Your bathrooms get a good workout during the summer because of the great weather. With the nice weather, families spend more time outside so showers and baths become more frequent. Most of us work up a sweat and the dirt seems to cling better to our skin. I’m noticing my own teenagers spending more time in the bathroom, showering, shaving, etc. It’s because of this that I thought to write about something I experienced.
We recently had our tub re-caulked due to excessive black mold. The repairman told me how unhealthy the mold and fungus was. He asked me if I knew how it gets there and I felt like I was back in school and said, “The moisture?” hoping that I gave him the right answer so I didn’t appear pathetically ignorant. He said, “Yes, but it’s because of the shampoos and other items we leave on the corners of the tub that allows water to pool there. This causes the moisture to find its way into the caulking and stay. Even though we scrub, we can’t get behind the caulking.”
If this mold and fungus get out of hand it could be unhealthy. He commented about our shower organizer and how good it was to have the shampoos and such… up and out of the way. However, there were still items on the corners allowing the water to pool. After all, I have teenagers and they need different shampoos, soaps, shaving gels, etc. for every aspect of their body. (Time to purge some of the many things in there.) I switched the kids to the larger, “family” shower organizer. Time for my commercial: It’s machine washable polyester mesh and dries quickly. (Don’t put it in the dryer, hang it dry.) It hangs from existing shower curtain rings (comes in regular and family sizes).
The investment you make in your bathroom can be a lasting improvement to your home and give you many years of comfort. But maintenance is an important aspect if you want to keep your bathroom looking its best.
To maintain the look of your bathtub/shower and sink area:
1. Only use nonabrasive cleaners that sprinkle on, or a spray mist cleaner that you like. The particles in abrasive cleaners will scratch the finish and wear away the shine.
2. Avoid trapping water against the surface for a long period of time. Do not leave bathmats, washcloths, soap bars and/or bottles on the surface areas. The moisture gets trapped underneath caulking or in between where surfaces come together. Do not leave bathmats, rugs or wet towels over the edge of the bathtub.
3. Fix your leaky faucets. Dripping water will wear through the hardest of surfaces. Make sure that your plumbing problems are fixed immediately.
4. Bathmats are a great breading ground for fungus and buildup. Do not leave bathmats in the tub or shower from day to day. If you use one, take it out of the tub/shower when finished.
The good old-fashioned remedies work. First, clean out the hair and gunk under the strainer in the tub/shower or plug in the sink. Pour one cup of baking soda down the drain. Follow with one cup of white vinegar and one-half gallon of boiling water. Repeat if necessary. The baking soda will also help eliminate drain odors.
(Side note: Have you done the school project of building a volcano with your son or daughter yet. This is what is used to make the lava ooze.)
For stubborn stains or scum buildup, use a soft, scrub pad or a nylon net scrubber with a non-abrasive cleaner. Let the cleaner stand on the surface for 1 – 2 minutes. You may need to use a more concentrated strength cleaner. That is fine as long as it does not have the abrasive particles that some do. Also use a soft sponge, washcloth, or nylon bristle scrubber and try not to be harsh with it. Abrasive pads like the green ones you purchase at the store are what cause harm to your surfaces.