Is Your Shower Drain Smelling? Here’s Why It’s Happening, and What You Can Do about It

Is Your Shower Drain Smelling? Here’s Why It’s Happening, and What You Can Do about It

After a long tiring day at work, nothing helps you regain your sanity like a warm, comforting shower. A warm shower melts your stress and worries away. However, if the shower drains smell like sewer, you wouldn’t want to spend too long in there.

Here’s why your shower drain may be smelling and what you can do about it:

Causes of a Smelling Shower


  • Drain clogs are one of the most common causes of smelling causes. Drains clog when you flush down items that are not meant to go down the drain. Common contributors to clogs include mineral deposits, sand, dirt, debris, small items, hair, and soap scum. At times, the soap scum binds to the hair and creates a solid obstruction.


  • Another cause of bad odor is a dirty P-trap. When this happens, the drain smells like sewer. This is a telltale sign that the P-trap isn’t doing its job in blocking the sewer gases from escaping into your bathroom. The same also happens if the P-trap goes dry. The P-trap is the U-shaped part of your pipe that extends below the drain line, under the bathroom sink.


  • Biofilm buildup is also a common culprit. Biofilm is somewhat similar to slime or muck. It forms when bacterial waste accumulates. Bacterial waste is sticky and clings onto surfaces like birdbaths and showers. Think of it like the bacterial film called plaque that forms a layer on your teeth.

What Can You Do?


a. Clean the strainer

If you clean the strainer every time you see a layer of soap scum or hair underside, you’ll never have to deal with clogged drains. Put on a pair of rubber or latex gloves and pull the hair and scum off after every shower. If the scum doesn’t come off easily, use a mixture of warm, soapy water and disinfectant for the purpose. You can use an old toothbrush or a sponge to clean the strainer. To clean the pipe, use the same solution and a foam paint roller, without the roller attachment. Insert the roller inside the pipe and rotate it multiple times.

b. Disinfect the drain

To prevent the buildup of bacteria in the drain, disinfect it routinely with a 50/50 solution of water and household bleach. You can also pour down white vinegar and baking soda. When bleach flows down the pipes, it might kill some of the odor-causing organisms. You can cover the drain after pouring the mixture to let it fizz for a while. After you’ve done so, flush the drains with hot water.

If none of these work, we recommend seeking professional help. Call up Pro Serve Plumbing, and our technicians will come and take a look. DIYs aren’t necessarily as effective as the industrial drain cleaning solutions that we use. Learn more about our plumbing services in Fort Worth here.