easy steps to clean a smelly toilet

How to Clean a Smelly Toilet When You Have Boys

Boy moms know — there’s drippage, there’s splatter . . . there are times when the bathroom at home smells like a public restroom at a gas station.  Thankfully, this guest post from Tove Maren Stakkestad at Mama in the Now has a solution.  As a mom of four boys, she really knows how to tackle the smelly toilet:

easy steps to clean a smelly toilet
How to clean a smelly toilet

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How to Clean a Smelly Toilet When You Have Boys

Boy moms, we have all been there, right?! You are walking down the hallway, picking up stray socks and underwear when suddenly you stop dead in your tracks! A putrid smell, a rank stench is lingering in your nose. It may just have singed your nose hair a bit. WHAT IS THAT SMELL?! What died? Which kid brought home a piece of road-kill this time?!

You look around, suspiciously, when your sniffer points you in the direction of the kids’ bathroom! You want to find the source of the smell, yet you don’t really. It’s a bitter sweet moment when you realize that the sole source of the smell is the kids’ toilet!

So there you are, faced with a urine drenched and smelly toilet. It’s time to tackle the problem, once and for all… or at least get the issue under control and then form good habits to stay ahead of the smell.

Let’s face it, we can’t prohibit our kids from using the toilet, but we can learn how to combat the smell and eventually/ hopefully they will learn how to aim and remember to clean after themselves. I always tell my boys that their future partners will appreciate the good habits they learn today.

Until the sweet moment when our kids have perfected their aim, here are some tips to rid your smelly toilet of that awful odor.


How to Thoroughly Clean a Smelly Toilet:

  1. Clean the toilet bowl.
    1. Spray white vinegar all over the inside of the toilet bowl and be sure to get up under the rim as much as possible.
    2. Pour a cup of white vinegar in the toilet bowl and let is sit for an hour, or overnight if you have a stain by the water line.
    3. Scrub the inside of the toilet bowl with the toilet brush. You will be amazed at how well straight vinegar cleans, disinfects – and best of all, removes odors!
  2. Scrub the entire toilet, especially under the seat.
    1. Spray the entire toilet (outside and all over the seat) with straight white vinegar.
    2. Wipe down all visible areas that are yellow, but do not forget to lift the seat, and wash the underside of the seat, as well.
    3. It is also necessary to use a small brush to clean the toilet seat hinges, as urine can easily get trapped in the tiny crevices.
    4. Don’t forget to wipe underneath the outside of the bowl. It will be forever a mystery how urine gets underneath there, but somehow, it always does.
  3. Wash the rug and mop the floor.
    1. There is always a little drippage after guys urinate. It’s a good idea to teach the boys to catch the last few drops either in the toilet or on some toilet paper!
    2. It can be tough for little ones to keep the stream aimed over the toilet bowl, so it often just falls down the front of the toilet, and on the floor. Keep the rugs and floors washed often to prevent the lingering smell. (Pour white vinegar in the washing machine, along with the laundry detergent to get the urine smell out of the rugs.)
    3. Don’t forget to scrub the grout in-between the tiles in front of and around the toilet. (Again, this is where the old tooth brush becomes your best friend)
  4. Wipe down the wall with a rag.
    1. Splatter happens – and it happens a lot! So it is also important to keep any walls and baseboards that are next to, and behind the toilet wiped down. A quick wipe down of the wall is a great way to get rid of the pee smell left by your boys.
    2. Pee isn’t the only thing that hits the walls… sometimes poop magically appears too. Don’t ask me how, I am not sure I even want to know – but it does happen! Wipe it all down and make a habit of wiping regularly!
  5. Stay on top of it!
    1. When it comes to cleaning a smelly toilet, it is important to do it regularly. Clean at least once a week or even every other day.
    2. If you keep your cleaning supplies handy, in a small caddy under the sink, you can keep the toilet from smelling in a matter of mere minutes!
    3. The beauty of using a natural cleaner, like white vinegar, is that you can pass the toilet-cleaning torch on to the kids without feeling guilty!
  6. Teach bathroom etiquette.
    1. When your boys are old enough to finally get it, it’s time to teach them bathroom etiquette. Sit down with them and tell them what you expect of them:
      1. Pee only in the toilet, not the walls, floor or ceiling.
      2. Lift up the toilet seat BEFORE you pee, not WHILE you are peeing.
      3. If you pee on the toilet seat, clean it up – with toilet paper, not your sleeves!
      4. If you pee on the floor, clean it up – with toilet paper, not your socks!
      5. Sit down if at all possible, it prevents most of the pee-on-the-wall accidents.

As the mother of four boys, trust me, I know how frustrating it is to have a smelly toilet. With a few minutes spent cleaning every other day, you too can have a bathroom that smells like roses… OK, maybe not roses, but at least smelling a little less than a urinal!

 – Tove Maren


easy steps to clean a smelly toilet when you have boys
How to clean a smelly toilet


Tove Maren

Tove Maren Stakkestad blogs at Mama in the Now.

She is a mother of four boys, reporting live from the trenches of motherhood. She’s a Danish American writer with a unique, fun and relatable voice in the parenting community. After spending 20 years in the financial services industry, she followed her true calling and started writing full time. Now she successfully helps parents everywhere to parent with heart and humor.

Mama in the Now

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  1. Hi Karen, Although It is a guest post but this topic is very interesting-How to Clean a Smelly Toilet When You Have Boys. I really enjoy it.

  2. I often use vinegar and baking soda for cleaning my bathroom. Works great, but might try your suggested products as well to give my bathroom a better and more welcoming scent. http://btownplumber.com/

    1. admin says:


  3. This is a very effective toilet bowl cleaner and how powerful natural elements can be! Both white vinegar and lemon are excellent for cleaning tough spots of the toilet. They also can keep the toilet bowl fresh and remove the bad smell. Thanks for the great article!

  4. People really need to know this tips, thank you for sharing!
    By the way if you are looking for urine leakage treatment! you can click here: https://thepelviccoach.com/
    dan bravo recently posted…3 Myths About Urinary Incontinence That Are Doing You No Good As A WomanMy Profile

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