attempting to eliminate sewer odor with a spray

Sewer problems can lead to some truly disgusting smells in your home. Before you use your space again, you’ll want to remove the smell. There are a few ways to get rid of the smell and a lot of misinformation about this process online. Get real tips on how to eliminate sewer odor from professional plumbers.

Fix the Sewer Issues

The first step to clearing out the sewer door in your home is to get the underlying sewer issue fixed. A professional plumber can identify the source of the gas and stop it from entering your home. Your plumber may need to do any of the following fixes:

  • Replace wax rings
  • Fix cracked pipes
  • Fix sewer leaks
  • Refresh dry traps

Sewer gases can be dangerous, so trying to resolve the smell with DIY methods can be dangerous. Odds are that the solution won’t work, and you’ll continue to expose yourself to sewer gases. Once the underlying problem is resolved by your plumber, the smell may linger, so there is still a bit of work to do on your part.

Clean the Area

If the sewer smell was caused by a sewer leak, it is important to clean the area that the liquids leaked onto. However, you should be careful about this. Sewers leak black water with the bacteria and other pathogens that you’re smelling. You should use diluted bleach to sanitize the area and soap and water to help lift smells.

Air Fresheners

There are many air fresheners available at your local store that will remove much of the sewer smell from the air. Look for brands that actively eliminate smells instead of just covering them up with a floral scent.

Dryer sheets are also able to absorb some smells. Place a few near where the sewer problem began, and you can absorb much of the remaining scent.


If you have built-in ventilation in the area, like the bathroom fan, then it is a wise idea to run it while you wait for the smells to dissipate. If not, crack open and window and run a fan for a few minutes. This typically clears up the worse of the smell.

How Not to Clean Sewer Odor

There is much advice on the internet that isn’t exactly right. Here are some things that won’t help you remove any sewer smells:

  • Don’t pour things down the drain: No amount of baking soda, vinegar, or drain chemicals will fix sewer gas smells. These solutions usually don’t even work for clogs, ever mind gas leaks.
  • Don’t clean your own traps: If sewer gases are entering your home through the drains, they’re dry, not clogged. Cleaning your traps won’t help. It will just expose you to more of the gas.
  • Don’t hide the smell: Don’t try to cover up the smell with air fresheners and dryer sheets unless the sewer problem has been completely solved. You don’t want to hide the signs of a recurring problem because sewer gas can be dangerous.
  • Don’t use a snake: Again, we’re not sure why this one is suggested. Sewer gases do not enter the home through clogs.

Get in touch with our team for a professional drain cleaning in Tracy, CA or beyond.