We just moved into a new (to us) house. The house is actually 19 years old. Unfortunately there is an unbelievable urine stink in the downstairs bathroom. My husband thinks the previous owner had terrible aim and his wife banished him to this particular bathroom. Whatever the cause, it is deep in there and it stinks!
We suspect it has sunken into the cement between the tiles on the floor. I have scrubbed the toilet multiple times, also with bleach. I have steam mopped, regular mopped with floor cleaner, used vinegar and now finally bleach on the floor, all to no avail. Does anyone have any advice how to remove the outrageous urine smell? The last resort would be to replace the toilet, but it is a good functioning toilet and we do not want to waste money. Plus, we suspect the smell in coming from the floor not the toilet. Any ideas? Thanks!
Mama since 2010
Multicultural living in Europe
Find somebody to replace the wax seal. You've done everything conceivable topically to get at it, so you are correct...it's what lies below. You may be able to keep the same toilet (however, keep in mind that newer toilets are often more water-efficient). DH is a carpenter/handyman and says the seal is usually the culprit. Congratulations on your move!
I remember your living in Germany. You still there, just in a new place? PM me if you care to share. Also, how the heck did you manage moving with a little one? Whew.
I got tired of my signature, but I still love my children and husband and miss my little brother.
The seal is a good place to start. I'd also look into using a cleaner designed for pet accidents that includes a bacteria/enzyme - since these cleansers are specifically designed for urine AND can be left down vs. having to be rinsed it seems like they might be especially helpful in removing odors from the surfaces around the toilet.
The smell could also be from a cat litterbox - cat urine is rank! If you suspect a cat could be the source, you might also want to check/treat other areas of the room (corners especially), not just the area around the toilet.
Thanks. Yes, we are still in Germany. It was easy moving with our 2 year old. We got a couple moving books and read them over and over in the couple weeks before the move. We explained everything and brought him to the new house a few times to see it before we moved in. It was all very easy. He hasn't asked about the old house once! Luckily we had his regular daycare the day of the move, so he wasn't in the middle of it.
Good idea about the seal. Which one exactly? Because I did notice from the very bottom, like where the toilet meets the floor, a sort of leak. Not really a leak but whenever I sprayed something near there it seemed to seep out with a brownish tint. I did use a cat urine remover called Urine Off!, which was just today, so we'll see. Our cat litter is upstairs so that's not it, and this smell is human urine, for sure. I am also willing to try Nature's Miracle (enzymatic), but again want to hold off spending more money (I'd have to order it from the UK and with shipping it adds up to more than $40).
Mama since 2010
Multicultural living in Europe
Is the "wax seal" the same as the caulking between the toilet and the floor? I would actually remove the toilet from it's spot and clean under there before resealing the base. You'll get a chance to clean around the bolts where urine can creep before replacing them. Remove the toilet seat completely and clean underneath and clean the bolts. Put in new caulking when you replace the toilet. Consider replacing the seat. Urine can get into the hinges and if it's wood or pressed wood, urine can soak into the material itself.
Check where the tank meets the bowl. Urine can splash into the space between. Also, clean the bowl with a "kitchen stone". Put on your gloves and get as far down into the neck as you can. Urine can crystallize onto the enamel beyond where any cleaning tool can reach.
Pay the couple hundred bucks to replace the toilet.
The wall could be the source of the smell as well, especially if it is old and porous. Urine can creep into the grout if the grout was never sealed. Also, any cabinets to the side of the toilet can get splashes of urine that can build up. Lots of folks don't think to clean the adjacent cabinet when they clean the bathroom.
"Let me see you stripped down to the bone. Let me hear you speaking just for me."
There is a wax ring that goes between the floor outlet and the toilet to keep anything from leaking to the rest of the space under the toilet and out onto the floor around it. http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R-202536722/h_d2/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10053&langId=-1&keyword=wax+seal&storeId=10051#.UBFmpLTY-So
Yes, the wax seal is completely out of sight between the toilet and the hole in the floor. Essentially, you have to turn off the water, unbolt the toilet from the floor, lift the whole thing up, take off the old ring, set down the new ring, and put the toilet back. It isn't too complicated and a toilet isn't unmanageably heavy though it isn't light. The wax ring always needs to be replaced any time the whole toilet gets lifted up.
we had the same problem with our last house when we moved in. We later found out the people had issues with cps due to cleanliness. The bathroom was rank with urine odor. At first I thought the tile needed a good scrubbing but have several long attempts of cleaning the tile I realized it was really seeped in. We striped the toilet seat down (removing the hinges/lid/seat) and did a through cleaning again with an abrasive cleaner. We then sprayed the heck out of it with natures miracle (the original full strengh one) and let it air dry. We then did the tile and let it soak in and air dry. after abought a wk of working on it we finally deodorized the bathroom. we did also buy a new seat as we felt some of the odor was trapped in there. We also used the NM on a sponge mop to clean the walls and floors because after living there a few days we realized the previous people basically sprayed the heck out of febreze to make it smell "good" but in reality it was rank in there...got to love horrible tenants!