There's a foul odor in our kids (teens) bathroom which I'm pretty sure is coming from the tub drain. We have some kind of domed cover over the drain most of the time to catch hair, but apparently it is sometimes removed. I already had one of them use this short, thorny plastic snake-like thing to reach down and pull out some hair and nastiness. But that's only about 18-24" and I wasn't there so don't know how far down she reached it. I also tried pouring some liquid plumber down it. But that was apparently very old, as it was kinda clumpy itself, although those clumps dissolved with hot water. Other notes:

  • The tub drains fine, it is not clogged.
  • The shower is used often
  • The smell is not a sewer smell.

There is a shower vent, but I noticed it is quite clogged with dust, so I need to clean that, so maybe it's not venting very well. I've read other notes here and I think some were suggesting possibly mold or something growing in the vent, but I'm still pretty sure the smell is coming from the drain.

Any suggestions? Should I just do more snaking and another pour of fresh liquid plumber?

  • 1
    make sure that the smell originates from the tub drain before you do anything else
    – jsotola
    Aug 31, 2019 at 20:16
  • Right. Seal the drain (including the overflow vent) with plastic and tape for a few hours and see if it clears.
    – isherwood
    Sep 5, 2019 at 18:13
  • 3
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's not about home improvement. It seemed like it was, but ultimately it wasn't.
    – isherwood
    Feb 3, 2020 at 18:47

2 Answers 2


I would start with the vent. Make sure that no wasps/hornets or birds have attempted to build a nest in it. Note I say 'attempted' because the gas being vented will either kill or drive off the pests. I found bumblebees in my vent 30' up from ground level.


Turns out it was the bathmat (I think). I also tried pouring peroxide down the drain another day, and then bleach another day (not together with the peroxide), as suggested elsewhere. Tub was still stinking. Then I noticed the bath mat. It's not just a simple rubber one for grip, it was thicker, padded somewhat, with mesh around it. Took a whif, and the smell was there. Took it out, and the smell was gone.


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