AUGH! WTF is that SMELL?!

Okay, this is driving DeathLlama and I batty.

When you walk into the master bath, you’re hit with a smell that is…stinky. Very, very stinky. It’s subtle, but unpleasant…dank, stale, icky. It’s reminiscent of a wet towel that’s been forgotten and left to mildew somewhere. That or something small is dead somewhere.

We’ve sniffed around, sticking our noses in the shower drain, the toilet (bowl and tank), the trash can, the carpet, the laundry and laundry baskets, all towels and washcloths in sight, the bathroom rug, the closet, the central air vents, the shower curtain, the sink and sink drain, even the wall in places. No dice.


It’s not the B.O. of Seinfeld fame, nor is it The Package from last night’s The Office.

It’s just…UGH. It’s worst right at the arch that separates the bedroom and bath area. It’s gonna be just SUPER in there when we leave town in a few days and that Thing gets to simmer in triple-digit heat minus a little air circulation. Fun.

So…'fess up. What is it? What’d you do?

Haha, how odd, it’s my mothballs .

It’s usually the shower drain. Enough hair has accumulated in the drain to allow a suitable substrait for mold and mildew. You can rooter it or get some super duper drain-o at a hardware store. You can find the good stuff back in plumbing, in a plastic jar contained inside a plastic bag. When it requires an extra container, you know it’s good.

Could be the sink, too - either the regular drain or the overflow drain. Try some bleach or baking soda/vinegar down them and see if that helps.

Ten to one, it’s a mouse.

We had one last summer decide that between the outside bricks and the inside bathroom wall was the perfect place to die. It took 4 weeks of closed-door/fan-running/shortest-showers-on-record before it was bearable.

Hope you have a second bath.

How old is your house? Maybe the bricklayer was accidentally walled in. Sleep tight!


It could also be mold. In the walls, under the baseboards, anywhere really. We have mold in our apartment (moving out next month). It was covered up by the landlord. We peeled back a layer of the wallpaper to find the mold sandwiched between it and a previous layer of wallpaper. No telling how much of that stuff is behind that other layer of wallpaper.

The way you describe the smell is exactly what it smells like.

It’s not a sink you never use, is it? The trap can dry out and you can get sewer gases. Most people use their bathroom sinks, but if you don’t, well, it’s your neighbors’ poop.

“For the love of God, Montresor!”

Also check your tub. The builder I work for says tons of people get whirlpool tubs, find out they’re a pain, and never use them. The trap in the drain dries out, and starts to stink mightily. He can tell who isn’t using their whirlpool tub by who calls and says, “IT STINKS IN HERE!” :slight_smile:

If you have a tub and haven’t been using it (whirlpool or not), or a sink like Zsofia said, just run some water down it for awhile and see if the stench goes away. If so, run some water every couple of months, and you should be golden.

If that’s not it … that’s all I’ve got.

Good luck!

Sounds (perhaps that should be ‘smells’) suspiciously like a dead rat under the floorboards to me.

Well, DeathLlama went up into the attic last night. A couple of years ago we had a rat problem and the poison we used is still up there–maybe a new visitor came by, snacked on the stuff, then crawled into the wallspace and died?

Nope. No visible dead rodents, and more importantly, no smell of dead rodents–and considering there is only insulation between the attic and the studs supporting the second floor, a dead animal ought to reek to high heaven in there. No dice.

I poured Drano down the shower drain (sorry guys, no bathtub in offending area–just a shower stall; the tub we do use is in the guest bath, where there is none of this stink) and sink drain and it seemed to help, if nothing else by masking the odor with the potent chemical scent.

I’ve gotten down on my knees, with my nose an inch above the carpet, sniffing for mildew/mold/dead things. No dice. We did have a leak in the shower stall that was fixed a few months ago, so we’ve thought maybe that’s the problem–except there is no sign of a new leak. The carpet that used to get saturated is now dry, and has no scent.


It is starting to smell more like a Dead Thing, though. And this 109 degree weather isn’t helping. Bleh. Maybe it’s in the gap between the first and second floors? Ugh.

Oh, and for the record, I hate this heat. BLEH!

Tell the truth: when you had your head in the tolient, sniffing, DeathLlama flushed, right?


Your wax seal on the toilet may be bad and water can rot away the subflooring over time. The same can be true for a drop a minute leak in the water supply.

If not the toilet, you can get a water leak in the shower if the grout/caulk has eroded, and the water can leak invisibly to the subfloor, letting mold, mildew and wood rot in. It may not be leaking where the carpet would get wet, but elsewhere. Good luck finding the problem.