A Smelly Shower is never a good thing but stuck at home it is awful. It seems like the more time we spend at home these days, the more likely it is that we encounter one thing after another.  Some like needing to replace a microwave because the door won’t stay closed are easy – time to just get a new one.   With plumbing, a toilet that keeps running is an easy fix.  But what about a shower that just seems to stink most of the time.  What do you do?  Well, it helps to know the major causes of shower drain smells so you can start to identify the problem.

What causes a Smelly Shower?

The usual suspects for shower smells are:

  • Mold
  • Clogs
  • Dry P-trap
  • Leaky pipes


Mold can cause smelly shower as well as major health issues and it is pretty easy to see it on the surfaces of your shower, in tile grout, or on the tracks of the doors.  It also can damage caulking and cause smells to start coming from wet areas that are created by seeping at tile seems at the bottom of the wall sections of the shower.

However, you can also get mold or biofilm buildup in your drains. Biofilm is an orange or pinkish-orange slimy coating made up of waste from bacteria.

To remove buildup like this, you need to remove the shower drain cover and use a pipe cleaner to clean the drainpipe. You can use a roller cover for painting that fits in the drainpipe coated with a general-purpose cleaning solution to disinfect and clean the drain.  Simply keep clean git until the clearer is no longer removing more material.


If you are wondering where your hair is going as you look in the mirror, it might be some of it has gone down your shower drain.  Hair, skin, soap residue, dirt, sand particles, and other things your body sheds can end up in the drain. When this happens a smelly shower is the result Over time this produces a clog. We urge you do not to use drain cleaners; they can cause more damage than they prevent.

You will need to remove the shower drain cover again, but this time get a plumber’s auger or drain snake from your local hardware store or DIY center.  Simply use the snake to dislodge any items in the drain by snaking the auger down the drain and turning it until the water runs fast and the smell goes away.  If you find that you can’t get this accomplished on your own, you might need the assistance of a plumber such as Proudfoot Plumbing Heating and Air in Pittsburgh to use advanced techniques to solve your problem.

Dry P-Trap

If you have a second or third bathroom that is rarely used and there is a smell coming out of the shower it might simply be a dry P-trap on the line.   If that’s the case this is easy to fix, and you really should do it because you do not want sewer gas coming back into your home.  Just run water down the drain so the trap becomes rehydrated, and the smell goes away.

Leaky Pipe

If none of these items solve your problem, you might well have a leaky drain pipe.  This needs the attention of a professional.  They will ensure that any leaks are identified that are the cause of the odor.  You might also have a problem with a supply line that has caused mildew to form behind the wall that is leaking, but they’re probably is a sign of a leak either in the wall or the ceiling of the room below the shower or tub.

Contact Proudfoot to get rid of your smelly shower

And if you can’t find the source of the smelly shower, you can call on Proudfoot Plumbing, Heating, and Air. We’ll come out and we’ll have the repair or replacement done quickly and with as little intrusion into your daily life as humanly possible!  That’s why we think you should choose us.  Call us at 1-412-461-2198.  We hope to see you soon; that is, only if you have an annoying stinky smell in your shower!

Image by:
GregoryButler from Pixabay

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