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Bathroom awful smell... where is it ARGGGH

(20 Posts)
Schwanengesang Wed 24-Jan-18 02:11:42

Anyone had the mystery bathroom vomit/plastic smell? It's not quite vomit, but pretty close to it - it's the same smell as old/off gel sunblock. I've also smelt plastics that were the same smell.

We smell it when it's a hot day, after we've had showers. So basically when it's warm and humid enough for smell to be conducted effectively. Most of the time, our bathroom is cold (well below 15 degrees C) and draughty (we live somewhere very windy with clean air) and not particularly smelly.

We had insulation put in the external wall about 18 months ago (as in, taking the inner wall lining off, putting building paper & pink batts in, replacing inner wall lining). This involved taking the loo out and putting it back. The smell dates from then, but I cannot for the life of me find a builder who is willing to take the Hardieglaze off and see whether the pink batts are wet and growing mould. Three in succession have told me there's no smell and I'm some wet stupid female imagining things (thankfully or not, DH can smell it too...).

Got a plumber round yesterday to take the toilet out and check the seals. He did note that the seal wasn't perfect on the pipe, so fixed it. Unfortunately today the smell was back again (summer here).

Anyone got any experience of this? If it's as simple as "it's mould in your shower door fixture" it would be nice to know before we take the wall off, though I think it's not the shower door as the smell is specifically at the end of the bathroom where the loo and external wall are.

CheapSausagesAndSpam Wed 24-Jan-18 02:15:59

Have you got a drain in the floor? I'm in Oz and ours stank when we moved in.

OrangeCarpet Wed 24-Jan-18 02:20:25

Could it be the silicone sealant?

Schwanengesang Wed 24-Jan-18 03:18:51

No floor drain. Could be the sealant used inside the wall on the window frame maybe; it isn't that used on the loo; wall lining (Hardieglaze) just clips into place like lego so no sealant.

lovelyjubilly Wed 24-Jan-18 04:17:32

Could be an electrical smell if you have an electric shower. Does it smell of fish?

Schwanengesang Wed 24-Jan-18 04:30:15

No electric shower, bog standard old fashioned plumbing/ hot water tank. I know that smell though - this is a different one.

teaandtoast Wed 24-Jan-18 04:42:02

What are the pink batts made of - ie, can they grow mould?

Is it just a weird drain smell? We have a horrendous drain smell from time to time. The bloke next door is always having drain people round. I'm hoping it's his problem rather than ours.

Mamabear14 Wed 24-Jan-18 05:29:55

Is it the shower curtain? We had that. I was busy complaining the boys didn't put the extractor on before getting in and made it smell vile but it was where the shower curtain touches the bath after getting wet.

TornadoOfToys Wed 24-Jan-18 05:46:25

Drains probably. If your sink and shower drain through the same system, there could be a blockage somewhere and when you shower, the smell comes through the overflow/drain of the sink?

Do you have DC? My 8 year old did some experiments recently....this involved putting objects down the sink plughole...

Schwanengesang Wed 24-Jan-18 06:13:23

Concievably it's drains, though that doesn't explain why the smell localizes to near the loo. Bottle of coke (or other drain cleaner) down the shower/bath & sink might be worth trying. I do clean them out with a plunger from time to time: they don't smell like this though.

We have a perspex shower door thing that screens the side of the bath. Have checked the hinge, it's clean, as is the bit of rubbery stuff along the bottom. I clean the bath, sink and loo assiduously.

Schwanengesang Wed 24-Jan-18 06:14:25

DS is 15 months so more into putting stuff up his nose than down the plughole...

TornadoOfToys Wed 24-Jan-18 06:18:02

envy a bathroom so large you can say the smell is definitely by the loo! I'm jealous!

The only other thing I can think of is that the water in the toilet is not filling enough to seal off the drainage pipe. Could that be possible?

BertieBotts Wed 24-Jan-18 06:18:20

We get horrible smells from the toilet and sink drains in our bathroom. It's almost certainly the pipes lower down, because we've had issues with the ones on the other side in the kitchen which didn't go until the building manager got a proper clean done. Nobody seems to have done any maintenance on the whole building. Bathroom is on another pipe system so I think it needs doing too. We chuck drain cleaner down every so often which helps but doesn't clear it totally.

SwerfyTerfy Wed 24-Jan-18 06:28:31

I had similar in a rented house in Mexico.
This is what fixed it.
100g of bicarb straight into the toilet, without flushing add 200ml of white vinegar, an entire can of cola and leave for an hour before flushing. I was there for a further 9 weeks and had no more smells after that. Might not work for you but cheap enough and easy enough that it's worth a shot

LittleMouseontheDairy Wed 24-Jan-18 08:04:26

Long shot but have you checked the inside of your toothbrush holder?
We had a smell that was driving me mad a while back - sort of a mixture of wee and vomit but with an edge of ‘sweetness’. Having scrubbed the whole bathroom to an inch of its life I thought it was our wooden loo seat and was on the verge of chucking it when we looked at the bottom of our toothbrush holder - a sort of fake marble stone cup we were using. The drips must have started gathering into a little puddle... envy
(Sick face).
Threw it and toothbrushes out and au revoir smell!
Now I check the toothbrush holder often...

tiddlyipom Wed 24-Jan-18 08:39:16

We get this a lot, it's the toothpaste / teeth brushing spit that gets caught in the ubend of the sink's pipes.
I have to clean it out every month, take the pipes apart and scrub them out with a bottle brush and bleach.
First time I did it (vom) the pipes were coated in black funk.

papayasareyum Wed 24-Jan-18 09:49:44

we had this and it was a mouse which had died somewhere in the wall between the sink and bath. We knew it was a mouse as we’d seen it once and heard scratching. The scratching stopped and the stink started. It lasted three weeks. I assume it started to fossilise after that

GreyHare Wed 24-Jan-18 10:18:31

Do you have main drains or a septic tank? I'm on a septic tank and I know when the wind direction changes as it cause a slight whiff to appear in the bathroom, failing that do you have a shower mat as I brought one that absolutely stank of nasty plastic and even after leaving it to air in the garden for a week it still smelt.

OakIsBetterTho Wed 24-Jan-18 10:25:01

I have no other suggestions besides the ones above but I would like to pipe up here and say I don't believe it is your cavity batts. I work in the building trade (sales rep, heavyside specialist!) and the material the batts are made of wouldn't form mould as such and certainly not smelly mould. Hope you get to the bottom of it, but please don't rip out your walls!! It'll be expensive and pointless!

Schwanengesang Thu 25-Jan-18 06:18:39

Thanks all. Will unscrew the sink pipes and give them a decent clean...

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