The bathroom has to be one of the most labor-intensive rooms to clean in a home. There’s showers, baths, sinks and toilets to clean, glass and mirrors to shine, floors to mop and often grout to scrub – we’re tired just thinking about it!
The worst part is, thanks to stubborn stains like mold and mildew, rust, and soap scum, you can spend an hour cleaning your bathroom only to feel like you haven’t done a thing.
So, how do you treat those tough stains that make your bathroom look dirty when it’s not? Here’s how to tackle them with ease.
Tiles and Grout That Won’t Stay Clean
If your tiles and grout refuse to stay clean, no matter how well or often you clean them, it’s probably down to one of two common causes – with the same simple solution. It might be the way your tiles were laid that’s causing the problem; after grout is applied, residual grout is left on the tiles — which your tiler should then buff off. If this isn’t done properly, the film of grout (often invisible), grabs and traps dirt. The second cause is a build-up of detergent or soap. The solution? Grab a heavy-duty tile and grout cleaner to remove either substance thoroughly. If this doesn’t solve the problem, move on to a phosphoric acid cleaner with a poultice to remove it. From here on in, your standard cleaning vinegar and hot water will be all you need.
If your glass shower stall develops a film of fish-scale like milky colored streaks, you’re probably in the early stages of what the experts call ‘glass cancer.’ Caused by a build of soap, detergents or calcium from your water, which then infiltrates the glass itself, it can be treated with a simple, natural remedy. Spray with an 80/20 mix of vinegar and water, with a squirt of dishwashing liquid, then leave to sit for 30 minutes. Scrub off with a non-scratch scourer. Now wash down with water, and thoroughly dry with a microfiber cloth. Keep future attacks at bay by keeping a squeegee in your shower, using daily to ensure hard water doesn’t soak into the glass.
If mold keeps coming back as fast as you clean it, the trick is to get rid of the cause. Use vinegar and water to clean it. Bleach only hides the color and may mean you leave some behind. Poor ventilation is another common culprit. Ensure your exhaust fan is working well (and everyone uses it). Check window seals are intact and there are no leaks in the ceiling letting damp in. Finally, get rid of anything moldy that’s super porous — wicker baskets and textiles can’t be thoroughly cleansed of mold, so it will keep coming back and spreading unless you ditch them.
Lime or Rust Stained Chrome Fittings
Those ugly turquoise or green rust-like stains appear around chrome taps, shower stalls, bath plugs or taps. Lime can be removed with either lemon juice or vinegar. Cut a lemon in half, then scrub the fruit on the stain, or use the juice or white vinegar in a spray bottle. Clean the affected surfaces on a regular basis, to make sure that the lime stains won’t be back anytime soon. Rust is attacked in a similar fashion – sprinkle bicarbonate onto the stain, then add a little vinegar to make a paste. Leave it for 15 minutes, then give it a quick scrub.
The Toilet Bowl
Hard water stains can create unattractive brown stains at the bottom of your toilet. Drain your toilet, and fill the bottom with 2 cups of bicarbonate soda, then enough vinegar to make a paste. Leave for 30 minutes, give the stains a thorough scrub and flush your toilet for a shiny white bowl.
This article originally appeared on our sister site Homes to Love.