What's the Best Way to Eliminate a Bad Smell in a Toilet?

To eliminate toilet odors, homeowners should disinfect the toilet, check the plumbing for leaks, and check the wax ring at the base of the toilet. It may be necessary to clean the toilet vent and flush the toilet regularly to treat bathroom odors.

A disinfectant, such as bleach, can be used to clean the toilet thoroughly. Sewage lines should be examined for signs of a leak to ensure the odors aren't due to faulty plumbing. If the toilet has been cleaned and the pipes are sound, toilet odors should be treated by replacing the wax ring located at the base of the toilet.

Replacing the wax ring requires shutting the water off at the valve connected to the toilet and removing the water inside the toilet with a wet vac. It's also necessary to remove the bolts holding the toilet in place before lifting the toilet to reveal the wax ring underneath. The old wax ring should be removed with a putty knife, and the new ring can immediately be set into place. Applying slight pressure to the toilet after reinstalling it helps the ring to seal properly.

An improperly vented toilet can also cause odors. Check the vent that is connected to the toilet for blockages, and remove any debris found in the vent. If the toilet isn't vented, install a vent pipe according to local regulations. Odors occur in unused bathrooms when the water located in the trap evaporates. To eliminate odors in unused bathrooms, flush the toilet on a regular basis.