Two Easy Ways to Fix a Smelly Shower Drain

We like to think of our bathrooms as a peaceful, spa-like escape. But that’s impossible to do if a foul odor is coming out of your shower drain. If you have to hold your nose while you bathe, then this article is for you. Here are the two most common causes of a smelly shower drain – and what you can do to solve the issue.

shower floor drain in a bathroom

Reason #1: Problem with the P-trap

If you can look underneath the shower drain, you’ll see a U-shaped pipe that water passes through. This is called a P-trap, and the purpose is to hold a small amount of water at all times to block sewage gasses from coming back up the pipe and into your bathroom.

If you  haven’t used the shower in a while, it’s possible that the water in the P-trap has evaporated. This is an easy fix – just run water in the shower for a few minutes and the P-trap will refill and the smell should go away.

However, if you have used the shower recently, it could be a sign that there’s a leak in the P-trap. If that’s the case, the pipe needs to be replaced to resolve the smell and prevent further water damage in your home.

Reason #2: Buildup of biofilm

Biofilm is a thin, slimy layer of bacteria that can grow from all the water, soap, shampoo, and body oils that go down the shower drain and accumulate inside the pipes. Not only does this sound gross, it can also smell pretty bad.

So how can you get rid of biofilm? You can try killing the bacteria with one these household solutions:

  • Mix 1 part bleach and 1 part water, then pour down the drain.
  • First, pour one cup of baking soda down the drain. Then add a cup of white vinegar. Cover the drain as the mixture fizzes, then flush with hot water.

If hair gets stuck in the drain or pipes, it can make the biofilm issue even worse (not to mention start a clog). Often, if you can remove the hair, then the smell will go away.  

You don’t have to suffer from a smelly shower drain. If you try these DIY tips and still can’t get rid of the stench, call the experts at Ricks Plumbing at (203) 874-6629. We’ll fix the problem so you can go back to enjoying your bathroom oasis.