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Bathtub drain smells sour. What will work?

The bathtub drain had been draining slowly and smelled sour. I removed the strainer, and pulled WADS of slimy hair out of the drain. The water drains smoothly now, so I think I got at least most of the hair.

Get the drainage in shape.
  • Avoid food remnants getting into the drains system where by it would form a blockage.
  • Keep hair out of your shower drains pipe with a grate or grill on the drain entry.
  • Put on latex gloves when engaged on drainage pipes as they can be very greasy plus slimy.
  • When you have a blocked drainage pipe a plunger must be the first thing you use.

I’ve tried bleach, but the smell returned immediately after the shower stopped running. Also tried baking soda and vinegar. Smell stopped only as long as I ran water down the drain. This seems strange and suggests that the water is masking the smell and the steps I have taken have not remedied the problem at all. Drains are a major headache to me particularly those in the region of the bathroom.

1) What could it be?
2) How to kill the smell for good?

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6 Responses to “Bathtub drain smells sour. What will work?”
  1. Hugo Dorrington Said:

    For a clogged bathtub drain I would buy some Liquid Plumber (Extra Strength, Overnight, Brown Bottle Variety). Pour the whole bottle in there, and don’t use the tub overnight. Then, in the morning, run VERY HOT water in the drain for about 10-15 mins. See if that helps! It definitely sounds like there is still a clog in there. Good Luck!

  2. Lilian Golding Said:

    it is just going to have to take some time and air dry out if bleach and vinegar did not work it has to air out give it a couple of days try washing your bathtub with the vinegar and get it at least sparkling clean pour the vinegar in the tub and put the tub stopper down so the vinegar is left in the tub while cleaning it after your done cleaning the tub then open the drain and let the vinegar go down the drain and then rinse the tub.that might take some of the smell away that way.

  3. Hector Thomas Said:

    Go with the first answer (drain opener). It worked for me.

  4. Deandre Barry Said:

    There is a product at Wal -mart sold in a gallon jug.. in the drain opener section.. It is made just for bath tub drain problems.. I have used it many times.. I think it is even cheaper then the regular liquid plumber ect… Anyway, it works really good.. Seems like it is in a red or black container.. It looks like a more generic brand.. but I depend on it..I am sure that you still have hair and soap scum in your drain.. if the smell is still there.. This stuff will clean it out.. I am sure some of the others would work also.. But if you can find it keep some on hand and if your tub starts draining slow .. pour some down.. You might want to consider a new strainer for the drain if you are getting alot of hair… Hope this helps.. : )

  5. Jaxson Foster Said:

    I would try SoftScrub with Bleach. Squirt a BUNCH of it around the edges of the drain so that it clings to the inside of the pipe as it goes down. Let it sit for an hour if possible in the bathtub drain. You might even try a bottle brush down there to clean the drain walls, or just let a lot of hot water run down after it. This should kill the mold and other icky stuff since the product will cling to the drain better than straight bleach would.
    Good luck!

  6. Amarion Crutchley Said:

    What comes out of a drain would gag a maggot! It may sound strange but I have used a bottle of hydrogen peroxide down the bathtub drain. It’s cheap enough and you can hear it working. Try it out; you might be surprised. I like it.



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