Looking for some advice and help to resolve an issue were having after spraying bleach on the backside of my bathtub. Reason for doing this we had a rat climb up the plumbing and make a mess inside the area so we sprayed some non diluted bleach inside the wall and let it sit for a few days hoping it would primarily deter the critter so we can then clean the area and plug the opening where it got in. Now almost a week later and the bathroom smells awful especially coming from that wall where the bleach was sprayed. Everything is cleaned up as best possible and the hole is plugged with coarse steel wool. We couldn’t find or see a dead critter, we had the flashlight in there and took lots of pictures but no sign of anything. Now the backside of the bathtub is raw fiberglass and I’ve read that resin can have a reaction if it comes in contact with certain chemicals, just wondering if this could be the cause of the strong rotten musty smell ? We just sprayed straight vinegar over the areas where bleach was sprayed hoping it will neutralize the smell. Really appreciate any words of wisdom!

2 Answers 2


You might well have poisoned the rat (perhaps with several of its friends&relations) and killed it in place. After all mixing bleach and ammonia makes poison gasses, and ammonia is found in urine which rats tend to deposit in the spaces they inhabit.

And dead bodies in the walls (or down under the tub, or whereever they crawled to die) do indeed stink.

You'll either need to open the walls and remove them, or wait for them to dry out and mummify so they stop stinking.


After the active chemical in bleach vanishes, water remains. You probably rehydrated some dried out nastiness back there. Vinegar is similar to bleach in that its water will outlast the active chemical. The lazy solution is to stop adding water and wait for it to dry out again. Forcing some air circulation in there is definitely a good idea to minimize mold growth.

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