6 Ways to Reduce Bad Bathroom Smells

Regardless of how fancy and spa-like a bathroom design is, it's still the room where we deal with our more unsavory human business. Although it's not that big of a deal when it's just you and your family, bathroom odors can be a bit embarrassing if you're hosting guests. Fortunately, there are several ways to make the bathroom less smelly.

  • 01 of 06

    Place an Air Freshener Nearby

    a woman sprays air freshener for bathroom smells

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    Air fresheners are practical in a pinch, especially if the odor is strong. But let's be honest: They aren't the healthiest way to take care of bathroom odors, though there are some natural air freshener options. Leave a spray bottle out in your bathroom in case someone feels they need it but don't solely rely on it to diminish bathroom odors.

    Warning

    Only a short spray is necessary; there's no need to coat the floor with air freshener. And think twice about using these sprays with pets and children around, as they can contain harmful ingredients.

  • 02 of 06

    Maintain Good Ventilation

    Bathroom vent

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    All bathrooms require good ventilation. And getting fresh air moving around the space can make a big difference in how much it smells.

    Maintaining good ventilation involves two main factors: having a working vent fan and keeping the door open when the bathroom is not in use. Both factors remove bad odors, along with humidity from bathing that otherwise could create a musty smell.

  • 03 of 06

    Keep Towels Clean and Dry

    Clean-Towel

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    One often overlooked cause of bad bathroom odors is a dirty or damp towel. When towels don't dry fast enough, they can begin to grow bad-smelling bacteria and fungi. And if towels haven't been washed in a while, this can speed up the growth process.

    Hang your towels to dry—spread out with good airflow—after every use, and wash them at least once a week. (This includes hand towels and washcloths.) Use bleach or the hottest water you can to kill any germs that find their way into the fabric.

  • 04 of 06

    Light a Candle

    Three lit orange candles
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    The heat and smoke from a candle can help neutralize odors in the bathroom. And contrary to popular belief, unscented candles work just as well as scented ones.

    Candles are easy to place as small decor pieces somewhere in the bathroom. Have a lighter or matches handy, so you can light the candle whenever you feel it's necessary. But never leave a candle unattended. Snuff it out before you leave the room.

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06

    Clean Regularly

    Man Cleaning a Mirror in a Bathroom
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    Sometimes bad smells are just a way for your bathroom to tell you: "Hey, I'm dirty! Clean me!" Gunk that accumulates in the bath or shower, stains in the toilet bowl, and a dirty sink and countertop can cause odors if not cleaned regularly.

    Clean your bathroom at least once a week, with a more thorough clean once every month or two. Not only is that good general maintenance, but it also should help to reduce odors on a daily basis.

  • 06 of 06

    Take Out the Trash

    messy toilet paper roll next to bathroom trash can and toilet

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    Maybe the source of the bad odor is in the trash can. Although it doesn't contain food scraps like in the kitchen, bathroom garbage—feminine products, wet wipes, etc.—can smell, too.

    Empty your bathroom trash can regularly, not only when it's full. If you want to save trash bags, dump the trash into your larger kitchen can when you take it out.