Why Does My Shower Drain Smell?

Ever stepped into your shower, turned on the water and noticed a foul and unpleasant odor emanating from your drain? Well, you aren’t alone. This is a relatively common problem. Fortunately, you can usually fix it at little to no cost. Sometimes drains and pipes smell for no obvious reason, but other times it’s a result of your shower drain being clogged, or water stagnating in the bottom of the drain.

Here are six easy steps you can take to remediate the issue and prevent future odors from stinking up your shower.

  1. Remove the drain trap in your shower with a flat head screwdriver. Be sure to use a screwdriver with a magnetic head so you don’t accidentally drop the screw down the drain. Pull up the drain trap by carefully inserting the screwdriver underneath the edges of the trap. Then, reach in and pull out any gunk you can get your hands on. For the last part, you may want to use gloves!
  2. Boil a gallon of water and pour it slowly down the drain. This will flush out bacteria that may be causing the odor.
  3. Sprinkle one cup of baking soda down the drain and let it sit there (don’t turn on the faucet) for about 30 minutes. Baking soda absorbs and neutralizes odors.
  4. Chase the baking soda down the drain with three cups of white vinegar. Again, pour slowly for maximum efficiency. The vinegar will kill any bacteria the water couldn’t handle, as well sludge inside the drainpipe.
  5. Reinstall the trap.
  6. Wait at least a day before you shower again. Realistically, the longer you let the baking soda and vinegar chill inside the drain, the better.