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How to Buff Up Your Bathroom


1st Jan 2015 Home & Garden

How to Buff Up Your Bathroom
Bathrooms can quickly accumulate dirt and grime and if left unattended could become a health hazard. But by following our simple tips, you can soon keep on top of those pesky stains and not spend every minute cleaning.

Keep showerheads unclogged

If you live in an area with very hard water, you’ll have noticed how mineral deposits can block showerheads. You don’t need a new one – use denture tablets or vinegar to unclog it. If you can remove the showerhead, dissolve 4–5 denture tablets in a bowl of water and put the head in to soak. Or let it soak overnight in white vinegar. (For extra cleaning action, heat the vinegar in the microwave first.)
If the showerhead isn’t removable, pour the denture tablet solution or vinegar into a plastic bag, tape or tie the bag to the fixture so the showerhead is completely immersed and leave the bag in place for 1–2 hours. To make sure the showerhead is completely unblocked, clean out the holes with a needle, piece of wire or toothpick. Then wipe the head with a cloth dipped in vinegar.

Goodbye to grime and soap scum

Forget about buying ‘miracle’ products. Instead, stir 3 tablespoons bicarbonate of soda and 1/2 cup (125ml) household ammonia into 2 cups (500ml) warm water. Once you’ve wiped the solution on and rinsed it off with a sponge or rag, bathroom surfaces will gleam.

Make glass shower doors sparkle

Glass shower doors are a convenient feature of any bathroom but can quickly cloud up with soap scum. For some heavy-duty cleaning, try:
  • Shaving cream: Squirt on the foam and wipe clean with a dry rag; the foam will leave a film that keeps the door from fogging and makes it harder for scum to stick. 
  • White vinegar: Keep a spray bottle filled with vinegar and a sponge by (or in) the shower so you can make washing down the surfaces part of your post-shower routine.
  • Bicarbonate of soda-plus: Make a solution of 1/4 cup (60ml) washing-up liquid, 1/4 cup (60ml) hydrogen peroxide and 3 tablespoons bicarb, then scrub onto doors with a sponge.
  • Vegetable oil: Simply pour a little vegetable oil onto a sponge or paper towel and scrub the doors, adding more oil as you need it.
  • Furniture polish: Use a cloth to rub polish directly on doors, then wipe it off with a clean cloth. The polish cleans and also protects against the build-up of soap scum.

Mildew-free shower curtains

The moist environment of a bathroom is just made for mildew, so don’t be surprised when it appears on the shower curtain. You can keep it at bay for a while, at least, by soaking curtains and liners in salt water before hanging them.
Once they’re up and any mildew appears:
  • Mix 2 tablespoons washing-up liquid with 2 cups (500ml) household bleach and spray the solution onto the curtain.
  • Make a paste of vinegar and salt, and spread it onto the mildewed area. Dry for 1–2 hours and then clean curtain with a damp cloth.

Good riddance to grout grime

The grouting between bathroom tiles is a magnet for dirt and germs and it’s easy to miss those hard-to-reach crevices during regular cleaning. It also looks bad, so every so often:
  • Rub away grime with a new pencil eraser, that’s well suited to reaching these narrow spaces.
  • Scrub with a mouthwash containing a tooth-whitening agent.
  • Soak a cotton wool ball in household bleach and place on stained benchtop grout for a few hours; for walls, attach the cotton ball with gaffer tape.

Solutions for stubborn scum and water spots

Bathroom surfaces—including ceramic tiles, glass fibre and acrylic shower units—can become dulled by water spots and built-up scum just as easily as tubs and sinks. Tackle these heavily soiled surfaces with vigour and: 
  • 2 cups (360g) salt dissolved in 4 litres hot water.
  • Half a cup (125ml) vinegar, 1/2 cup (125ml)  ammonia and 21/2 tablespoons bicarbonate of soda in 4 litres warm water. Apply one of these two solutions, let sit for about 15 minutes, then scrub off and rinse thoroughly.