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How to Get Rid of Ammonia Smell in Bathroom?

Oh, the ammonia smell. It’s one of those things that can make you want to run for the hills.

This is because ammonia is a colorless gas with a strong odor produced when urea breaks down in the water.

If you’re wondering how to get rid of the ammonia smell in your bathroom, we’ve got you covered!

First, let’s talk about what the ammonia smell is and where it comes from:

Ammonia is a colorless gas with a strong odor produced when urea breaks down in the water.

You may have noticed this odor if you’ve left a bowl of urine or feces on your bathroom floor or toilet bowl for too long (ew!).

The longer it sits there, the stronger the ammonia smell because more urea has broken into ammonia gas.

You may also notice an ammonia smell if you leave wet clothing out in the sun for too long and if you own a cat or dog and they use the litter box too often (ew!).

So now that we know what causes this noxious odor and where we might find it in our homes.

How Do We Get Rid of It?

There are many different ways that you can get rid of this odor:

If you have an ammonia-like smell coming from your home or business and want to get rid of it as soon as possible.

Here are some steps that can help:

  1. Open windows throughout your house or building and let fresh air circulate inside.
  1. Run an exhaust fan in the room where the odor is strongest.
  1. Try opening all closets and cabinets in the room where the odor is strongest and letting them air out for several hours before shutting again (this will help remove any trapped ammonia).
  1. If there’s an underlying cause for the ammonia smell (such as leaky pipes), contact a plumber immediately so they can repair it before further damage occurs!


The best way to eliminate an ammonia smell is by cleaning the area where it originates.

You should clean your entire bathroom, including your toilet bowl and floor.

You should also clean the shower curtain rod and curtains because they can hold onto odors due to their porous nature.

Using Fragrances

While we don’t recommend using chemical-based fragrances in your home, natural alternatives like essential oils will help mask the odor without leaving harmful chemicals after use.

Essential oil blends such as lavender and eucalyptus work well for this purpose. Because they contain antibacterial properties that help fight off bacteria-causing smells.

While adding pleasant scents into spaces where they won’t linger long enough for anyone else’s noses (especially children’s) to become irritated after prolonged exposure over time!

Check Your Drain Traps

When you have a clogged drain trap, it can cause you to smell ammonia. Fortunately, you can do a few things to check if this is the case.

First, remove the trap and clean it out (ensure not to use bleach or other harsh chemicals).

You may need to use a plumber’s snake tool to clear the drain pipe manually.

If this doesn’t work or there are no visible signs of blockage, then it’s time to call a plumber for further inspection and repair work.

If that doesn’t help, there may be another issue with your plumbing system, causing odors elsewhere in your house.

In this case, I highly recommend hiring someone specializing in finding problems like that!

A Thorough Cleaning

You’ll want to start by thoroughly cleaning the toilet itself. You can use a cleaner or bleach solution specifically made for toilets.

But you can also use white vinegar and water in a spray bottle if you have nothing else.

Make sure to wipe down all the tank’s surfaces and the rim of your toilet bowl.

The last thing this process does is set up a nice base for our next step: cleaning with baking soda!

Sewer Bacteria

The problem of sewer bacteria can be resolved with bleach, vinegar, baking soda, and hydrogen peroxide.

The first step in treating the ammonia smell from sewer bacteria is to clean your bathroom thoroughly.

This means removing all carpets and rugs from the floor and any shower curtains or other fabric used for decorating purposes.

Next, clean every bathroom surface using hot water and soap, including walls, floors, sinks, and toilets.

It may be helpful to use a disinfectant spray on these surfaces before wiping them down with a wet cloth or sponge dipped in hot soapy water (no bleach).

Once everything is clean, allow it all to dry before replacing any rugs into place or replacing curtains over windows or mirrors that were removed during cleaning.

Clean Your Pipes

Does your bathroom smell like ammonia? If so, you’ve likely got a problem with the pipes in your sink.

You can tackle this problem by cleaning the interior of your sink pipes with a bottle brush and some organic bleach.

This method will help remove the biofilm inside your pipes and prevent it from building up again.

It’s pretty easy to do—remove the drain assembly or stopper and thoroughly clean both with hot water and soap.

And then, use a bottle brush to scrub down the inside of each pipe. Then rinse everything off thoroughly with clean water.

Afterward, pour two tablespoons of organic bleach into a quart of hot water, then pour this mixture into each pipe until they are full.

Leave everything for about 30 minutes so the solution can work its magic on any lingering bacteria or mold spores there.

When you’re done, rinse everything out one last time (you may want to use white vinegar, too) before reworking everything and enjoying a fresh-smelling bathroom!

Check Your Vent

Bacteria and mold can build up in your drainpipes, causing them to emit a foul stench.

The presence of these organisms usually causes the smell of ammonia. To get rid of the smell, you should first check your vent.

The main vent stack that provides air to the drain system and keeps air pressure normalized is located on your roof and has a diameter of about four inches.

If this pipe gets clogged, it can create unpleasant odors in your bathroom because water siphons out of the drain trap, allowing sewer gases to enter your home.

This occurs when ice or debris blocks this pipe or gets clogged by various materials, such as a bird’s nest or tree leaves. 

If you’re uncomfortable cleaning this vent yourself or climbing on the roof to inspect it, call a plumber for help.

Look for a Broken Toilet Seal

The smell could come from sewer gas if there’s an open drainage pipe.

The toilet seal can wear down over time, allowing sewer gas to enter the bathroom.

  • If you’re using a plunger, try plunging into water that is low enough to cover your hand while avoiding plunging too hard or fast. This will prevent you from pushing water up through the drainpipe and causing unnecessary damage to the flange and flooring in front of your toilet.
  • If you don’t have access to any tools, consider using an auger instead! An auger is a long string-like device with a handle that allows you to pull out clogs without getting dangerously close (or causing major damage) with other methods like plunging or snaking.

Bathrooms are not supposed to smell like ammonia.

For most people, the idea of an ammonia smell in their bathroom is so far beyond the realm of possibility that it may as well be a concept from science fiction.

But if you find your home regularly smelling like a hospital ward, there’s a good chance something is wrong with your plumbing system.

Ammonia, while common and harmless enough in small doses, can become an unpleasant odor when found in large quantities.

And since this substance is produced as waste by our bodies (which means we all produce it) and animals in general (including bacteria), there are plenty of ways for this chemical to enter our homes without us realizing it!

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does my bathroom smell like ammonia?

The presence of ammonia in your bathroom can be due to various reasons, such as dirty toilets, stagnant water, or leaks in the sewage system. It can also be caused by cleaning products that contain ammonia. Identifying and eliminating the smell’s source is essential to eliminate it.

How can I get rid of the ammonia smell?

You need to identify and eliminate the smell’s source to eliminate the ammonia smell. You can also try cleaning surfaces with vinegar and water or using baking soda to absorb the odor. Proper ventilation and opening windows can also help in removing the smell.

How do I eliminate urine odor in my bathroom?

To eliminate urine odor, clean the affected area with baking soda and water. You can also use hydrogen peroxide or vinegar to remove the smell. Proper ventilation and keeping the bathroom dry can also help reduce urine odor.

Why does my bathroom smell like ammonia after I shower?

The steam generated during a shower can cause chemical reactions with cleaning products, releasing ammonia-like odors. Additionally, stagnant water in the shower drain can also cause the growth of bacteria that produce ammonia-like smells.

Will the ammonia smell disappear?

The ammonia smell can disappear if the source of the smell is eliminated. If the smell persists, it may indicate a larger problem, such as leaks in the sewage system. In such cases, seeking professional help to resolve the issue is advisable.


Getting rid of the ammonia smell in the bathroom requires identifying and eliminating the source of the smell.

Regular cleaning, proper ventilation, and avoiding harsh cleaning products can prevent the buildup of ammonia odor.

Natural odor absorbers such as baking soda and vinegar can also help reduce the smell.

However, if the smell persists or indicates a larger problem, such as leaks in the sewage system, it is advisable to seek professional help to resolve the issue.

You can keep your bathroom smelling fresh and clean with proper maintenance and attention.

Joseph A. Bartel
Joseph A. Bartel

Hi, I'm Joseph and I'm passionate about home improvement, particularly bathroom and toilet spaces. With over eight years of experience, I've acquired knowledge in various projects, cleaning tips, plumbing solutions, and fixture installations. I'd love to share this knowledge with you, whether it's selecting the right cleaning products, troubleshooting plumbing issues, or upgrading your bathroom fixtures. Let me help you create a sparkling and functional bathroom and toilet space.