5 Methods for Preventing and Eliminating Commercial Bathroom Smells

young woman holding her nose because of a bad smell

No customer is impressed by foul bathroom odors. Restaurant patrons who experience bad smells in a restroom may not come back. Even worse, they will tell friends and family about it. Studies have found that 50% of people with a negative bathroom experience will tell (and/or even post about it on social media), while about 3 in 10 said they’d never return.1 It’s therefore essential you properly manage commercial bathroom smells, which we will explain how to do later.

What Are the Main Causes of Commercial Bathroom Smells?

Before you can take on resolving the problem, you must first identify the source. Bathroom odors can originate from a variety of places. Some of the most common include:

  • Mold/Mildew
  • Human Waste
  • Dirt/Grime
  • Trashcans
  • Floor Drains

The specific causes to address include these following culprits:

  • Bacteria: These are prevalent in the toilet and on flush handles, doors, and walls. Organic pathogens, such as E. coli and Staphylococcus, become airborne and can land on any bathroom surface.
  • Urine: This collects in a urinal’s u-bend trap and sticks to any surface it drops on. Bacteria feed off elements found in human waste streams, creating smelly byproducts like ammonia and hydrogen sulfide.
  • Floor Drain Problems: Each floor drain has a trap, which is designed to retain water. If it dries out, sewer gas can travel up, delivering foul odors with it and, possibly, combustible methane.
  • Unclean Floor Grout: Smelly pollutants can penetrate porous grout. Floor tile cracks also harbor bacteria, which easily transfer to shoes, which provide a sustainable environment for many organisms.
  • Toilet wax rings: A wax ring creates a seal between the toilet and the waste pipe. If the bolts securing it corrode, break, or loosen, the toilet may shift and damage the seal, allowing waste odors to escape.

What’s the Best Way to Get Rid of Commercial Bathroom Smells?

Commercial air freshener dispenser and scents

Here are five proven methods of eliminating odors in commercial bathrooms, so they don’t become problematic for staff or customers:

1. Thorough Cleaning

Daily cleanings are the most effective way of getting rid of odors. Any water, sponges, or mops used must be clean, as dirt can leave behind more odorous materials. Disinfecting chemicals should be used that are suited for bathroom floors and surfaces. Keeping a commercial bathroom clean over the long term requires some planning, which can improve the appeal of a restaurant, a store, or any other business.

2. Urinal/Toilet Mat

Urinal and toilet mats will trap and absorb moisture as it collects around the base of the fixture, protecting floors and providing a non-slip surface. They protect the floor from stains and damage as well. While easily cleaned, maintained, or replaced, they emit a pleasant smell that makes your restrooms more inviting.

3. Air Freshener

Air fresheners, including the dispensers, scents, and deodorizers that Prudential Overall Supply carries, can eliminate unwanted commercial bathroom smells. Small, wall-mounted air-freshening systems are designed to neutralize odors and deliver more pleasant ones. Many have sophisticated electronics that allow for consistent long-lasting odor removal.

4. Urinal Screen

A urinal screen or block stops debris from entering the drain and causing more odors. Using one can often keep you from needing to perform labor-intensive drain cleaning. The product can deliver a deodorizing scent too. Some types of screens have slots for urinal blocks to be inserted. A similar solution is a toilet clip, which releases a scent from within the bowl as the toilet is flushed.

5. Passive Deodorizers

While active odor control solutions use an aerosol propellant delivered mechanically, passive solutions such as urinal screens, toilet clips, oil dispensers, gels, and others release fragrance using natural air motion. No propellants, fans, or other mechanics are needed. Passive solutions are, therefore, an affordable and quick way to begin clearing foul odors from your commercial bathrooms.

Use Solutions from Prudential Overall Supply to Remove Commercial Bathroom Smells

We offer some of the leading chemical bathroom cleaning products and disinfectants on the market. You’ll also find urinal mats, screens, air fresheners, and deodorizers from the same company trusted for work uniforms and cleanroom and laundering services used in many different industries. To learn more, continue browsing our products or call us directly at 800-767-5536 today.


  1. https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2013/07/03/dirty-bathrooms-restaurants-fast-food-mcdonalds-starbucks/2486647/