How to Keep Waterless Urinals From Smelling?

Waterless urinals work on the principle of gravity, as the urine flows down the drain by gravity without using water to flush it. However, this plumbing fixture can cause smell, but the chances are less than the conventional urinals.

How to Keep Waterless Urinals From Smelling? You can keep the waterless urinals from smelling by using high-quality sealants, replacing the cartridge, using ice, doing proper cleaning and maintenance, flushing the drains with vinegar and lemon solution, and using toilet augers to unclog the drain pipes.

The smell in the public restrooms and home bathrooms can be irritating, and it becomes horrible to breathe and use this with the odor all around this area.

In addition, the chances of diseases increase with the smell-causing bacteria when maintenance and cleaning is poor.

How can you keep waterless urinals from smelling?

Waterless urinals usually do not cause a smell, and you can keep them away from smelling using the following methods.

High-quality sealants

The urine penetrates the sealant and flows down the drain pipes, and the liquid sealant floats on the top, which acts as a barrier for the sewer gases and smell-spreading bacteria.

The liquid sealant has a specific gravity ranges from 0.7-0.8, which is lower than the water and remains on top of the trap.

They are sanitary because the high-quality sealants use materials that can last for a long time and prevent the smell.

It suppresses the odor-causing vapors that can disperse in the air and make it difficult to breathe.

In addition, many companies add deodorizers in the liquid sealants that help to reduce the urine odor from this place. 

Replace the cartridge

The cartridge is designed like a trap that collects the sediments from the urine and other foreign particles.

This component in the plumbing fixture allows the urine to flow through it, and the plumbing fixture can self-ventilate using better airflow through the small holes and gaps.

It can help block the smell because it acts as a lid over the liquid sealant and prevents the smell particles from coming out of the drains and sewage. 

You can replace the cartridge after 2-6 months, depending on the usage and quality of the cartridge, because the worn-out component cannot reduce the odor, and more odor-causing bacteria rise from the urinal.

It is better to call a professional if you do not have the knowledge and experience to change the cartridge.

Using ice

Many hotel facilities use ice to prevent the smell because the ice can freeze the urine molecules that cause odor and prevent them from spreading in the air.

You can put 1-2 gallons of ice directly into the urinals, as the melting water runs through the drain pipes and keep the urine flowing down in sewage.

Proper cleaning and maintenance

Waterless urinals do not require much cleaning and maintenance, but it is better to take care of this plumbing fixture to avoid the smell and damage to the fixture working.

You can use urinal cakes and mats to reduce the odor, as they are not expensive, and maintain the plumbing fixture in good condition for a long time.

You can clean it with a special cleaner for urinals and use a soft sponge and cloth to prevent any cracks and scratches on the surface.

Regular cleaning can help to get rid of the smell and bacteria growing inside the bowl due to urine splashes.

Flush drains with lemon and vinegar

You can flush the drains with lemon and vinegar solution because it can help remove the clogging and the smell arising from the clogged drainage.

Vinegar has acetic acid, which reacts with the lemon acid, which reacts with the water and breaks the clogged molecules which cause odor.

Lemon is a natural disinfectant that kills bacteria and minimizes the odor its drains.

However, remove the cartridge before pouring the vinegar and lemon solution because it can damage the cartridge.

Use toilet augers

You can use toilet augers to remove the clogging in the drainage, which causes a stingy aroma inside the urinal. Remove the cartridge and then use the tool to prevent damage to the components.

A toilet auger is a cable-like tool that pushes the clogged material with some force, and the material breaks down into pieces that easily flow down the drain pipes into the sewage.

You can use a plunger, drain snake, and other metal rod tools to help remove the blockage and clogging in the drain, and urine can flow from the pipes.

Why do waterless urinals smell?

These urinals can smell for various reasons, some of which are listed here.


Clogging can occur inside the drain pipes of the waterless plumbing fixture.

It happens due to urine crystals with different minerals that accumulate in the drains and the foreign particle that can pass through the cartridge if damaged.

The clogging in the drains can obstruct the urine from flowing down into the sewage, and it starts accumulating there, which causes the smell and bacterial growth inside the plumbing fixture.

Poor cleaning

Every plumbing fixture needs cleaning to avoid the smell, whether it is a waterless urinal or a conventional urinal.

It can cause a nasty odor inside or around the fixture if you do not clean it and the area around it, such as the floor and the walls.

The cleaning staff can damage the cartridge and the sealant liquid if they are not trained in cleaning and use an abrasive cleaner on the surface, which causes cracks in the cartridge and odor to spread in the bathroom.

The liquid sealant needs replacement after 1400-7500 uses or 2-6 months, depending on the sealant quality.

It causes smell inside the plumbing fixture if you do not replace the sealant after this time.

Water usage

They are designed to operate without water usage inside the plumbing fixture because the water can destroy the sealant and other components. 

The calcium and minerals in water meet with the minerals in urine, causing limescale and mineral buildup, which blocks the pipes and drainage.

The mineral buildup and block drains cause the odor and damage the cartridge, which is a main component to seal the odor and sewage gases. 

Harsh cleaners

The abrasive and harsh cleaners cause cracks on the plumbing fixture surface and make it porous, which causes urine splashes and bacteria to collect on the surface or inside the cracks.

The abrasive cleaner may have specific gravity to float on the sealant surface and affect the working of liquid sealant to reduce the smell.

Some people use abrasive cleaners to remove the smell because the chemicals used in the manufacturing can disinfect the bacteria that cause odor, but the opposite happens, and it causes more smell.

Does a waterless urinal need to be vented?

A drain-waste venting system is something most people are not familiar with, but it is present in all bathroom plumbing systems.

The sewer gases can release from the drains if the trap is not working or clogged, which can cause health problems because it contains toxic gases.

It is better to install a plumbing vent system for all the plumbing fixtures in the bathroom, such as sinks, urinals, toilets, and bathtubs.

It allows the sewer gases to flow out towards the outdoor vent and airflow into the plumbing system.

Waterless urinals need to be vented and connected to the plumbing tree, which is the central pipe connected to all the drain pipes of different plumbing fixtures in the bathroom.

It helps to ensure that its drain pipes work well in different conditions.

As a result, the water used for cleaning and unclogging the drains can flow through the drain pipes into the sewage.