Why The Shower Drain Smells Bad And How To Fix It

A bathroom

After a long day at work, nobody wants to come home to a foul smell from the shower drain. In most cases, the reason can be something as simple as soap residue or hair. Unfortunately, the odor might be due to bacteria.

Whatever the reason, it's essential to tackle the issue. The best course of action would be to call a plumber. Still, homeowners should learn about the leading causes of the bad smell and how to deal with it.

Why does the shower drain stink?

Shower drains can smell bad for several reasons. Here are some common reasons for bad shower smells:

Biofilm buildup

If there's biofilm buildup on the fixtures, pipes, or drains, this is most likely caused by bacteria. It's gross and smells like rotten eggs. Surprisingly, this happens because of hair that's washed down the drains every time someone takes a shower. Bacteria like to feed on the particles and debris that hair attracts. Therefore, it's essential to remove any hair from the drains right after showing.

Killing bacteria is also necessary. While there are commercial drain cleaners, most people already have something in their houses that could help. The DIY solution of vinegar, hot water, and baking soda should do the trick and flush away those troublesome germs.

Dry P-trap

If the drain smells like sewage, the reason could be a dry P-trap. The solution is simple; if the shower hasn't been used in a while, pour some water down the drain. Doing so helps the P-trap fill with water and gets rid of the nasty smell.

If the shower drain isn't dry, the cause of the odor could be a leak. In that case, don't wait too long before calling a plumber. They can fix the problem before it becomes too severe.


If a musty smell is coming from the drain, mold could be the cause. Mold loves wet spaces, so the drain is a perfect place for it to grow. If mold spreads, it can affect the household members' health, so it's crucial to treat it as soon as possible. Call a reliable mold removal company to handle this problem efficiently and safely.

Cleaning the drain

Besides being familiar with the common causes of foul drain smells, maintaining the drains is essential. Maintenance prevents any future drain issues and terrible odors. 

Invest in a drain hair catcher to gather hair in one place, making it easy to pick it up. The next step is unclogging the drain. A plunger can do wonders in this regard. Fill the shower with warm water and use the plunger to loosen the piled up debris.

If the water doesn't go quickly down the drain after, it's time to get help from a plumber.

Edwards Plumbing LLC is a licensed and bonded family-owned plumbing team out of Gilbert Arizona, specializing in plumbing emergencies, repairs and renovations. We install and repair plumbing pipes, water heaters, water softeners, sump pumps, sewers, and more. Our competitive rates, honesty, experience serve residential and commercial customers. Call us at (480) 712-2081.