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Monday's Ask the Experts: Odorous drains

May 10, 2010
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Monday''s Ask the Experts question from a cleaning professional on the International Custodial Advisors Network (ICAN) "Ask the Experts" page: We have floor drains in two of our restrooms that have a horrible "urine" smell, even after we have tried enzyme products, vinegar and just about everything we can think of.
They do have standing liquid. What do you suggest?
The answer:
If the traps have water in them, you can eliminate sewer gas as the odor cause. That leaves you with the liquid in the trap or the surfaces above the trap, namely the floor, drain cover and pipe.
Try using a detergent solution — even used mop water if it is not too dirty — and scrubbing the accessible surfaces several times over the next few days. Follow each cleaning with a heavy rinse that leaves the trap full. Make sure you are satisfied that the drains are clean and have fresh, clean water in them.
Take the cover plate off, if necessary, to remove any old mop strands that may be down there. Once you have actually cleaned Lynn E. Krafft, ICAN/ATEX Editor
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