There are many causes of odors in the restroom, but one is commonly overlooked — the floor drain.

Under every floor drain, there's a trap that holds water, which prevents sewer gases from flowing up into the air. But if the floor drain is never used or maintained, the water in the trap can eventually evaporate or dry out. This allows for odorous—or even dangerous—sewer gases to escape.

Although foul odors emitting from floor drains can be a problem, the solution is simple. There are solvents on the market that are specifically designed so that when used with water, they can create a barrier in these drain traps, preventing the release of gasses. This is a great option for areas that are infrequently cleaned because the solvents are designed to minimize the evaporation of the water.

For those areas that receive custodial attention daily, simply “flushing out” the drain can be enough to resolve odor concerns. When mopping and disinfecting floors, simply pull the mop out of the bucket without ringing it and place it over the drain. Step on it a couple of times to flush liquid into the drain. This prevents drains from drying out and the disinfectant will kill odor causing bacteria.