How to Get Rid of Smelly Drains in Shower

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning we get a small commission if you make a purchase through our links, at no cost to you. For more information, please visit our Disclaimer Page.

If you come across an unpleasant smell that comes from your shower drain, one thing is certain, you definitely need to get rid of it. For some people, smelly drains in the shower is nothing bad in particular, but, that smell hides a way bigger problem.

First of all, in order to get rid of the smell that is bothering you, you need to determine what kind of smell it is. Since there are a couple of different smells that can come out of your shower drain, you need to make sure to determine which one it is and deal with it properly.

Now, let’s see what types of smells can come out of the shower drain and how can you get rid of them.

How to Get Rid of Smelly Drains in Shower

How to Get Rid of Smelly Drains in Shower

There are hundred of ways to clog your shower drain, and that’s one of the reasons why it smells badly. However, that’s not the only reason since there are other possibilities that are way worse.

For example, there might be a mold build-up inside your shower drain and that can really smell bad. In any case, you first need to determine what you are dealing with here.

So, here are some possibilities:

  • Mold Build-up
  • Clogged Shower Drain
  • Sewer Gas Leakage

Now, the worst possible scenario is to experience a sewer gas leakage since that is a very serious problem that only professionals could deal with. In other cases, you are able to deal with the smell and get rid of it in no time.

Anyhow, let’s see.

1. Musty Smell – Mold Build-up

In most cases, you will be experiencing a mold build-up and that’s something that you can fairly easy deal with. So, when mold starts growing inside your drain, the first thing you will notice is a bad and musty smell coming from down there.

However, mold is not that dangerous, but, it is best to deal with it as soon as possible. You just don’t want to step into a smelly bathtub every time you want to take a shower.

So, if the mold didn’t spread too much, you will be able to deal with it easily. Let’s see how.

Essential tools:

  • Baking Soda
  • Vinegar – White and distilled
  • Hot water
  • A brush

After you gather all these things, you can now begin cleaning the mold out of your shower drain. Here’s how.

Remove Mold from the Shower Drain – 6 Easy Steps

  • Create a mixture – First, you need to create a paste out of baking soda and water. Use equal amounts and mix them inside a plastic cup.
  • Apply the mixture – Now, apply this paste over the shower drain. You can use a brush of any kind for this part, usually a toothbrush is a good option.
  • Let it sit – Wait for 10 minutes. After that, use a toothbrush to scrub the whole drain properly. Make sure to be thorough.
  • Use hot water – Repeat the scrubbing part as much as you need to loosen up the mold. After that, use a whole pot of hot water (not boiling water) to rinse the mold out of the shower drain.
  • Pour vinegar – Use vinegar to properly disinfect the whole shower drain. Pour a small amount of white vinegar down the drain.
  • Pour baking soda – Last, you need to pour a small amount of baking soda down the drain as well. The reaction with vinegar will kill every mold particle for sure.

As you can see, it’s not that hard to deal with the mold inside your shower drain. Just follow these few steps and you will be fine.

shower drain smells like mildew

2. Rotten Eggs Stench – Clogged Drain

Now, a bit more serious problem when it comes to smelly shower drains is directly related to clogs. Namely, if you feel a rotten-egg stench that comes from your shower drain, it is definitely time to act immediately.

You are facing with the drain clog of some sort. And, as we all know, clogs could be minor or severe, depending on their size. If you are dealing with a minor clog, the smell will not be that bad, but, if you happen to have a strong stench coming from the shower drain, that means that the clog is big.

Also, huge clogs are usually stuck inside the drain for some time, and that’s why the smell starts to be unbearable.

Anyhow, in most cases, clogs happen because of hair build-up. It is only normal for your hair to find its way down the drain, but, when it gets stuck and starts piling up, the clog is inevitable.


You might like: How to Dissolve Hair in Shower Drain

After that, all sorts of other things start building-up around the hair clog which makes the problem even worse. Some particles of dirt and dust are usually the thing that builds up the fastest around the hair. But, the stench is actually coming from way worse particle – the organic products.

Now, when we shower, some portion of our skin and some little pieces of our clothes are going down the drain with water. Then, they get stuck on the hair build-up and they start to root as the time passes.

The same thing happens with soap. Namely, soap can also get stuck on the hair build-up and it could smell badly.

Anyhow, you will need to get rid of the clog, which is not that hard if you have a proper set of tools. We recommend using plumber’s snake to get rid of it. After that, rinse the drain with hot water and you will be good to go.

3. Sewage Smell – Sewage Gas Leakage

Definitely, the worst possible scenario is to smell sewage gas through the shower drain pipe. Now, how does this happen? Well, if you lack a slow drain configuration of your plumbing, then you are probably dealing with a sewer gas – the hydrogen sulfide.

The amount of this gas that is released into your bathroom is not dangerous at all, but it smells really bad, basically unbearable. And, that smell indicates that you are experiencing a problem somewhere inside your plumbing system.

So, the reasons for this kind of problem might be:

  • P-trap is dry
  • There isn’t a P-trap installed
  • Sewer backup

As we already mentioned, you don’t want to fix these problems on your own. Even if you could install or fix the P-trap, you will risk damaging some part. As for the sewage backup, that’s completely in the hands of professionals.


Dealing with a bad smell that comes from a shower drain is definitely not that hard. Either you need to get rid of the mold, unclog the drain, or you have to call a professional to check it.

In any case, you will get rid of the bad smell and that’s actually what matters. Having a nice bathroom that doesn’t reek of mold or rotten eggs is essential in any household.