Question: We clean our restrooms daily but without fail, we find ourselves dealing with some nagging odor issues on a fairly regular basis. What can be done about this?

Several factors are to blame nearly 100% of the time when it comes to lingering, persistent restroom odors. No matter how clean things are, a foul-smelling bathroom can immediately turn customers and employees off.

It’s important to address odors at the source. But sometimes, it’s tricky to pinpoint where they’re coming from. Below are several tips I generally share with anyone dealing with restroom odors in their facility.

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Check the floor drain. More often than not, the floor drain is to blame for lingering restroom odors. If the trap dries up, sewer smells can easily fill the air, because the water barrier in the pipe is gone. Make sure the trap is clean and properly maintained.

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Use Enz-Odor II. Add this handy odor counteractant to the toilet bowl to neutralize and eliminate odors.

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Deep-clean the floor grout. Due to grout’s porous and hard-to-clean nature, it easily absorbs odor-causing bacteria. In addition, urine droplets can build up over time and release bad smells through tile cracks. Standard mopping can make this worse, so make sure to deep clean the bathroom floor regularly.

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Check sink drains. Often, odors can emanate from sinks. Usually, the sink trap is the odor-causing culprit, because it’s where debris is trapped. Invest in a liquid cleaner with enzymes to combat this. Pour it down the drain to break up bacteria and eliminate the source of the odor.

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Make sure the toilet wax ring isn’t defective. The wax ring at the base of toilets seals off waste pipes below. If broken, a defective wax ring can release foul odors and hydrogen sulfide, a toxic pathogen. Therefore, check to make sure the bolts holding the toilet to the floor aren’t loose or broken. If this happens, the toilet may get moved out of place and break the wax ring.

About this series: In the Cleaner’s Corner, our experts address questions we receive in the field. Our goal is to provide straightforward, practical tips you can use in your facility.

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