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Why does my shower drain smell? 

Shower Drain Smells

Shower drains ensure that water is able to drain into the sewer system, leaving your shower dry and functional for future use.

shower drain block

When your drain is working correctly, the shower drain prevents the backup of sewer water and gases into the bathroom and creates a more hygienic environment for you and your family. 

Shower Smell Causes 

Showering should be a relaxing experience, but it’s understandably hard to relax when your shower drain smells like sewage. When you’re confronted with an unpleasant odour coming from your shower drain, it can be hard to feel fresh and clean, and in some instances, can be dangerous to your health.

There are a number of reasons as to why you have a stinky shower drain, but fortunately, many of these reasons can be fixed if you have the right tools.


If your drain smells musty, it’s likely that there is mould growing inside your drain. 

As mould is a living organism, the active mould spores inside your drain release a musty gas smell that may be dangerous if inhaled. 

If the mould problem is small and contained, then it can be cleaned using mould cleaners from your local supermarket. However, if the mould covers too big an area or returns, the help of a professional plumber may be required.


Biofilm also produces a musty, mildew-like smell in your drain. Biofilm is a muck or slime filled with bacteria and bacterial waste that builds up on your shower tiles and inside your shower drain. 

Like mould, biofilm can be dangerous to your health, potentially spreading Salmonella, E. coli and more to your family. 

Fortunately, biofilm is easy and inexpensive to remove. To get rid of the musty shower drain smell, the biofilm must be wiped away as best as possible using a brush or scraping tool. Do this by repeatedly moving the tool in and out of the drain. Once a significant amount of biofilm has been removed, spray the area with an antimicrobial chemical to disinfect and leave for a few hours.

Drain clog

If there is a bad smell coming out of your shower drain, it’s likely that something is clogging your drain.

A telltale sign of a clogged drain is that your shower is draining slowly, or in some cases, not at all and that there is an odour accompanying the lack of drainage. 

Your drains can become clogged by common things such as: soap scum, hair, dirt and small items. 

To unclog your drain and remove the unpleasant shower drain smell, a hand auger can be used. Use the hand auger to fish out and remove the debris inside your drain. It is important to note that using a hand auger incorrectly can cause damage to the pipes and drainage, so if in doubt, call your local plumber to remove the clog.


If the shower drain smells like sulfur, then it is likely that you have a dry P-Trap. Your shower’s P-Trap is intended to trap very small amounts of water in your pipes to stop unpleasant smelling sewer gases from wafting into your home. 

The U-shaped pipe may become dry, meaning there is no longer a barrier between your drains and sewer gases. 

To remove the bad smell coming out of your shower drain, pour two cups of water down the drain and wait an hour. Once the hour is up, shine a light down the drain and see if you can still see the water. If you can, then the problem should resolve. If you cannot, this suggests that there is a crack in your pipes and you will need professional help.

Solve your shower smells

To effectively return your shower to a neutral odour, Drainpro are the experts to call. With over 25 years in drain repair, no plumbing problem is too complex for our expert team. We know how important a clean smelling shower is, and will have it back to normal in no time.

If you’re experiencing problems with your shower drain smelling after use, get in contact with our friendly team today. Call us on 1300 620 273 or fill out an instant online enquiry and we will be in contact shortly.

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