Cooktop Cove: 7 tips to keep the toilet and bathroom at its best all year long
A bathroom is an essential and multifunctional space that is just as important for getting ready in the morning as it is for cleaning up at night, but that space comes with high expectations. Homeowners look to this room as a place for privacy, accessibility and hygiene. Putting even more pressure to keep this space immaculate is that it gets far more daily foot traffic than many other rooms in the home. The combination makes keeping a clean bathroom a top priority. However, just because it’s important to keep a bathroom in tip-top shape, doesn’t always make it easy or enjoyable.
Whether it’s attending to a clogged drain, stained toilet bowl or grimy sink, people don't typically enjoy the process of keeping a bathroom clean and in working order. In addition, the longer the task is put off, the harder it gets to reverse the effects of dust, grime and time. Instead of becoming overwhelmed by the prospect of cleaning the bathroom every once in a while, consider breaking down bathroom maintenance into smaller, more manageable steps. These seven tips should keep not only the toilet but the entire bathroom looking its best all year long without the stress that comes with a single, prolonged cleaning effort.
1. Create a vinegar and baking soda scrub for the toilet
Every flush of the toilet provides space for mineral deposits to collect. Over time, this buildup can lead to unsightly stains, unpleasant odors and an impossible to scrub ring when the only line of defense is traditional cleaners. Leave cleaning products behind when it comes to a bathroom toilet and instead reach for vinegar and baking soda.
Pour 1 cup of vinegar directly into the toilet bowl and scrub the inside with a toilet brush. Let the solution soak for 60 seconds before adding 1 cup of baking soda and 1 additional cup of vinegar into the water. Allow the mixture to sit for 10 minutes. Scrub away remaining stains once more before letting the solution sit in the bowl for 30 minutes. Flush away the solution and enjoy a toilet bowl that shines. Perform this rinse once a week to avoid future buildup.
2. Attend to the interior tank
Hidden away under the lid, the toilet tank tends to be the unseen culprit in many cases of unpleasant bathroom odors that linger. This space is just as susceptible to dirt, grime and mineral buildup as the toilet bowl but is often overlooked. Performing a vinegar rinse on the toilet tank once a month in combination with a bowl rinse is an effective way to keep a toilet functioning well and smelling its best.
Simply remove the tank lid and turn off the water valve behind the toilet. Flush the toilet to completely empty the tank (it may take a couple of flushes), and fill it to the overflow valve with vinegar. The vinegar should sit in the tank uninterrupted for 12 hours before a scrub brush is taken to the interior. Once the majority of the residue and buildup is eliminated, turn on the water valve and flush the toilet as many times as it takes to remove all of the vinegar from the tank.
3. Vacuum out the air vents
Efforts to eliminate any and all foul smells that originate with the toilet may be in vain if the air vents in the bathroom are clogged. These vents are often found at ground level and above the shower for efficient air circulation purposes. Over time, dust builds between the vent slats and within the unit itself, blocking air from moving out of the bathroom.
When airflow in the bathroom isn’t efficient, moisture can quickly accumulate leading to mold, unpleasant aromas and even damage to the walls and ceiling. Avoid this scenario by vacuuming bathroom air vents regularly. Use a nozzle extender to reach ceiling vents, and let the home’s air system do the rest of the work.
4. Don’t overlook the shower curtain
A plastic shower curtain hung in the bathroom is a useful strategy for keeping excess water and moisture off the floors, but it’s easy to look past the fact that a shower curtain can also be a source of uncleanliness if left unattended too long. The mildew and grime that builds up on a plastic shower curtain can often be the source of unpleasant staining and odors.
At least once a month, take the plastic shower curtain down and throw it in the washing machine with towels. Use a warm water cycle and gentle detergent to avoid damaging the plastic. Once the cycle is complete, hang the curtain up to air dry without having to worry about scrubbing away residue.
5. Replace towel hooks with towel bars
Many bathrooms host a collection of convenient and space-saving towel hooks meant to keep bath towels off the floor and drying efficiently. Unfortunately, towel hooks tend to allow towels to remain bunched up and damp, which promotes mildew and its associated aroma. To keep towels dry and mildew from appearing, swap out towel hooks with towel racks and give those handy fabrics a chance to dry quickly.
6. Coat shower walls with moisture repellant
Keeping a bathroom in prime condition and easy to clean comes down to strategies that are simple to incorporate. Removing residue on shower walls is a time-consuming cleaning process that requires brushes, scrubs and a multitude of products. Instead of suffering through endless hours of effort, consider transferring a technique for a vehicle directly to shower walls.
Coating the shower, tub and shower curtain in a water repellent is a fantastic method for keeping mildew and grime at bay. A product commonly used for windshields, such as RainX, works just as well at keeping minerals sliding away from surfaces instead of clinging and requiring scrubbing.
7. Swap out bar soap for soap pumps
It may seem simple, but swapping out soap dispensers may be the answer to a quicker and more manageable bathroom cleaning process. Bar soap is convenient to purchase, but it doesn’t take long before soap residue collects on countertops and in the soap holder.
Instead of dealing with the hassle of excess grime, swap out bar soap for a soap pump. Liquid soap options are just as budget-friendly as bar soap and keep countertop residue to a minimum.
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