A bidet is a great tool to help you maintain good hygiene and feel clean, but that clean feeling is undermined if you’re noticing a constant smell of urine.
The bidet has been popular in Europe, East Asia, and Latin America for years now and is catching on in the United States. However, new bidet owners are sometimes surprised by the potent smell of urine.
The most common cause of your bidet smelling like urine is pretty simple: urine stains and splashes on the bidet. The smell is most noticeable if you have a bidet with a heated component because the heat will cause some of the urine to evaporate, making the odor worse.
Luckily, preventing and getting rid of urine smells on your bidet is not that difficult. Here is your ultimate guide to beating the smell and keeping your bidet as clean as it can be.
Why Does My Bidet Smell Like Pee? (Explained)
The main reason your bidet smells like pee is very simple. (Link)
That means urine somehow splashed on your bidet. As the urine lingers, that causes a lingering smell as well. Sometimes, getting rid of the urine odor is not as easy as wiping down your toilet because the urine gets into hard-to-reach crevices, so the odor may linger even after you give your bathroom a cursory wipe-down.
Usually, the “culprits” behind urine splashes on the bidet are men who pee standing up. Even the most careful man who lifts the seat when going to the bathroom and has perfect aim (Link) could have this problem, so don’t immediately start fighting over who takes more care in the bathroom.
As the urine hits the bowl, minuscule droplets splash away with the force of hitting the toilet and can get into any surface. When the seat is up, that includes any bidet attachments. If you don’t see this in time, that can lead to a lingering odor.
Normally, you might not even notice a significant urine odor.
It’s a toilet, and all toilets smell a little bit like pee.
However, if your bidet has any functions that incorporate heating, such as a dryer or a hot water option, then you will notice a pungent urine odor.
The heat from the bidet part evaporates part of the urine, which then sends a concentrated urine odor around your bathroom. Fun!
To summarize, here is the sequence of events that leads to your bidet smelling like pee:
- Someone uses the bathroom, usually a man who lifts the seat up and pees standing up.
- Urine droplets get onto the bidet attachment/toilet seat.
- The person using the bathroom turns on the air-dryer or activates the hot water feature.
- The heat evaporates the urine, causing a potent smell.
Are Certain Bidets More Prone To Smelling Like Pee?
Depending on the type of bidet you have, you will be more likely to struggle with a persistent urine odor than someone else with a different type of bidet.
People who have the most problem with bidets smelling like urine have bidets that attach to the toilet. These include the following type of bidets:
- Bidet toilet seats
- Bidet-toilet combos
Most of these types of bidets also have an electrical or heated component because they are very fancy, high-tech machines. While the heating is great if you want to have an enjoyable post-toilet experience, it is not so great in terms of odor prevention.
Regular bidet toilet seats that just have a water function and no dryer are less prone to smelling like urine.
Bidet attachments are less prone to smelling like urine because they don’t usually have a heating component. However, attachments that permanently go on your toilet may sometimes smell if pee splashes on them.
Bidet sprays almost never smell like urine because they’re never near the toilet while you pee (unless you try to clean up before you’re done using the toilet).
Finally, stand-alone bidets or ceramic bidet basins don’t usually smell like pee. That’s because people usually pee in the toilet and then wash up in the bidet.
However, you technically can pee in a stand-alone bidet because urine is a liquid that can drain out just like water, and some people take advantage of this convenience, but I would discourage this behavior when visiting friends.
If you notice a persistent urine smell from your stand-alone bidet, that means someone is peeing in the bowl.
Although you can fix this problem with a quick scrub, you can also prevent it. To make clean-up easier, talk to your household and ask that everyone switches back to peeing in the toilet.
How Can I Prevent My Bidet From Smelling Like Pee?
If you don’t want to deal with the extra hassle of eliminating urine odors, there are a few things you can do to prevent your bidet from smelling like pee.
One is changing the way you or your household pees.
As mentioned above, if you have a stand-alone bidet that smells frequently of urine, make sure that everybody is using the bidet for washing up only.
If you have a built-in bidet, make sure that you and your family are aiming properly.
If the men in your household are having trouble, emphasize the importance of wiping the seat after sprinkling (Institute a rule that everyone has to pee sitting down might work on any holdouts.).
Another change that can reduce urine odors is to stop using heated functions of your bidet.
That means relying on cold water to get you clean, and drying off with toilet paper/washcloth instead of an air dryer.
While this might reduce the comfort of your post-toilet experience somewhat, the bidet will still get the job done while smelling less like pee because you won’t be evaporating the urine.
However, even with steps to prevent urine smells, you might still get the occasional foul odor because the bidet is so close to the source of the problem that accidents will happen.
Or maybe you don’t want to give up your air dryer or change your peeing habits.
Don’t worry, because cleaning up urine odors in your bidet is almost easier than preventing them.
How Do I Get Rid Of The Pee Odor In My Bidet?
Cleaning a built-in bidet might add a few steps to your cleaning routine compared to what it was like with a regular toilet, but it’s a small price to pay for the comforts of a bidet.
Going through a detailed cleaning routine can also help you prevent urine stains from developing into potent sources of odor.
First, prepare a cleaning solution for your toilet seat and bidet. Usually, a gentle solution of warm water and mild detergent will do the trick. Soak a washcloth in the solution, squeeze out excess water, and start working on the bidet. Wipe down the toilet seat, lift the seat, and use the cloth to wipe down the underside of the seat and the bidet components. Pay special attention to any heated parts as they are usually the source of the worst of the smell.
If you thoroughly clean your bidet and still notice a potent urine smell, try giving it a few days.
If there’s been plenty of built-up urine deposits, it’s going to take the smell some time to dissipate.
However, it’s also possible that you didn’t clean as thoroughly as you thought you did and forgot some crevices such as the dryer.
Cleaning The Dryer
A lot of the most potent urine smells come from urine splashing on the dryer because the dryer is the main heat source on an electric bidet.
Most bidets have a flap covering the dryer when it’s not in use, but urine will sometimes seep in through the flap. When people forget to lift the flap and clean the dryer, that results in a potent urine smell.
To get rid of urine odors, lift the flap and clean around the dryer vent. Don’t use a wet cloth or sharp brush, and don’t stick anything up the dryer opening as that could damage the bidet. Instead, take a Q-tip or very soft cloth and wipe around the dryer opening, which should get rid of any splashes.
What About Self-Cleaning Bidets?
Some of the most high-tech toilets and bidet seats come with a self-cleaning function that shoots water out of a nozzle to clean the bidet.
This self-cleaning function is very useful, but you still need to clean the nozzles sometimes. Use a toothbrush soaked in vinegar and scrub around the nozzles to prevent a build-up of any odors.
Some fancy and advanced bidets have a deodorizer filter to prevent strong smells such as urine. However, you need to clean the deodorizer regularly.
Locate the deodorizer filter (usually on the side of the bidet) and remove the filter. Clean out any dust with a toothbrush or a hair dryer, and replace the filter regularly according to manufacturer instructions.
Maintaining An Odor-Free Bidet
Hopefully, you should only have to do an intensive clean occasionally.
Some regular maintenance can help clean up any spills and prevent smells from getting too bad.
Wipe your bidet and toilet seat down at least once a week.
Talk to everyone in your household and emphasize the importance of wiping down splashes as they notice them, even on the underside of the seat.
What Other Odors Are Common With A Bidet?
A urine smell is not the only odor you might notice around your bidet.
Here are a few other common smells as well as how to prevent and clean them:
If you just got a new bidet, you may be surprised by a sharp chemical smell.
In the beginning, this is normal because the heated components of your bidet sometimes cause a smell as they burn through the manufacturer’s coating. However, if the odor persists or you notice a burning chemical smell on a bidet you’ve had for years, stop using it immediately and contact the manufacturer.
If you notice a sewage smell coming from your newly installed built-in bidet, the culprit is your toilet, not your bidet.
However, if you notice a sewage smell coming from a newly installed stand-alone bidet, the problem might be the P-trap or S-trap. (Link)
A P-trap or S-trap is a flap that is at the back of your drain and lifts to let water flow away but stays in place normally to block sewage gas from coming back into your bathroom.
If there is a problem with this trap or with the seal around the base of your bidet or toilet, you will notice more sewage smells.
Unfortunately, these problems are pretty hard to fix on your own.
Installing a new trap is a complicated process. Installing a new seal is somewhat easier, although you still have to remove the whole bidet to do so.
If you notice a persistent sewer smell around your bidet, then it’s time to call a plumber, just like you would if you noticed the same problem around your toilet.
Damp or moldy smells are most common if you have a deodorizer attachment for your bidet.
While deodorizers are normally very useful and help filter out odors, if they get clogged, they stop doing their job and actually contribute to making the smells in your bathroom worse.
You can prevent damp, moldy smells from coming out of your bidet by regularly cleaning the deodorizer.
Open up the deodorizer and take out the carbon filter. Clean out the dust then put it back. The odor should dissipate with time.
If the damp smell persists even after you clean your deodorizer, it’s time to replace it with a new one. Always be sure to get a replacement directly from the manufacturer.
A cheaper duplicate from an online shopping site may not be compatible with your bidet and could make the smell worse.
Tips For Bidet Maintenance
Here are some tips for cleaning your bidet to prevent urine and all other odors.
Clean your bidet at least once a week by wiping it down with a damp cloth. This will get rid of any stains or splashes and prevent odors.
Only use mild detergents or cleansers. Harsh cleaning products can corrode the surface or damage any more sensitive components.
You don’t want to accidentally damage your high-tech bidet!
If you have a bidet toilet seat, sometimes the best way to clean it thoroughly is to remove the seat altogether. The same rule applies to bidet attachments.
You don’t have to do this every time you clean but do it often enough that you get rid of any persistent odors or dirt.
Finally, be sure that you are cleaning all parts of the bidet, including any nozzles, deodorizers, and dryer vents.
Urine splashes and smells can get stuck in the smallest of crevices.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some other questions people just like you have about urine smells in their bidet.
How Often Should You Replace A Bidet?
If you notice persistent odors around your bidet, you may be wondering if it’s time to replace your bidet.
The good news is that most built-in bidets can last up to 10 years without needing a replacement.
Stand-alone bidet basins can last even longer.
However, some bidet attachments need replacing after about six months.
Read the manufacturer instructions and warranty before installing your bidet to know when you will need to replace it.
Why Does My Toilet Smell Like Urine?
If you regularly clean your bidet and toilet but still notice a persistent urine smell, the culprit may not be your bidet—it could be your toilet.
Often toilets smell like urine because there is an issue with the mechanism somehow. It could have problems with flushing the urine or the seal could be loose, allowing foul odors to escape.
If you notice persistent urine smells from your toilet and you know you clean it regularly, it’s time to call a plumber to see if any underlying problems need attention.
Bidets are a great way to get that good, clean feeling after using the bathroom. However, using them takes some adjustments, particularly when it comes to caring for and maintaining your new installation.
If you notice a persistent urine smell, that means some urine splashed onto parts of the bidet and didn’t get cleaned up in time.
Urine odors are particularly common with built-in bidets that have heated components such as air dryers.
The urine gets stuck on some of those hidden crevices and then evaporates when you turn on the heat, spreading the smell throughout your bathroom.
Luckily, getting rid of this smell is easy enough.
Wipe down your bidet regularly with a damp cloth to get rid of any stains. Use a Q-tip to clean under flaps and vents such as around the dryer vent.
You can also prevent these smells by wiping down the seat with toilet paper after each use, avoiding the heating functions, and asking everyone in your household to aim more carefully.
If the urine odor persists, the culprit might be your toilet, and it’s time to call a plumber.