing also.

We all like to keep our bathroom nice and clean as well as free of any type of stinky smell. But in spite of all the efforts, this bathroom musty smell can be produced and eventually that can be completely intolerable to us if not dealt with in time.

What causes musty smell in your bathroom

There are a number of possible reasons why you’re feeling musty smell in bathroom. But the most common reasons are - if you notice mold in different places in your bathroom, any accidental urine or pee, and such. That being said, you will notice different types of mold such as black mold, red mold, and green mold in house as well as bathroom. Musky smell in bathroom can occur due to these following reasons;

  • Mold: Mold is a very common problem in our bathroom and it can cause bad smell in that area. It grows various places in the bathroom like floor, wall, ceiling, and even inside the bathroom drain, bathtub drain, or sink drain also. 
  • Toilet Tank: Poorly maintained toilet tank or sometimes it is not working properly can cause your bathroom smells musty. The truth of the matter is that mold and mildew builds up in the toilet tank can produce this type of foul-odor that can really be harmful for people living in their home
  • Urine: Urine is another cause of stinky smell in your bathroom. If there is an accidental pee or urine outside of the toilet, it can occur bad odor in bathroom and musky smell in house also. Foul-smell in bathroom can be generated from the urine of children, especially boys those often have a tendency to pee anywhere in the bathroom instead in the toilet

How to get rid of musty smell in bathroom

To get rid of musty smell, you have to remove mold from different places in your bathroom, clean the toilet tank properly, and also remove urine from entire area.

How to remove mold from bathroom

Bathroom is one of the most common places for mold growth because of excess water and humidity. And aside from musty smell it is harmful for health and well-being. Hopefully, there are some cleaning solutions so you can apply to get rid of mold in your bathroom and can keep that area musty smell free. Here are a number of the most effective methods to get mold out from the bathroom.

1. Use vinegar and baking soda to remove bathroom mold
Remove bathroom mold vinegar baking soda

Vinegar and baking soda are great for removing mold from different surfaces in your bathroom. Vinegar is mildly acidic as well as completely chemical free. And baking soda is another non-toxic and super natural cleaning powder. So both are safe and environment-friendly for human and pet also. 

To perform this procedure, you have to gather up a few things:

  • One pair of gloves
  • Googles
  • Safety mask
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Spray bottle

First things first, safety is first. Make sure to wear googles, gloves, and safety mask to protect direct mold exposure. Mold spores can often pollute the air and eventually can cause allergic reaction like sneezing, cough and postnasal drip, runny nose, itchy eyes, and so on.

Mix 2-3 tea spoons of baking soda with 2 cups of vinegar in a spray bottle and shake until it’s mixed properly and made foams. Next spray this solution over the mold affected surface and let it sit for about one hour. After the solution is done its work, scrub vigorously with the help of a scrubbing brush. Then rinse that area with warm water. Repeat the process if needed.

2. Use bleach and warm water to remove bathroom mold.
Remove bathroom mold bleach warm water

Bleach is a very powerful disinfectant so toughest mold and mildew, and bacteria in your bathroom can be removed easily with bleach. And it can also prevent that mold from growing back again. Now you can mix bleach with warm water and make an effective mold removal solution. To use bleach for removing mold from bathroom, you need a few necessities:

  • Googles
  • Rubber gloves
  • Warm water
  • Bleach
  • Towel or clean cloths
  • Scrub brush
  • Respirator

First off, Put on your gloves and cover your eyes with googles. You should also wear respirator as bleach is a toxic substance.

When you go to work in your bathroom with bleach open your bathroom windows for well-ventilation. Now make a solution with 1 part bleach with 10 parts warm water and decant this solution into the spray bottle. Spray this solution the affected area. Let it sit for around 30 minutes.

 Afterwards rub with the clean cloth and rinse with warm water. If the mold or mildew remains on the floor, wall, and anywhere, then you can use sponge to remove stubborn mold. Now all the mold should come off very easily. But if it still does not remove completely, then repeat this process again.

On positive note: You can use Clorox that contains bleach instead of bleach and water solution.

3. Use Hydrogen peroxide to remove bathroom mold
Remove bathroom mold using hydrogen peroxide

The effervescent nature of hydrogen peroxide is an anti- viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal solution that is more effective bleach at reaching as well as killing mold on a various places in your bathroom such as floors, walls, fixtures, and such. Apart from that, hydrogen peroxide is non-toxic that has no side effect like bleach. So it does not cause any hamper in your home or the environment as well. To apply hydrogen peroxide for this process, you gather a few things first;

  • Rubber gloves
  • Googles
  • Scrub brush
  • Spray bottle
  • Dry cloth
  • 3% hydrogen peroxide (Actually, hydrogen peroxide that is used in household cleaning job contains 3% hydrogen peroxide and it is sold in brown bottle at the superstore.

Before starting your work, wear googles and gloves for your extra care. Grab the bottle of 3% hydrogen peroxide and decant it in your spray bottle. Now spray all the mold affected area in your bathroom like walls, floors, shower, and so on. With this in mind, saturate the moldy area thoroughly and let it work for about 30 minutes.

Now with the help of a brush, scrub the surfaces of mold and remove them. If you notice any remaining mold in there, then repeat this easy and simple process to properly clean them up. Afterwards, rinse the bathroom floor or walls with water and dry that places with a dry clean towel or you can also use bathroom fan.

In the same way, you can also remove mold from bathroom ceiling.

Remove mold from bathroom drain, bathtub drain or sink drain

Remove shower drain mold

Another cause of musty smell in bathroom is a problem with the drainage system. It can be bathroom drain, bathtub drain, or sink drain as well. Aside from mold and mildew, there are a lot of factors like hair, soap scum, mineral deposits, sand, dirt, or any small things that can contribute to clog those drains  and create this type of musty smell. And if you don’t eliminate this mold and mildew early enough, it will quickly and easily spread to the rest of the bathroom.

No matter the cause, the main thing you should do is to clean or unclog the drain and keep your bathroom free from musty odor. To do this, you have to gather a few things first;

  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Plunger
  • Hot water
  • Disposable gloves

Now the first thing you need to do is to wear gloves on your hands then start your your job step by step;

1st step: Loosen the screw of the drain

2nd step: Take out the drain cover and clean it nicely to get rid of all the dirt and molds.

3rd step: use a plunger to unclog the drain if it’s clogged.

4th step: Once you’re done with unclogging the drain, pour ½ cup of baking soda into that drain and pour ½ cup white vinegar afterwards. And cover it to make fizzle and work for 30 minutes or so.

5th step: When vinegar and baking soda fizzle finish the work completely, pour about 3 litters of hot water down the drain to clean the residual mold and dirt off.

 Continue this procedure at least once a week to prevent bad smell from returning. By following these methods, you can keep yourself free from mold smell in bathroom easily and nicely.

How to clean toilet tank

Clean Toilet tank

Filthy toilet tank is another source of toilet smells musty. Periodic cleaning of toilet tank (at least twice a year) can prevent this type of unwanted smell and the build-up of bacteria. You can clean the tank by using commercial cleaners and a light scrubbing.

If the toilet tank is dirty with hard water stain along with mineral deposits, then all natural all- star house cleaning products baking soda and vinegar will be best solution. But for toughest dirty tank, you should use quite harsh product bleach.

How to clean toilet tank with vinegar and baking soda

In the following, we are going to share the method on how to clean toilet tank with vinegar and baking soda. To apply this method, you will need a few things:

  • Rubber gloves
  • One cup of baking soda
  • Two cups of white vinegar
  • Scrub brush with long handle
  • One spray bottle
  • One bucket of warm water

First, you have to drain the tank and to do this, switch off the water. You will find this switch on the bathroom wall behind the toilet. When the water is switched off, you will flush the toilet so that all the water of the tank is drained completely. It may need 2-3 flushes depending on its flow rate.

Now decant some vinegar into your spray bottle and then spray it the bottom and sides the toilet tank, especially pay particular attention to the affected areas. After that, sprinkle some baking soda on entire the sprayed surfaces. Let them sit for about 30-40 minutes.

And then with the help of the scrub brush with long hand scrub the bottom, corners, and sides of that tank. Finally, rinse the toilet tank with warm water as well as flush away all the water and stains altogether.
Baking soda and vinegar are not only effective for cleaning your toilet tank but also astounding to leave nice and fresh smell behind.

How to clean toilet tank with bleach

If the toilet tank contains a lot of gunk and mildew build up,  use bleach which is strong enough to clean them.

You will need:

  • Bleach
  • Rubber globes
  • Scrub brush with long handle

First things first, never forget to put on your rubber gloves when using bleach as it is very harsh product. Now sprinkle bleach into your toilet tank. Be sure all the infected areas are thoroughly covered. Let it stand for a number of hours then grab your scrub brush and scrub the thoroughly all over the bottom, into corners, and all around the fixtures also to clean any obvious sign of mildew and dirt. Now switch on your tank and fill it up. Then flush it out properly.

How to remove urine smell from bathroom.

How to remove bathroom urine smell

Urine smell is probably one of the most awful smells in your bathroom that anybody can think of. Even after cleaning that urine, they are most likely to leave stinky odor sometimes. But if you tackle it with a proper way, then removing urine smell will be quite easy for you. In the following, we are going to talk about the most effective method on how to remove urine smell from bathroom.

Here’s what you will need;

  • Lemon juice
  • Baking soda
  • One pair of gloves
  • Microfiber towel
  • Old toothbrush
  • Vinegar

Now the first thing you have to do is to make a cleaning agent with Lemon juice and baking soda. For this, take as many of the fresh lemons as you need and squeeze the juice into a bowl. After that, mix this juice with baking soda and make a paste. With this in mind, this paste should be more like a thick batter consistency not runny.

Once you’re done, put on your gloves and apply this paste all the areas such as the bottom of the seat, back of the toilet tank, Around the toilet seat along with the outside of the toilet tank, or anywhere else you identify a disgusting odor. After you’re done with applying the paste, leave it to work for at least 30 minutes.

Then with the help of a microfiber towel clean that applied areas. On positive note: if your toilet is adjacent to the bathtub with shower curtain, then there is a chance to spread that urine. So, through your shower curtain into the washing machine and wash it with detergent and vinegar to freshen it up.

To improve further, grab the toothbrush, soak it into vinegar and scrub all around the toilet including toilet seat, the lid, and under the seat. Actually, it will help you to remove any residual paste from the applied areas. And finally, wipe away the entire surface in and around the toilet with a microfiber cloth soaked in the vinegar.

Expert tips: Consider using shaving foam after cleaning your bathroom with baking soda and lemon juice to remove urine smell from bathroom. To do this, apply shaving foam in your entire bathroom including toilet, toilet seat, the bottom of the toilet, and such. And allow it to seat for overnight.

After that, clean your bathroom with bleach and water. A last, wash it with only water once more to eliminate residuals and keep your bathroom urine smell free

Additional tips to get rid of musty smell in your bathroom

Apart from that above-stated cleaning methods, you have to maintain your cleaning regimen;

  • Clean your toilet and empty the toilet trash daily
  • Wash the toilet dust bin and bathroom mat thoroughly at least once a week
  • After using the bathroom use any odor eliminator
  • Clean your bathroom regularly and don’t forget to dry it installing overhead fan and opening the window.


We hope now the above-listed cleaning methods, techniques, and additional tips will help you to get rid of any type of musty smell in bathroom once and for all. Moreover, a good ventilation system for coming natural light and air along with good maintenance can also play important role to remove foul-odor from that area. And finally, pretection is better than cure so clean your bathroom regularly, dry it as quickly as possible, and enjoy nice and healthy environment in your bathroom and home.

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