Kitchen & Bath - Bathroom

8 ways to make your bathroom sparkle

By
Kathleen Dore

A clean bathroom is like a breath of fresh air through your home.

1 Ceilings
Thoroughly wet-scrub with mild all-purpose cleaner and rag or sponge. Inspect for mildew and wash away with mild nonchlorine or hydrogen peroxide-based bleach solution (easier on the environment).

2 Walls, windows
For tile walls, attack grout. Inspect and repair walls as necessary, then scrub with brush and solution of one gallon water and 3/4 cup nonchlorine or hydrogen peroxide-based bleach. Clean glazed ceramic tiles with nonabrasive cream cleanser or tile cleaner. Add squeegee to list of bathroom cleaning products; use daily on tile walls in order to avoid soapy buildup. Add row of hooks to wall or over door to hang towels or bathrobes.

3 Tub, shower
Use nonabrasive cleanser on porcelain enamel tubs. For acrylic or fibreglass, be gentle -- no abrasives or scouring pads. Follow manufacturer's instructions for air-jet or water-jet tubs. If no niche for shampoos, add caddy that hangs from shower faucet. Add retractable clothesline for hand-wash and hang-to-dry items, if desired.

4 Shower door/curtain
Throw curtain in wash; if liner has soap-scum buildup, wipe with nonchlorine or hydrogen peroxide-based bleach solution. For door, use squeegee and glass cleaner or solution of vinegar and water.

5 Toilet, showerhead
For hard water, use lime-scale remover occasionally to remove buildups and clogs.

6 Vanity, medicine chest
Empty and wash thoroughly inside and out with nonabrasive cleanser. Before putting items back, purge and edit: safely dispose of expired pharmaceuticals and ditch crumbly eyeshadows and unnecessary toiletries. Shop around for suitable style of drawer organizers; try Cosmetic Stax for makeup containers and tools.

7 Sink, countertop
Repair leaky faucets; clean sink as usual. Clear off countertops. Keep counter clutter-free with dish that suction-cups to shower wall and tile backsplash.

8 Floor
Nonglazed tile floors can withstand -- and benefit from -- good scrubbing with abrasive cleanser. Marble requires gentle cleaning with nonabrasive, nonacidic cleanser. Squeegee can be used to get last bits of cleanser and water off both tile and marble floors.

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