How To Clean A Shower Drain
There’s nothing less relaxing than getting ready to take a nice bath or shower only to be greeted by a smelly shower drain odor. Even worse is realizing the water isn’t going down after you’ve already toweled off.
A clogged shower drain is a nuisance, especially if it happens frequently. Whether you have excess soap scum, long hair, or something else that’s clogging your pipes or causing a smelly shower drain, this is a problem that doesn’t go away on its own and must be handled immediately. Luckily, most shower drain odor and clog issues are easy to handle if you know how to clean a shower drain the right way. Then, take some precautionary measures to prevent a clogged shower drain in the future.
Understand that if you can’t get rid of shower drain smells on your own, the water doesn’t drainor worse, is backing upit could be an issue with the lines feeding into your sewer or septic tank. This is likely not a DIY fix, so it’s best to hire professional help. Just make sure you are hiring a plumber who is both licensed and insured.
When To Hire A Professional
Mold smells can be more challenging to remove than we may think. When done improperly, one can spread the colonies instead of eradicating them. Here are a few situations when its best to call a professional to help:
- No visual: If you can smell the mold but cant find the source.
- Medium molded area: If mold has expanded over 10 to 30 square feet, a professional should assess the situation and make recommendations.
- Large molded area: A qualified person should tackle the task if mold covers over 30 square feet. You may also want to address the insulation issue .
- Mold keeps growing back: There may be hidden spores that keep reviving the colony.
Where To Check For Mold And Mildew
If youre looking for any mold and mildew in your home and cant seem to track down the exact source of those musty odors, here are a few spots you can check.
- Look for any water leaks. You make have water leaks or small puddles under the sinks in your bathrooms or kitchen that have allowed mold to grow.
- Likewise, check your shower! A shower or tub with cracks in the tub caulking could be causing the problem.
- Check and clean your garbage disposal and dishwasher filter.
- Laundry rooms can also be a culprit of that dreaded mildew smell. Make sure no mold is growing in your washing machine! This is especially likely if your washing machine has trouble drying out after a cycle.
- Look in your closets or basement. Check for any areas that are dark, warm, and humid.
- Check your air filters they may need to be replaced to get fresh air flowing again!
Once you find the affected area, there are a few ways to get rid of that mildew problem. Ill get to those in a second, but first, I want to go over some safety precautions.
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Find The Source Of The Mildew And Musty Smell
If the source of the mildew and the musty smell isnt immediately apparent, remove as many items as possible from the area and inspect all corners, ceilings, grout, tile, tub caulking, and porous objects, such as carpets, clothing, and upholstered furniture. It may be necessary to remove all items from the room entirely to find the source.
Clearing Mold From Clothes
If youve spotted mold on your garments, you may dry clean, hand wash, or use a washer. Although the drying process comes last, its role is critical.
Have you recently found mold on your clothes and are afraid to touch it? Place it in a sealed plastic bag and let your dry cleaner handle it.
If the moldy area isnt that obvious, tell your dry cleaner about the fungal growth. If you dont, other peoples clothes could be contaminated.
This might be the most convenient method of removing the fungus. Only place infected clothes inside your washer you dont want to spread the spores onto clean clothes. Unless youre cleaning delicate garments, select the hottest mode.
The hand washing technique can also be used before or after cleaning your clothes in the washer. If you only have one cloth or towel to clean, a bucket with hot water might suffice.
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Locate The Source Of The Musty Smell
It’s time to take a look and a sniff around. Until you identify the source of the musty smell, you’ll never be able to get rid of itand it can get worse. Begin your search in areas that are often warm and moist, like a bathroom. Check for mildew growth in the shower, on the shower curtain, and leaks around sinks, tubs, and toilets.
In the kitchen, look for leaks around the sink and dishwasher. Check under and in the refrigerator and small appliances that use water, like coffee makers and tea kettles. Be sure to also check the trashcan, as mildew could be growing under the disposable trash bag liner.
In the bedroom and living areas, look around window seals for leaks and under potted plants that can leak. Check closets for mildew caused by storing damp shoes or clothes.
Don’t forget to take a trip to the attic, basement, and garage to check for damp areas around windows, water heaters, and vents.
Check for leaks around the washer and around the doors of front-load washers that can harbor mildew in the laundry room. Be sure that your dryer vent is clean and that the outdoor vent is not blocked, so there is good airflow to eliminate moisture.
Assess The Toilet Tank
If you clean your bowl regularly and it looks mold-free, then the problem may be in the toilet tank. Pop off the lid on the tank and have a look at the water quality. Do you see any green, white, black or brown growth? Any could be the mold culprit youre looking for. You could have your plumber clean the bowl, or you could do it yourself if youre comfortable with the basic parts of the toilet.
Connect the float to the flusher so that it wont drop when the water level drops. Flush the toilet to empty the tank. Then use a cleaning spray to remove the mold. A heavy-duty spray that is meant to kill a large percentage of germs is fine, as long as your rinse out the cleaner afterwards. Once youre done, release the float so the water returns. Flush the toilet a few times to rinse. You may have to repeat this process a few times over the next few days to ensure the mold growth has stopped.
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How Do You Get Rid Of Mold Smelling Bacteria And Indoors
A regular cleaning schedule and checking of vulnerable areas is the right thing to do. Not only can you get rid of unpleasant smells but prevent them. The use of disinfectants and deep cleaners can come in handy. If you want a cheaper solution, go DIY with vinegar and baking soda, which are excellent at odor removal.
What Does Mildew Smell Like
When people say something smells musty, they often mean they smell mildew. Mildew in the house can smell like wet socks, rotting wood or paper. Mildew is an early form of mold and a quick way to determine which one you have is to see if the smell persists after youve ventilated the area. If the smell persists then you likely have mold but if it goes away you probably have mildew.
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Use Bleach To Remove The Musty Smell
An alternative solution to removing the musty smell in your shower drain is using household bleach.
It is the most common mold killer and it is found in many commercial mold killers. Other than killing mold, it will kill bacteria in your bathroom common for causing a sewer-like rotten egg smell.
Heres how to get rid of the unpleasant mildew smell from your shower drain using bleach:
The fizzing usually comes from baking soda reacting with vinegar, so it shouldnt worry you. However, you should note that extremely hot water can damage any plastic plumbing in your bathroom,
The bleach, baking soda, and hot water will get rid of the mildew smell in your shower and bathroom. It will kill any mold off. If you see any moldy surface, apply the same treatment to prevent any unpleasant odors thereafter.
Why Does My Home Smell Like Mold
The reason your home smells like mildew or mold is because it is likely there are spores floating around in the air. Your homes ventilation system could be causing a little bit of humidity to get trapped inside, which breeds these moldy smells.
These mold spores can grow anywhere, but they tend to grow most often in places with less traffic or extra moisture .
You might think that mold and musty odors only happen in old homes, but they can grow even in new houses and buildings. Mold just needs darkness, air, moisture, and warmth to grow.
So, if you have begun to smell mold in your home, how do you get rid of it?
Dont worry there are a few ways you can get rid of that musty smell quickly and easily!
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Shower Drain Smells Like Mildew : Causes And Fixes
A musty or mildew-like smell from your shower drain or bathroom sink is a sign of mold or mildew.
The warm and wet conditions in most drainage systems in the home provide the best breeding grounds for mold and mildew.
If you dont get rid of mold in your bathroom, it could easily spread to the rest of the home and cause health problems. A shower drain that smells like mildew has mildew and mold growing under the drain cover.
The best way to get rid of the musty smell is to pour baking soda into the drain, followed by white vinegar and then boiling water. This will kill the mildew and eliminate the musty smell as well.
The constant damp conditions in the shower drain, coupled with the dirt that serves as nutrients, provide the best conditions for mold and mildew to grow within the drain.
These microorganisms emit a musty or mildew-like smell that increases with time. Clearing out the mold requires using a mix of baking soda and vinegar, or bleach and white vinegar. Be aware, that ants are also attracted to mildew.
How To Remove Toxic Mold And Smell In Drain Pipes
Anywhere there is moisture that sits for a prolonged time period and is a food source, you are most likely going to find mold.
That is why a favorite hiding and breeding place for molds is in and on the drains of your property.
Your drains serve as the delivery mechanism for all the dirty water and food waste that your property produces and delivers it to the city sewer pipes.
Over time, these wastes such as human hair, dead skin, and old food deposits start to build up in places like the the P-trap, which is the S-shaped pipe located underneath the sink and other areas.
The odor may be coming from the drain trap, which is designed to hold water and prevent sewer gases from entering your home through the pipe. If the trap has a clog from hair and other debris, it cant do its job properly.
One of the best ways to get rid of an odor in a bathroom drain is to remove the clog.
The build-up is the perfect food for various molds and bacteria that will start to grow on the inside of the pipes if you do not clean and maintain them properly. This is a problem that is more common in older homes, but can happen anywhere.
As these microorganisms start to thrive, they reproduce more offspring as millions die to then become food for the new generation of microbes. Before you know it, your drains will be covered in a thick, pathogenic and toxic bio-slime that will create a foul smell.
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What Is Causing A Mildew Smell In My Bathroom If I Have No Visible Signs Of Mold
You won’t necessarily see evidence of mold in your home mold is ubiquitous, and you may have hidden mold in damp areas, such as your bathroom. If you smell mildew in your bathroom, it may be behind wallpaper or drywall, underneath flooring or in the attic.
The Environmental Protection Agency states that while locating hidden mold is difficult, cleaning what you can and reducing the humidity level in your bathroom will keep it under control.
How To Prevent That Musty Smell From Returning
The best way to prevent a musty smell from returning is by maximizing air circulation and minimizing dampness as much as possible. Install fans in your bathrooms, kitchen, and basement, and try to keep them running whenever moisture enters your home, such as the day of a rainstorm, while showering, or when cooking. After bathing or cooking, leave the fans on to allow the area to dry fully.
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Try A Diluted Bleach Mixture
If you have located the area causing the mildew smell, Bob Vila suggests using a bleach mixture that consists of four parts water mixed with one part bleach to give the area a good scrub with a rough sponge. Healthline suggests using extra protection such as gloves and glasses while cleaning with bleach, and wear some older clothes that you don’t mind ruining when working with bleach, it’s likely that they’ll become damaged.
However, suppose you’re not in the mood to DIY we totally get that! In that case, several products can be found on the market to treat mold and mildew on various surfaces, such as Concrobium 25326 Mold Control Spray, which can tackle mold and mildew odors, preventing it from coming back. RMR-86 Instant Mold and Mildew Stain Remover Spray is a great option to keep your shower clean and mold-free. If your fabrics and clothes have fallen prey to mildew or mold, there are thankfully products online and in stores tailored to that, too!
When Is It Time To Call A Professional For A Musty Smell In The Bathroom
If you believe there is mold growing in your walls, you need to call your local professional. This isnt something to wait on either. The longer mold is allowed to spread, the more damage it can cause to your house and your overall health.
Extreme mold removal is best left to a specialist. They have the proper protective equipment to get the job done.
Some instances call for HazMat suits and respirators to protect the professionals lungs. The protective gear will protect them from breathing in dangerous spores. These spores become airborne when professionals remove the mold.
Many companies deal specifically with water damage and mold remediation. A simple google search will pull up a list of your closest professionals equipped to help fix the problem.
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My Bathroom Smells Musty
Do you find yourself saying, My bathroom smells musty more and more these days? Youre not alone! Bathrooms are, by nature, warm and humidthe perfect environment for mold and mildew to develop. But if your nose is telling you that its more than just an average day in the average bathroom, it could be something more than shower steam.
Why is my bathroom so musty?
The amount of water used in a bathroom, especially hot water, can lead to a constantly humid environment. It can be a challenge to clear the air and keep things dry. But if you smell something musty, its probably coming from the fungus that causes mold.
Whats the deal with mold?
Mold can be sneaky. It grows behind walls and inside cabinets. It can take hold in the folds of your shower curtain or behind towels, picture frames, or mirrors. It can build up on your tile grout and on your paint, inside your light fixtures and fan, and around your faucets, toilets, and bathtub.
Not only does it smell bad, but it can also be hazardous to the health and well-being of you and your family. Exposure to mold can cause headaches, runny nose, aching sinuses, fatigue, nausea, nosebleeds, and respiratory issues. And its not just the visible mold thats the problem. If mold is disturbed, the spores can detach and become airborne. When this happens, it can make your mold-related health issues worse, as well as spread to other areas of your home.
What can I do if my bathroom smells musty?