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How to 'clear the air' after using the bathroom

Ever use the bathroom at someone's house only to be embarrassed by the odors you've left behind? Try these tips to get rid of those bathroom smells.
Leave the bathroom smelling as fresh as possible.
Leave the bathroom smelling as fresh as possible. Iriana Shiyan / Shutterstock
/ Source: TODAY

Unfortunately, toilets don't come with built-in air fresheners. So when the bathroom is packing more pew than a church, don't despair. With an ounce of prevention and a pound of ingenuity, you may be able to leave the powder room daisy fresh after all.

Easy tips for clearing the air after using the bathroom:

First and foremost, reduce odors by flushing the toilet as soon as you can. The quicker the flush, the less the odor. A "courtesy flush" is not only courteous, it's smart.

But how to make the bathroom smell good? Ventilate! Open a window or turn on the exhaust fan. Most bathrooms have exhaust fans above the toilet. Just make sure you've turned on the fan and not the heater portion of the fixture. Leave it running even after you leave the bathroom.

In addition to the above solutions, check your purse to see if you have any of the following items that might serve as an air freshener hack.

  • Fragrant hand lotion: Apply it liberally to your hands then wave your hands in the air. Some people go so far as to squirt a bit of lotion into the commode.
  • Hair spray: The heavier the fragrance, the better when it comes to this emergency air freshener. Again, a puff in the air and one in the toilet works wonders.
  • Breath spray: Made to eliminate odors, a few sprays will handle the problem beautifully.
  • Perfume/cologne: If you're lucky enough to have a small vial of perfume with you, all your troubles are over. One sprinkle and odors are gone.

For the poop-paranoid, a specific odor-masking product — called Poo-Pourri — was created for such situations.

If none of the above are available and the odor is really obnoxious, check out the cabinets for more air freshener hacks:

Add a bit of any of these to the toilet to control smells. Just don't overdo it, especially if you use bleach. Less than a cap full is enough. And NEVER mix bleach with anything containing ammonia or you'll produce a toxic, potentially dangerous gas that's a bigger problem than the smell you're trying to cover. (Such products will also be helpful if you're trying to figure out how to get rid of urine smell in the bathroom.)

Should none of the above options be available to you, leave the door ajar when you exit the bathroom. If someone is waiting to go in after you, give them fair warning by saying something like, "You may want to wait a bit before you go in there. Someone left it smelling pretty bad."

Just give the warning. This is neither the time nor the place for 'fessing up.

This story was originally published on Dec. 15, 2015.