Can shaving cream get rid of gross smells in your bathroom?

Your bathroom may be harboring some yucky smells from mold, mildew, or faulty pipes. More obvious are pee smells that permeate the air, which is unfortunate but all too common in households with young boys. One of the more recent bathroom-cleaning hacks we’ve come across is shaving cream lauded by parents across the globe for helping get rid of urine smell. We’ll also go over other universal bathroom smell issues here and how to eliminate them.

Clean bathroom sink with two mirrors

How to use shaving cream for eliminating odor

The short answer to whether or not shaving cream can get rid of icky smells in your bathroom is yes. Specifically, it can get rid of urine odor. We’ve discovered parents from around the world spraying the toilet rim, the bowl exterior, and the floor surrounding the toilet with the stuff. Rub it in and spread with a mop or sponge. They recommend leaving it on for at least an hour and a half, and then mopping it up with hot water.
Shaving cream’s thick consistency helps it clean hard-to-reach spots like in between tiles and behind the toilet. So next time your bathroom needs a deep clean, grab a can of shaving cream off the shelf in lieu of your regular foaming cleaner. A great thing about this trick is parents agree the brand doesn’t matter — any shaving cream will do.

Troubleshooting Motherhood warns not to use it on wooden floors, as it may stain or warp the wood.

How to get rid of mold or mildew smells

If you’ve scrubbed down the toilet and floor but still detect a lingering smell, it could be mold. Bathrooms are notorious for mold because they get steamy from constant use and often don’t have enough ventilation. Luckily, cleaning showers and other surfaces is easy with the right tools.
The first step is machine-washing more clear-cut sources like old hand towels and rugs. Next, douse the affected spots with apple cider vinegar and let it sit for at least two hours. Lastly, scrub off the mold and mildew with a brush.
For serious mold situations, consider something stronger like baking soda or bleach. Wipe off surfaces thoroughly with a wet cloth after. Open all windows and keep the ceiling fan on for a few hours. When all mold and mildew are gone, make sure you routinely wash and wipe off problem surfaces. Air out the bathroom whenever possible, especially after steamy showers or baths.

Apartment Therapy says, “Use [shaving cream] as a helper when cleaning mildew from grout. The thick consistency of shaving cream (not gel) helps keep bleach on mildew-y tile joints long enough to fight the mildew.”

How to improve ventilation in your bathroom

Closely related to mildew and mold, proper ventilation helps prevent common undesirable smells. If you don’t have one already, install a exhaust fan to circulate air after showers. This also prevents water from creating condensation on your ceilings, which allows mold to grow. It’s a good habit to run the fan whenever you take a shower and after. Using an exhausted fan will help the air quality and let out moisture, says The Spruce.

In the same vein, leave the bathroom door open after a shower to let hot air out. When weather permits, leave the window open for the same purpose. Plug in a dehumidifier if a ceiling fan or cracked window is not an option. These appliances are great for muggy months when mold can thrive anywhere in your home, especially in the bathroom.

Clean bathroom with toilet, bathtub, and sink
Christian Mackie/

How to get rid of a sewer stench

A sewer smell usually signals a pipe leak or water leak. Check under your sink for any openings that may cause certain gases to leak through. This is also a common problem in toilets where a part called the toilet pan collar may suddenly come off after years of use. As a result, the waste pipe is exposed, and some gross smells come out.
Your shower drain may also be the culprit in this case. For homeowners with bathrooms featuring a waste drain in the middle of the bathroom floor, take extra care. Make sure the waste trap doesn’t actually trap any debris like hair or built-up gunk from shampoos, soaps, and conditioners. Apply an unclogging solution to dissolve any dirt, or make a vinegar and baking-soda solution if you want a more kid-friendly alternative.

Call a plumber for any of the scenarios above if your problem persists or if you don’t have the proper tools. Use an air purifier in the meantime, and determine if stale air might be a contributing factor to this gross smell.

There are many potential sources of some really gross bathroom smells. Although some issues are a one-time fix, others might need a repeatable solution. For instance, pee smells from potty-training mishaps will persist for at least a few months. Until boys master using the toilet effectively, we recommend using shaving cream to help you get rid of this unmistakable odor. To treat other smells, we suggest using more conventional methods.

Editors' Recommendations