Why Shower Curtain Smells like Urine? Causes and 3 Practical Solutions Explained

A bathroom with a toilet and a shower curtain that sometimes smells like urine.

How does your bathroom smell right now? Ideally, we all want something fresh and inviting where we can enjoy our time in the shower. We don’t want constant reminders of the toilet across the room via lingering urine smells. Unfortunately, our shower curtains are magnets for odor, and you may start noticing a pee odor coming from the material.

Below, you will find some possible reasons why your shower curtain smells like urine. You will then learn tips on how to get rid of urine smells and some preventative measures. With all these in place, you can transform your bathroom experience!

Why Shower Curtain Smells like Urine? Causes Unveiled

So, what is the culprit here? There could be a few possible reasons why your bathroom smells like urine.

The worst-case scenarios regard plumbing issues. Some find the smell to be due to a broken seal under the toilet. Perhaps it has worn down over time and needs a simple replacement. That tighter seal could provide the barrier you need. Or, it could all come down to sewer gas escaping through the drain in the shower. This may need some deeper investigation into the building’s system.

A white toilet in a bathroom with a shower curtain that smells like urine.

Lesser issues that are easier to handle yourself are issues with mold, bacteria, or other fungal problems. These aren’t uncommon, especially if you don’t get around to cleaning as often as you should. Mold and mildew easily grow with poor ventilation in your bathroom, and the wrong shower curtain acts as a magnet.

Bacteria, meanwhile, can stick around if spills and other messes aren’t dealt with. The bathroom is where we flush away nasty bodily fluids and excretions. But some particles can hang around and cause problems. Even flushing a toilet with the seat up can force urine particles into the atmosphere. They must land somewhere, and curtains and towels are prime spots.

How to Get Rid of Urine Smell in Shower Curtains

Locating the cause of the problem is just the start. You are still left with that unpleasant smell trapped in your confined bathroom. So, how do you get rid of it? The best thing to do is give the curtain and surrounding shower area a deep clean. With the right products and a little hard work, you can draw out the pee smell. Here are three of the best.

1. Enzyme cleaners

A group of blue cleaning products on a wooden floor, providing effective solutions for removing unpleasant odors from your shower curtain.

A good starting point is an enzyme cleaner. These products go deeper than regular cleansers. They break down any organic matter lurking on the curtain, around the shower, and around the toilet bowl. This kills the mold and fungus harboring the smell, deodorizing the room in the process.

2. Baking soda

Cleaning products and sponges on a blue background, ensuring odor-free freshness.

Baking soda is a product we can’t do without at home. This sodium-based power has impressive properties as it draws in particles from surfaces and the air. Sprinkle it around, leave it overnight to soak everything up, and sweep it away in the morning.

3. White vinegar

A bottle of water next to a sponge and a slice of lemon, providing refreshment while neutralizing unpleasant odors from the shower curtain.

This is a great natural cleaner to use alongside baking soda. Some people create a spritz of equal parts water and vinegar, spray it on their curtains and bath, and then wipe it away. You can also spray the white vinegar on the baking soda to create a violent reaction. This can help dislodge tough grime.

You must be thorough when cleaning your bathroom and shower curtain with these cleaning products. Use the powder on all suitable surfaces. Spritz everything you can with the vinegar. And don’t forget to clean the rubber flap. This feature is easily missed, but it holds on to urine smells easily.

Prevention Tips for Urine Smell in the Bathroom

Preventative measures are essential to stop this problem from reappearing in the near future. Just because you went through one deep clean doesn’t mean the pee smell won’t build up. You need to take action in three effective ways.

1. Consistent cleaning efforts

A woman wearing yellow gloves is cleaning a bathroom with a shower curtain smells like urine.

Those tips with the enzyme cleaner, soda, and white vinegar aren’t only for special occasions. Those who take more time and care over bathroom cleaning can keep it sparkling and smelling fresh for longer. If you don’t want to mess with baking soda, use disinfectant and detergent. Clean the shower curtain as often as you clean the shower and bath. Make it a habit.

2. Get that toilet sealed

A man fixing a toilet in a bathroom.

Even if the cause was down to fungal issues and poor cleaning, it still helps to check the toilet. Make sure there aren’t seal issues or other plumbing problems going unnoticed. A good trick is to pour food dye into the toilet tank and see if it ends up in the bowl. You can also check for water under the toilet base. A positive result probably means you need a replacement wax ring. Have a plumber fix everything for extra peace of mind.

3. Get a better shower curtain

The final step is to invest in a better shower curtain and keep that clean too. A mildew-resistant shower curtain is far less likely to suffer from those nasty fungal growths. Thus, you won’t get those same lingering odors.

At Cotton Cat, we offer a range of mildew-resistant shower curtains that will stay looking and smelling great for longer. We also specialize in bold prints that bring more color and personality to the room. We want you to enjoy your shower in style, and you are sure to find a standout curtain in our collection.

dolphins jump over the moon shower curtain

With a stunning Cotton Cat shower curtain in your bathroom, you will want to keep it looking perfect. The materials help, but you will still need to put in some effort to clean and keep your bathroom clean. If you don’t, bacteria and mold can build up, and the problem repeats itself.


Don’t let urine smells ruin your bathroom. If a urine smell in your shower curtain is driving you mad, remember those important steps. Locate the source of the problem. Take action with the right cleaning products to neutralize the smell. And then work on your preventative measures. Invest in the best solution, and your bathroom will stay fresh and clean for longer!


Q: What can cause my bathroom to smell like urine?

A: Mildew, mold, inadequate ventilation, or urine residue could all be to blame for the smell of urine in the bathroom. It could also be due to a buildup of grime and soap scum in the shower and on the shower curtain.

Q: How can I get rid of the urine smell in my bathroom?

A: To end the urine odor, you can clean your shower curtain, scrub the wall tiles, and thoroughly clean the shower drain. Additionally, you can use white vinegar or bleach to remove the smell.

Q: How do I clean my shower to remove the urine odor?

A: You can clean your shower using a scrub brush and a cleaning solution that includes white vinegar or bleach. Pay special attention to the shower walls, grout, and the shower drain to remove any urine odor.

Q: What are the best ways to keep my bathroom from smelling like urine?

A: Regular cleaning, proper ventilation, and sealing any areas where urine may have seeped, such as around the toilet base, are effective ways to prevent your bathroom from smelling like urine.

Q: Can old urine cause my shower curtain to smell like urine?

A: Yes, old urine residue on the shower curtain or shower liner can cause it to smell like urine. It’s important to regularly clean and scrub your shower to prevent this odor.

Q: What role does ventilation play in preventing the bathroom from smelling like urine?

A: Proper ventilation in the bathroom prevents the buildup of moisture, which can cause the growth of mildew and mold, and an unpleasant urine odor.

Q: Can the shower drain contribute to the urine smell in the bathroom?

A: Yes, a clogged or dirty shower drain can contribute to the urine smell in the bathroom. Regularly cleaning and unclogging the shower drain can help end this odor.

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