So you’ve moved into your first home. Whether that home is a studio apartment or you hit the jackpot and got a great deal on a McMansion, one tie binds them all together. You are now for perhaps the first time your life completely in charge of cleaning and maintaining a bathroom. Doesn’t matter if the bathroom is barely the size of a postage stamp or if it’s more aptly described as a 500 square foot powder room. You are on your own for the first time and that means learning to deal with keeping the bathroom or bathrooms clean and acceptable for use by unexpected visitors. And here are great tips to get you started on your way toward becoming an old pro at bathroom maintenance before the first year in your first home that’s all yours passes.
How to Clean the Most Stubborn Toilet Stains
If the first home you can call all yours can also call you the first owner it’s ever had, then stubborn toilet stains may not be an issue. If your first home is an apartment or a home you are renting or a home you bought from previous owners, then learning this tip for bathroom maintenance come in handy quicker than you hope. Some stains in the toilet bowl are utterly resistant to any cleaning product sold in any store. Let’s not get into why and instead focus on the how of getting rid of them. Pay close attention because failure to do so could result in losing your cleaning deposit or being saddled with a toilet you own and are utterly embarrassed by. Get on the internet or head to a local hardware store or auto parts store or even to a giant home improvement chain and ask specifically for “wet/dry sandpaper.” This is not the same as any old sandpaper; ask for and make sure to get “wet/dry sandpaper.” This is a specialized very fine type of sandpaper that can be used with water and won’t damage the porcelain of the toilet but should be enough to remove even the most offensively stubborn of stains. If the stain is down near the bottom of the toilet, better results will probably be gained by using a bucket to remove as much water from the toilet bowl as possible.
Preventative Plumber’s Helper
Invest in a plunger. This is first grade stuff when it comes to moving in your first home that’s all yours. You will eventually need a plunger (otherwise known as a plumber’s helper) and it’s much better to have one when you need it than not to have it. You can’t prevent that day from coming, but you can reduce the odds and lengthen the amount of time it takes before you put the plunger to the test. Bathroom maintenance for those new to being in charge of their home for the first time should include a regular schedule of pouring a cup of baking soda into unused toilet water about every two weeks and, if the toilet is subject to heavy usage, every week. Flushing the baking soda down the toilet will facilitate the prevention of bacteria that builds up in the tank and eventually contributes to clogging and toilets getting backed up.
You may read in many places that bleach is the all-purpose answer to cleaning away the mildew that builds up in the tub or shower stall. The truth is that bleach will clean away the mildew, but the smell tends to linger on for awhile and regular application of bleach will eventually damage porcelain, tile, plastic, rubber and any other material found in tub and showers. A much less offensive odor (for most people, anyway) and an exceptionally less harsh cleansing solution can be created with a spray bottle mixture of vinegar and salt. Just direct the spray at the mildew in the tub or shower stall and the rest of your bathroom maintenance duties can include watching TV, calling your mom, chatting with friends or replying to e-mail. Do anything you want for a half hour after spraying the vinegar and salt solution onto the mildew and then come for a quick rinse. In cases where the mildew in the tub has not gotten completely out of hand, the result should be the same as using bleach, but you’ll be able to take a shower without getting nauseous or developing a headache right away.
Bathroom Decorating 101: Matchbooks on the Toilet
Bathrooms smell bad. That’s not news to even those who are new to being completely charge of their home. You learned that back when your parents were in charge of bathroom maintenance. And yet the bathroom did not always smell horrible, did it? Well, actually, mom’s bathroom probably did smell bad, but the odor was covered over by a blanket of potpourri or scented candles or such. You can do that if you want and it’s a perfectly fine bit of bathroom maintenance, but you could go broke buying nice smells to cover up bad smells. Instead, just elegantly and artistically decorate the back of the toilet in a way that uses a book of matches as the centerpiece. Then include a little card instructing all users of your toilet to simply light not one, but two matches at the same time and blow them out and dispose of them at the same time. Provide a fireproof place for disposal, making sure that all visitors to your bathroom understand that the toilet itself is not an appropriate place for disposing of the used matches. The science behind why lighting a match ( two are better than one in this case ) is effective for removing foul odors is debatable, but the results are undeniable. And a lot of cheaper than candles, potpourri and those things from Glade.