A house member had some health issues the past few months and, for a while, another house member was pouring buckets of urine down the shower. It developed something of a smell which we tried to extirpate with bleach and vinegar.

However, there's still a lingering odor, and, through the grating, I can see what looks like a loose seal of some sort.

A possibly loose seal viewed through the grate

Pulling off the grate, it looks like this:

Shower drain with loose sealing

I'm worried that some kind of seal is broken and is either (a) letting gases up from the sewer or (b) the smells of waste that snuck into the cavity below the shower.

Any thoughts on what may have happened and how to fix this?

  • 1
    They make drain cleaners that are designed to remove trapped hair, i would start with that incase there is something retaining some smell. Then I would strip off the old silicone and reapply new to be safe.
    – Ramrod
    Commented Nov 9, 2016 at 21:44
  • @Ramrod my thought as well, that hair in the drain is retaining some smell. A snake may be a better option, or at least a first option, to remove hair from the drain.
    – mmathis
    Commented Nov 9, 2016 at 22:53
  • @mmathis Ah, I realize that my statement is poorly worded, I was thinking of the plastic snakes with rear facing barbs.
    – Ramrod
    Commented Nov 9, 2016 at 23:08

2 Answers 2


Here is what i did to remove the odor from my drain. 1)Use a screwdriver to remove the trap. 2) Put 1/4 cup of baking soda down the drain. 3)Follow it with one cup of white vinegar into the drain. 4)Let that sit for 1-2 hours with the bathroom door closed. 5)Slowly pour a gallon of hot (just-off-the-stove-boiling) water down the drain. 6*)After fifteen minutes, run cold water for ten minutes to thoroughly rinse the vinegar down. This step (#6)is very important so don't skip it! 7)Pour 1/2 cup chlorine bleach into the drain and let it sit for another 1-2 hours. 8)Rinse with another gallon of boiling water poured slowly. 9)Turn on the shower’s water faucet, and let the water run for ten minutes. By now, ample water should be standing in the “U” curve of the p-trap. 10)The last step is to pour four ounces of mineral oil (plain cooking oil will work in a pinch) into the drain. The oil floats on the water in the trap and slows evaporation. 11)Replace the trap FYI** NEVER mix BLEACH and VINEGAR , or you will create toxic chlorine and chloramine gas. Step #6 is crucial to avoid this danger!.


I do the same thing as Karie but in reverse order. I put the bleach in first, on the basis that bleach disolves hair while vinegar does not.

After rinsing, I use vinegar to remove any calcium deposits as they retain dirt and release odours.

Not any of my business, but why was the housemate pouring buckets of urine down the shower instead of the toilet?

  • 1
    The answer to your latter question is unclear.
    – Richard
    Commented Jun 1, 2017 at 22:13

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