How to deal with unpleasant smells from your toilet?

We all know that toilets can't smell fresh all the time, but some smells aren't just down to a recent human visit!

In most household environments, the usage of the toilet is relatively low, so a good cleaning regime that includes the cistern, the rim of the toilet and removing the toilet seat to clean where bacteria and moulds can form, coupled with good ventilation, should be enough for any smells to be shortlived.

However, some toilet areas have a lot of persistent smells and this can be a particular issue in public restrooms/washrooms.

10 tips to reduce odours in household and public toilets

1. Washing and drying towels

Wet, dirty towels are a huge source of bacteria, this is one of the reasons for the decline in roller towels in public toilets.

2. Make sure you close the toilet seat after going!

Flushing can cause 'toilet plume' and spead the odour and bacteria. Put up some polite signage in your workplace toilet to encourage others. Something like '9/10 people close the toilet lid after flushing to reduce smells, please show the same courtesy' This will guilt the majority into doing so!

Virus close up

3. Clean your ventilation every six months at least.

Come on do you honestly do this at home? This should be a priority in a busy public or workplace washroom considering the sheer volume of traffic.

Washroom ventilation

4. Open windows or activate ventilation

This goes for when in the shower, as well as while on the toilet. This is one for household toilets as workplace and public toilets will generally have automatic systems.

5. Use a odour eliminator rather than an air freshener

Air fresheners may just combine fragrance with bad smells. Facilities managers should look at a constant delivery system that doesn't just fragrance but also eliminates.

6. Electric air and surface sterlisation

If he problem is bad or you want a prevention system in place, you may wish to look at a electric Air sterilsation unit that runs constantly and eliminates the source of odours by killing airbourne and surface bacteria, this is often more necessary in a commercial restroom/washroom where the traffic levels are high but is worth considering in the home to maintain good hygiene inbetween cleaning sessions. This is one of the cheapest ways to turn around the image of your bathroom/washroom through effective odour control and creating a fresh environment.

7. Try desiccants

These absorb moisture, often mildew is the cause of unwanted odours. They can look quite attractive placed in bowels on vanity top surfaces. 

8. Clean drains regularly 

A particularly damp area that needs tackling regularly. There are numerous specialist products or even take a look at the home made remedies available, there are plenty of suggestions online for natural solutions, most of which seem to be vinegar and lemon based.

9. Careful what gets flushed down the toilet!

In a public restroom the use of paper towels often leads to blocked pipes which can result in open waste sitting in the pan. Paper towels are often used to create a barrier between ones bottom and the toilet seat by people with a phobia, then flushed down the toilet. This is actually a largely unfounded fear as toilet seats are specifically design to repel bacteria through there shape and material. Anyhow, we have all encountered these scenarios and there is nothing more unpleasant than a blocked toilet with old human excrement sat in the bowl. Smelly, unhygienic and costly to resolve. 

10. You could try an electric hand dryer

Rather than using a paper or cloth towels, hand dryers can collect and drain moisture or evaporate it completely, creating a dryer environments. Paper or cloth towels remain wet and dirty either in the bin or in a dispenser. This could apply to a public or domestic restoom/washroom. There are even hand dryers that include a fragrance in the airflow to deliver a pleasant smell into the air and specific hand dryers for the home which are highly compact.

Other measures

As a preventative method, try to design a bathroom that doesn't have too many crevices or hard to reach areas that are difficult to clean. Grouted tiling on the floor can cause issues, make sure this is being sealed properly and maintained or look for an alternative during refurbishment or design phase. There are special odour or moisture resistant surfaces that can be used, this foresight can be significant in nursing homes and pre-schools where toilet related accidents can happen more frequently.

In some cases the only choice maybe a professional deep clean or beyond that a complete or partial refurbishment. Urine is often the cause, it could be soaked into timber or between tiles, gathering behind duct sets or leaking from concealed pipes. Uric acid can even build up in waste pipes. In female public washrooms it is common for bad smells to originate from the toilet waste pipes.

We hope you found some of this information useful.

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