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Why Does My Bathroom Smell Like Fish? (Explained)

Hygiene is one of the most important aspects of life. Maintaining a hygienic life saves you from a lot of diseases and sicknesses. Being hygienic does not only include cleansing oneself. The hygiene of one’s surroundings is essential as well. 

Bathrooms are known to be the least hygienic of all places in a home. So, it is difficult to maintain proper hygiene there. You need to put a lot of effort into cleaning the sink, toilet, floor, walls, etc. 

However, if you are taking all the measures for keeping a clean and fresh bathroom but it still smells like fish, your frustration is comprehendible. 

So here rises a question. Why does the bathroom smell like fish after taking the necessary steps for keeping it clean? If you are looking for the answer, then you are at the right place. 

Bathroom smell like fish

There are various reasons for a bathroom to smell like fish. This includes poor quality of water, leakage of sewer gas, electrical issues, and keeping the bathroom damp. The bathroom sink and drain can also smell like fish and spread it to the surrounding making the bathroom smell like fish.  

These reasons can be held accountable for the rotten fish smell inside your washroom. You may find that no amount of air freshener can cover the fishy smell instead it forms into something disgusting after mixing with the fishy smell. 

This is because the problem here is persistent. As long as you do not cure the issue then the smell cannot be covered permanently. 

You may check your entire washroom for signs of this smell but you may not find it because sometimes the answer can hide between your sink and drain. 

The bathroom sink and drain can smell like fish which results in the whole bathroom smelling like fish because of the quick diffusion of gases. Below given is a detailed explanation of where this smell comes from. 

Bathroom sink

There are certain reasons why your sink can have that foul fishy smell and contaminate the whole bathroom. 

Water quality: 

The poor water quality can be a major reason for the fishy smell to be persistent. If your water is contaminated and has bacteria in it chances are high that it will have a foul smell. 

As the sink is always drenched in that contaminated water it will result in the sink having a similar smell stuck to it to the water from the tap. 

You need to examine the quality of water while moving into a new apartment but if the problem is new and the quality of water deteriorated suddenly then you need to check with your local water provider service. 

Presence of bacteria:

Bacteria can be present in your sink due to the remaining leftover food from your hand. When you wash your hand the leftover food might stay stuck to the sink if you do not wash the sink immediately. 

As a result, there might be a growth of bacteria which brings a foul fishy smell to your sink. 

Bathroom drain

The bathroom drain engulfs all the wasted water helping your bathroom to be dry and clean. However, sometimes even the drain can start smelling like fish. 

Leakage of sewer gas: 

Sewer gas is formed from human waste. It is a mixture of methane and ammonia. Hence, it has a rotten fish smell to it. 

Sewer gas can be leaked to the washroom in several ways and one of these includes the drain pipeline. If there is a fault in the drain pipe then your drain will be exposed to sewer gas leakage. 

As a result, the washroom starts to smell like fish. 

Clogged drain: 

Your drain can be clogged due to the presence of materials that could not pass through the drain. This can give birth to bacteria and which may possess a fishy smell. 

A clogged drain needs to be fixed immediately or it will not only smell like rotten fish your bathroom will not be able to pass the wasted water out. 

Whole bathroom

If there are no issues with the bathroom sink and drain, chances are there that other parts of your washroom can be faulty causing this smell. 

Electrical issues: 

The electrical wires can be responsible for releasing these foul fishy smells because they have become loose or old. If the electrical wires overheat there can be a burned rubber stench. 

This turns into a foul fishy odor. Exposure to water can also cause electrical faults. They need to be fixed immediately to avoid a severe accident. 

Clogged vent: 

Defense against feared sewer gas is a plumbing vent. Plumbing vents function by employing air to move bathroom smells and sewage gas outside of your house.

Bird nests, animal corpses, leaves, and other detritus can jam these vents causing the fishy smell to stay in your bathroom. 

Does sewer gas smell like fish?

Sewer gas does not usually smell like fish but if it comes in contact with the washroom drain and gets leaked, it can give off a fishy smell. 

Sewer gas is made up of human waste. It is a mixture of methane and ammonia. As methane is odorless, the pungent smell of ammonia usually gives sewer gas a fishy smell. 

Exposure to sewer gases for a long time can cause diseases. There are pipes and vents built for sewer gases to pass through. 

However, if the vents get clogged or the pipes get leaked sewer gas can emerge from the drain or vent. This makes it smell fishy inside your bathroom. 

The smell can become persistent if not gotten rid of as soon as possible. 

How do you get rid of the fishy smell in the bathroom?

Despite constantly cleaning, if your bathroom smells fishy it can be a huge issue. There are certain reasons why a bathroom might have this fishy smell. 

Cleaning and maintaining hygiene is not the only way of fixing the issue. The problem needs to be addressed and fixed as soon as possible. 

Below given is a list of ways you can get rid of the fishy smell in your bathroom. 

Fixing the wire: 

If there is a burnt wire due to overheating it needs to be changed immediately. If the wire is exposed to water, that can also cause a fishy smell.

Call your local electrician and fix or change the wiring. Once the wire is fixed it will take away the fishy smell along with it. 

Removing sewage gas: 

The sewage gas needs to be removed to get rid of the fishy smell. If your bathroom has not been unused for a while then you can flush the toilet and turn on your tap to get rid of the smell. 

However, if the issue is persistent then your drain pipes need to be checked and fixed for leakage. Call your local plumber for that. 

Cleaning Sink: 

You can use bleach and clean your sink using that so that the bleach gets rid of the bacteria present in your sink. Later you can use an air freshener to cover the smell of bleach. 

Checking water supply:

If the quality of your water deteriorated then contact your local water supply and inform them about this issue or get the pipes cleaned in your building. 

Unclog drain and vent: 

If your plumbing vent or drain is clogged you need to clean it immediately. Use baking soda, vinegar, boiling water, and a brush to clean the unclogged drain. Pour the ingredients and clean the drain with the brush. 

Unclogging the vent should be left to a professional as it can be a complicated task. 

How do you fix a smelly bathroom drain?

A smelly bathroom drain can be the result of a leaking sewer pipe or Biofilm formed from a clogged bathroom drain. 

The ways to clean and fix a smelly bathroom drain is described below. 

Unclogging the drain: 

The drain needs to be unclogged and this process includes using home ingredients such as boiling water, vinegar, baking soda, and a brush. 

Pour some vinegar and sprinkle some baking soda on the drain and leave it for a while. After that pour the boiling water and clean it rigorously with the brush. 

Wear gloves and pick up any remaining from the drain and repeat the process. 

Fixing the pipe:

If there is a sewer leakage then the drain will get smelly. The pipes need to be checked for any leakage and fixed immediately. It is better to get done by a professional as the task can be complicated. 

Final thoughts 

To sum up, there are various reasons for your bathroom to smell like fish. Which includes of smelly water, wiring issues, clogged drain or others. These reasons need to be identified as soon as possible and are needed to be fixed using the appropriate method.