May 052011
 

Most people don’t enjoy cleaning their shower, but when you think about the mildew and bacteria that can easily grow there you know it’s something you have to do. Follow these steps to make your shower cleaning easier.

Safety First

For the sake of safety make sure the room is ventilated by opening the window or door. Put on some rubber gloves and you’re ready to go.

Empty Out

Before you start cleaning your shower, empty everything out. This is not only a great time to get rid of any empty bottles and small bits of soap but also to take a quick inventory as to what you need the next time you go shopping for bathroom supplies.

Shower Door

If you have a glass shower door, do that first because you can step inside the shower while it’s still dry. Use white vinegar, a glass cleaner, or warm soap and water to clean the inside of the shower door. After you clean glass shower doors, remember to clean out the shower door tracks. An old toothbrush can be used to get down inside the tracks.

Inside the Shower

Now it’s time to start cleaning inside the shower. Start at the top of the shower, then clean from top to bottom. Get the shower floor last so all the soap scum will go down the drain.

First, rinse off the walls with a mixture of hot water and soap. The idea here is to loosen the scum that’s on the walls. Next, it’s time to scrub. You can use a scrubber sponge. That’s one that does not have a scouring pad that would scratch your tile. Some people use a mixture of ammonia and vinegar while others prefer a mildew spray.

For the grout between the tiles, a grout brush is recommended. This brush with a stiff bristled will help to remove the soap scum from the grout. After rinsing off the walls and grout you may then want to use white vinegar on the grout for deeper cleaning. Then, as before, rinse off the wall and grout.

If your walls and grout haven’t been done in a while, you may have to repeat this process the next day. Some people also swear by a steam machine. You can use this tool to clean both the walls and the grout.

To make the rinsing off process easier it will be helpful to have a handheld showerhead. These usually have a flexible hose that will let you move it all around your shower. Start rinsing from the top and go down the walls.

Shower head and fixtures

After the walls you should clean off your showerhead. If it’s been a while since it was cleaned, you might want to remove the shower head and soak it in vinegar. You can clean the showerhead holes by scrubbing with an old toothbrush. This is also the time to clean the hot and cold knobs or the valve that controls shower pressure. Many of these are stainless steel or have a chrome finish so be careful not to use any scrubber that can scratch them.

Shower Floor

Now it’s time to turn your attention to the shower floor. Begin by cleaning out the drain. Depending on your type of drain you may have to take off the drain cover or just reach in and grab the hair that has collected there. If you find this particular part of the job too unpleasant, there are drain cleaning tools you can buy that make his job easier.

Then clean your shower floor much like you clean the walls. Rinse all the dirt and soap scum down the drain.

Accessories

Last, but not least, if you use accessories such as a shower caddy or a freestanding shower seat, these also need to be cleaned. It might be easier if you take them out of the shower to clean them.

If you clean your shower on a regular basis, instead of waiting until you can no longer stand it, it will be a much easier and more pleasant job.

Read Tools to Use to Clean Your Shower for details about what equipment you might want to use to clean your shower.

May 052011
 

You can’t feel clean if you’re in a dirty shower. Prevention of mold and mildew are two of the main reasons why it’s so important that you keep your shower and tub extremely clean. Many people have heard of the harmful and dangerous effects of black mold, but this is only one of the thousands of kinds of bacteria and fungi that can accumulate in the bathroom, and especially in your shower.

Below are some of the tools you can use to make cleaning your shower easier. Read Steps To Clean Your Shower for details about getting your shower cleaner.

Basic Shower Cleaning Tools

If you have tiles in your shower, one area that you have to ensure gets properly cleaned is the grout. Grout is a major source of both mildew and mold. Even if you cannot see the mold, it may still be there. One of the best ways to sanitize grout is to get a good grout brush and a bacterial killing soap product.

A good grout brush needs to have strong bristles and the best ones will not have a flat surface. You want to make sure that the brush gets into the grout. Many brushes skim across the tile but do not get right into the grooves with the grout.

Most companies seal grout when it is used in a bathroom, but over time sealants become ineffective and water absorbs into the grout. You may eventually have to reseal the grout in your shower.

Moisture is one of the main reasons that a shower can become moldy. A squeegee is a perfect way to clean off all the excess water in the shower, and it only takes a couple of minutes. Squeegees not only reduce the moisture in the bathroom, they will also help to prevent water spots. You can use your squeegee on tile, walls, and especially glass shower doors.

Another alternative is to get a good shower cloth. There are many different kinds available and many of them come with built-in disinfectants. After every use of the shower, you can quickly use one to wipe down the entire shower.

If the thought of cleaning out hair in shower drains makes you ill, a drain cleaning tool is available. Basically, it’s a piece of plastic with grooves on it that slides into your drain and lets you lift out any hair that’s in there. You can then dump it without having to touch it.

 

Automatic Shower Cleaner Kits

Some people find that an easier way to keep their shower clean is to use an automatic shower cleaner. These come in kits with a sprayer that spins to put cleaning fluid on all the walls of the shower. Your press a button and walk away.

These products not only are simple to use, but are effective at killing all kinds of bacteria, can last for over thirty days, and have a pleasing scent. This type of setup will greatly reduce the chance of any kind of bacterial growth and will keep the shower fresh and odor free. There are two settings on most of these products, one for quick jobs and one for deeper cleaning. They are safe for almost all kinds of showers or tub-shower combinations and can be used daily.

Steam

Steam is another great way to help keep bacteria and germs from growing in your bathroom. One of the big advantages of using a streamer for cleaning is that it kills gems without using harsh chemicals. Additionally, with a steam cleaner, you can guide the spray right into grout and other small areas ensuring that they are sanitized.

With the many shower cleaning tools available you should have no excuses for not cleaning your shower.

May 042011
 

Shampoo, conditioners, soap, sponges, and razors, although necessary in the bathroom, can all lead to bathroom clutter. They not only make getting in and out of the shower or tub difficult, they often block the shower curtain or are in the way of the shower doors. To clean up this mess, consider getting a shower caddy.

Everything today has more choices and options, and the shower caddy is no exception. When looking at shower shelving you will find that there are many possibilities, including corner units and over the showerhead or shower door designs. Additionally, they come in various colors, shapes, sizes and with many optional specialty features.

Considerations

One thing you should consider before purchasing a unit is who will be using the caddy. Are you the only one in the house or are you considering an entire family? The answer to this particular question is going to help you make the best choice.

The more people who will be using the caddy, the more shelves you might want to get. Not everybody wants to use the same kind of shampoo and conditioner.

Caddy units come in a number of different materials. Stainless steel, mesh, plastic and rope are just a few of the choices. When choosing a material, think about how you are going to keep the caddy clean and looking its best. Furthermore, you will also want to consider other problems that can occur like rust, corrosion and/or water spots.

Types of Caddies

An over the shower head caddy can be quite useful when you have small children in the home. If you do not want them to have access to certain items like razors, it is perfect for keeping these items from their reach. Because it has many shelves, this option is also great if you have an existing caddy, but determine that it is not big enough.

An over the shower door caddy similarly has a number of shelves. It will have long hooks that allow it to fit over most standard shower doors. It may even have adjustable shelves.

A pole caddy can be great. They are usually installed using a suspension pole similar to the ones that are sometimes used to hold up shower curtains. They are not only solid and sturdy; they also offer a large number of shelves.

If you are looking for something more permanent, you can get a permanent type caddy that can be glued or attached with suction cups directly onto the shower tile or shower surround. These units can be used on almost any kind of surface so you can attach it anywhere in the shower. Many people select caddies that can be tucked right into the corner thereby making the most of their shower space.

One option that many people really appreciate is having a dispenser on their caddy. This option eliminates the need to have shampoo bottles within the bathing area, which are often knocked and spilled. Many of these units even provide an anti-steam mirror for men who like to shave in the shower.

Fancy and fun caddies can be found. For example, if your bathroom is used by children, you might want to think about a frog or an octopus caddy.

Bathrooms are one room in the home that everybody, including guests will use. Clean up the clutter and mess. Get yourself a caddy.

Apr 112011
 


Your shower can take a lot of abuse. Think of all the moisture and humidity that it is subjected to on a daily basis. It is no wonder that it doesn’t take long before it begins to look old and tired. Renovations can be extremely costly and inconvenient. However, you can avoid many of these costs and give your bathroom a much-needed lift by simply installing a beautiful shower surround.

A shower surround  acts as a stylish 3-wall barrier to protect water from leaking from your shower through to your walls. Surrounds are made to be attached to the walls of the bathroom and can easily be installed in a day. Many of them can go right over your existing shower wall. Even if you have tiles on the walls around your tub right now, chances are that you can install a new surround right over them. Additionally, surrounds can be cut to fit any type of existing tap and faucet combinations.

The wonderful thing about surrounds is that they come in relatively few pieces. In fact, some are actually one solid piece. This means that once installed there is very little chance of any leaks or water damage to the walls, and you will not have to spend a lot of time messing with caulking.

Shower surrounds are available in a number of different materials. Among your choices are ceramic, fiberglass, and acrylic. If you do not want to change or alter the other fixtures in the bathroom, you can get a surround that will fit into any motif. You can also select from a vast range of solid colors. White and bone are no longer the only available choices on the market. In truth, if you do not want a solid color, there are many different designs and patterns that you can pick from. Popular choices include faux marble, granite, or stone.

Your personal choices do not stop there. Shower surrounds are available for both stand-up showers, as well as for the bathtub, as detailed in What Tub Shower Combinations are Available?  If you want to avoid the typical square shower look, think about a shower surround that has rounded corners. This design gives the shower a softer look.

In addition, among your surround choices are options such as built-in shelves and soap dishes. Depending on the number of accessories that you and your family tend to have in the bathroom, you can pick a single shelf or perhaps one that provides shelves at both ends. To prevent falls many of these units also have safety handles and grab bars.

If you’re handy, you might want to consider purchasing a shower surround kit and doing the install yourself.  Because they are made to attach to bathroom walls, surrounds are light and easy to handle.

One caution is to make sure you have measured the size of your bathroom doorway.  You want to be sure the shower surround you buy will fit through the door.  You may have to buy a kit with separate surround pieces to fit through your door.

The next time that you walk into your bathroom and look at your old worn out shower, think about giving it a makeover. By simply adding a shower surround, you can give it a completely new look and feel.

Apr 102011
 

A shower curtain is much more than just a hanging sheet of plastic that keeps water inside your shower. Shower curtains today are decorative expressions of taste and personality. There are thousands of designs, styles and accessories, which will enhance and compliment any bathroom decor.

Shower curtain shopping used to be very simple. There were very few choices or options. Now when you go to select a shower curtain you have a number of options – all of which will make your bathroom more elegant. You are going to have to consider things like curtain liners, rods, rings and fabric. All of these items are related and are going to have visual impact on each other.

Selection Strategy

Before you go and look at curtains, you should have a starting point or a strategy.

  • What is the overall theme of the bathroom?
  • Do you have your colors selected?

Once these decisions are made, you should choose a curtain. The type of curtain that you select will affect all the other products that you will need to buy to achieve a consistent look in your bathroom.

For example, if your house is done in an ultra modern style, you may want to pick a contemporary style or a designer style. You might even want to have a curtain that features a double swag. These are shower curtains that part in the center.

If you are planning to decorate a child’s bathroom you can find curtains that feature everything from animals to popular cartoon characters.

If you do not yet have a theme or a color selected, take a quick glance at the curtains that are available. Some people prefer to pick their curtain first and then plan the rest of the bathroom around it.

 

Fabrics

Shower curtains are available in different types of fabrics. Common fabrics include polyester, vinyl or plastic.

If you select a polyester curtain, you will need to wash it occasionally to make certain that is does not get mildew. Polyester and other cloth curtains are probably going to need a shower curtain liner to ensure that they keep the water in the tub. The vinyl will not require washing, but it may need to be wiped down occasionally to keep it germ free. There are a number of curtains that are now being manufactured with an antibacterial and mildew resistant compound.

Attaching the Curtain

You do not have to pick a curtain that requires the use of hooks. There are thousands of shower curtains that slide directly over the rod or that use snaps. If you do decide that this is what you want, you may need to change the rod in the bathroom.

Shower curtain rods come in a number of different diameters and styles. The arc shaped rod is becoming more popular and can be easily installed in almost any shower. There are even circular shaped rods to hold a shower curtain that will wrap around a freestanding clawfoot tub shower combination.

If you choose a standard curtain, you will need to get hooks. Numerous retailers provide hooks that are made to compliment the curtain. Additionally, if you want the entire room to match, you may want to look at other available matching accessories.

Summary

Attention to detail is what makes any decor come together. Having a theme and color plan right at the beginning will make your decisions easier and faster. The shower curtain can be the focal point of your bathroom, so if you want the bathroom to look its best, start with a plan.

For the alternative to shower curtains, read Shower Doors and Shower Glass Add Style to Your Bathroom.