What Are the Most Common Sources of Odours in the Bathroom and How to Get Rid of Them?

Although it is a topic almost no-one wants to deal with, a responsible manager should not overlook it. The thing in question is bathroom odour and its possible sources which can vary to a large extent and be quite surprising.

Urine

The reason number one, which probably does not come as a surprise, is urine. However, what might be surprising is the fact that this smell tends to spread more from the u-bend trap part of the urinal trap than from the toilet itself. The u-bend trap can plug up easily and attract moisture, creating a place in which various bacteria producing odours thrive.

Another source of this odour are tiny droplets of urine caught on the floor and walls of the bathroom. We tend to overlook urine on these surfaces more often than when it is in the form of a spill on the floor. However, it undergoes the same chemical process, attracting moisture and becoming a haven for bacteria whose odour we smell in the bathroom. The solution to these problems is a regular maintenance and tidying up of the bathroom – whether it is its technical side (connected to the occasional change of the u-bend trap) or the more traditional, cleaning one – with an even bigger focus on cleaning of not only the floor but also the vertical surfaces.

The Floor: Collapsed Drain and Cracks

A large source of bathroom odour are cracks between tiles, behind the faucet or the hot-water boiler. Water tends to get into these small spaces and create a humid environment in which various bacteria producing odours thrive. In order to avoid such problems, you should think about this aspect already when installing bathroom appliances and not leave any extra spaces and cracks. In case they appear in time, it is best to fill them with an insulating paste.

Another place where bacteria thrive even more are floor joints. Since the floor is cleaned regularly with water, these small cracks are, once again, filled with moisture which bacteria love. Another factor helping the spread of bacteria is the fact that – unlike at home – we enter the common bathrooms in shoes. And shoes are, according to a study by a University of Arizona, a place on which bacteria thrive even more than on a toilet seat.

Pipes

Another cause of a smelly bathroom might be burst or insufficiently tightened pipes. An odour filling the whole bathroom might come from a tiny crack exhaling the so-called sewer gas (a complex mixture of toxic and non toxic gases).  A regular check of bathroom pipes is a must that can save you a lot of money.

Rather than just covering the scent with an endless supply of air fresheners, it is more useful to focus on the cause of the problems. Behind every annoying toilet scent might be just a small crack in the pipe or a clogged u-bend trap – a problem that can be solved in a matter of minutes and radically change the bathroom experience for your employees or visitors.

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