Why Does Poop Smell Linger On Skin? (Explained!)

It is common knowledge that poop smells bad and is among the most unpleasant smells. However, poop and its smell are typically a none issue provided you flush it, wipe it well, and clean your hands to prevent the smell from lingering on your skin. That aside, why does poop smell linger on skin?

Poop smell lingers on the skin because your poop is more potent, or you did not clean your hands or wipe your butt properly after pooping. You must clean yourself well after pooping since your skin is highly porous. Poop may also linger longer because breaking down hydrogen sulfide gas takes time. 

Despite poop having a pungent smell, you can keep it from lingering on your skin through simple steps. This post explores why the poop smell lingers on the skin and how to eliminate it.

Does poop smell stick to clothes

Why Does Poop Smell Linger On Skin? (Reasons)

Below are the reasons the poop smell lingers on the skin.

1. The Poop Type

Some kinds of poop have a more pungent smell than others, so your type of poop may be the culprit if you discover the smell lingering on your skin even after cleaning well. Although cleaning yourself after having diarrhea takes longer than regular poop. However, regular poop has a more intense smell than diarrhea.

2. More Sulfur In Your Diet

Hydrogen Sulfide gas is responsible for the foul smell of poop. Therefore, the chances of the poop smell lingering on your skin are higher if more of this gas is produced during digestion. Foods like meat, cheese, and cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower and broccoli are rich in sulfur.

Sulfur-rich foods are harder to digest, and your body will work overtime to digest them. The result is more production of hydrogen sulfide gas.

3. Poor Wiping and Cleaning After Using The Toilet

You can prevent poop smell from lingering on your skin, regardless of how smelly it is, by wiping properly afterward and washing your hands thoroughly. Fecal matter can easily be trapped in your anal region if you fail to wipe properly.

Also, not washing your hands or skipping it altogether will have them smelling of poop.

How To Remove Poop Smell From Your Skin

Nobody wants to walk around smelling like poop, so how do you get rid of the poop smell from your skin? Below are the useful strategies.

1. Wash Your Hands Properly

We are all taught to wash our hands after using the toilet, and washing your hands is the first thing you should do after pooping. However, the most important part is knowing how to wash your hands and do it thoroughly.

Below are the steps for effective hand washing:

  • Run cool water through your hands before applying an antibacterial soap.
  • Cover your hands with sufficient soap.
  • Rub the palms together.
  • Rub the back of each hand and in between the fingers.
  • Interlock the fingers, then rub clean.
  • Rub the back of the fingers against the palms.
  • Rub your thumbs, then the fingertips.
  • Rinse your hands using water.
  • Dry your hands using a disposable towel.


Clean your hands using hand gel if you cannot access soap and water at the time. However, wash them as soon as possible.

Make sure you clean behind your nails to remove any residue.

How to get rid of poop smell on skin

2. Wipe Properly

Use strong quality toilet paper, preferably two-ply toilet paper (View on amazon), to wipe your bum after pooping. Ensure you fold the toilet paper properly before using it to avoid getting poop into your hands since toilet paper is easy to tear.

Clean your butt until no poop residue can be seen on the toilet paper. In addition, baby wipes help finish the job and give you a clean butt and odor-free hands. They also come in handy in cleaning stray poop.

3. Use Odor Eliminator

If the smell persists even after washing your hands thoroughly, apply an odor eliminator because the poop odor may have been absorbed into the skin oils, and the smell may linger for a while.

You can soak your hands in apple cider vinegar or a solution of lemon juice and baking soda to eliminate the smell. You can also use mouthwash, toothpaste, or salt to remove the smell.

4. Shower

Taking a shower is guaranteed to remove the poop smell from your skin, helping eliminate bacteria, fecal particles, and the smell. Use sufficient soap and water when showering to ensure all the poop is washed out.

5. Put On New Clothes

Wear different clothes if you suspect what you are wearing got soiled with fecal matter. Doing so ensures the fecal properties are not transferred to your skin.

While poop sticks to all clothes, the odor particles stick to certain fabrics better than others. For instance, the odor molecules of poop can stick permanently on wool and cotton. On the other hand, odor molecules can escape quickly from synthetic fabric such as nylon and polyester.

Therefore, the duration of time the smell of poop last on clothes differs based on the fabric and the absorption degree.

How To Prevent Poop From Getting On Your Hands

Unless you use a bidet to clean your bum after pooping, you will need to wipe it, which means using toilet paper. Poop can get into your hands while wiping, but you can avoid this by folding a couple of sheets of toilet paper to get enough thickness.

Furthermore, wearing disposable gloves can prevent poop from getting on your hands while wiping your baby or someone who needs help.

Why does poop smell linger in bathroom


1. How Do I Get The Smell Of Poop Off My Skin?

You can get rid of the poop smell off your skin by washing your hands extensively, wiping well, or using odor eliminators.

2. Why Do My Hands Still Smell Like Poop After I Wash Them

The smell of poop still lingers on your hands after washing them because you did not clean them properly. Alternatively, the pungent smell is already absorbed into your skin oils.

Final Thoughts On Why Does Poop Smell Linger On Skin?

The reason for the lingering poop smell on your skin boils down to how to wipe and clean yourself after pooping. Making sure you wipe well and wash your skin properly ensures you do not smell like fecal matter after visiting the toilet.

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