You have spent months choosing the tiles, the flooring, figuring out the best placement for the taps on the bath. You have endured a couple of days with your bathroom out of commission (always annoying but so worth the result!). And finally you have the bathroom of your dreams. Tiling with a luxurious but subtle pattern, a power shower and the comfiest bath you have ever relaxed in.
It looks and feels amazing. So how do you keep it that way?
Investing in a beautiful new bathroom can make a huge difference to how much you enjoy your home and it can increase value of your property. This is why it is so important you clean and maintain your bathroom properly so that is looks as good as new, for as long as possible. With a bit of work, you will be getting compliments on your ‘lovely new bathroom’ for years after it has been installed. Here are some great tips for how to clean it right.
Before we get into specific areas of the bath, we will cover a general rule for the whole room. It can be very tempting to paint your nails, remove nail paint and die your hair in the bathroom. Better than risking staining your carpet right? However, you can easily stain your bathroom with these products. Grout and sealant are particularly prone to staining. Therefore, we always recommend that if you are doing this, you put down old towels to cover your surfaces and flooring. If you are doing at home hair dyes, rinse these out with a running shower rather than sitting in your bath. The same goes for fake tan.
Caring for your bath
Many people use bleach based cleaners across their whole bathroom, but this isn’t appropriate for regular cleaning of your tub as it is too strong and can degrade the material. It’s best to use soapy water and a microfibre cloth – add dishwashing liquid either by mixing it with the water or directly onto the cloth. Some guides suggest using cream cleaners but this can cause scratches if used often.
It is also a good idea to clean the bath right after you have had a bath. Cleaning the bath while it is still warm makes it easier to remove grease and dirt, before it has a chance to dry in. This will help prevent long term staining of your bath. Once you have finished cleaning, make sure you rinse the bath to make sure all of the soap has been removed. Baking soda can also be used to clean baths, but don’t use it if you have a stone, resin or wooden bath.
Watch out for highly coloured bath bombs – they may seem like great fun, but sometimes the die can stain your bath. Cleaning the bath quickly after use is particularly vital after you have used bath bombs or oils.
Looking after your sink
A mild bathroom detergent or water mixed with vinegar and baking soda works well for cleaning your sink. Leave the vinegar and baking soda mix around the plug hole for 10 minutes and then rinse it away to help remove buildup of dirt and grime.
Although you may be tempted to use an abrasive cleaning tool to really give your sink a deep clean, we’d recommend avoiding it as you risk scratching and degrading the material. Instead use a microfibre cloth for general cleaning and use a soft toothbrush to help you clean all the nooks and crannies. Regular cleaning and maintenance of the whole sink area (not just a quick wipe around) is the best way to keep it looking great.
Looking after your toilet
This is probably the part of your bathroom where you are most concerned about germs (although trust us, your toothbrush holder contains a lot more bacteria!). Even so, it is good practice to use separate cleaning materials for your toilet and wear rubber gloves. You will need a bristled scrubbing brush to properly clean the inside of the bowl, however a microfibre cloth will usually suffice for the rest of the toilet.
Unlike the other areas of the bathroom, we do recommend you use bleach inside the toilet bowl, and let it sit for a while before flushing it away. Check the instructions on the cleaning products you are using – they will likely tell you how long to leave the product on your toilet. If you have persistent rust (or other) stains within the bowl, using baking soda or a specific rust busting cleaner to remove these. The rest of the toilet should be cleaned starting from the top and moving down with multi-purpose cleaning fluid. Make sure you clean the base of the toilet as dust and dirt can build up here if neglected, which can dull the material over time.
If grout isn’t cleaned regularly it can really affect the look of your bathroom. Clean your grout weekly with soapy water to maintain it and every few months we advise you undertake a deep clean. After we install tiles, we spray them with Rapid Dry Grout Seal and we recommend our customers re-apply this every 6 months.
So what is the most effective way to deep clean the grout? We are afraid you need some serious elbow grease! Get a toothbrush and really scrub that grout with soapy water. If that doesn’t work and you feel like you need some bleach, start with a milder bleach or purchase a bleach pen which allows you to work on a small area.
Avoiding the dreaded mould
The most important thing with mould is to keep your bathroom well ventilated, all year round. Have a window in your bathroom open as much as possible and install an extractor fan. It is also important to dry wet surfaces and floors with a towel so there is no water ‘sitting’ in your bathroom. Ideally the last person to have a shower each day should wipe down and clean walls, tiles, shower screens and surfaces and then dry them. If mould does appear, tackle it right away with a specific mould cleaning product.
Don’t let the thermostat drop low during the winter months as this can cause water particles to linger. If you find your bath towels aren’t drying in between uses, your bathroom is too cold!
If you have a silicone sealant in your bathroom, this will be particularly prone to mould. Like with grout, regular gentle cleaning is the best way to maintain your sealant. The soaps and hair care products you use in the shower clog up in your sealant and encourage mould growth so we recommend cleaning these lightly every day (or as often as possible).
Leaving bleach, such as Domestos, on the silicone for an hour and then rinsing it away can remove tough stains. However, we only recommend this for older sealants as the bleach can damage the effectiveness of the sealant. If you really need to use Domestos on your newer sealant, mix 1-part Domestos Bleach to 9-parts water and don’t leave it on for too long. Increase the ratio of bleach to water if needed as the sealant ages.
The better you care for your sealants the longer they will last, but usually you will have to replace the sealant on your wet surfaces every 18-36 months.
Caring for your tiles
There are many different types of material which can be used for bathroom tiles, so we’ve covered the 3 or the most common: ceramic, marble and porcelain.
- Ceramic: Don’t use bleach or even too much soap as this can dull your tiles. Gentle cleaning with warm water and a small amount of soap or cleaning agent is best
- Marble: For stone based materials always use a neutral Ph cleaner – acidic or alkaline cleaners can damage the tiling. Also make sure to avoid abrasive cleaning tools
- Porcelain: It is best to simply use warm water for regular cleaning and use a water/vinegar solution for removing stains or deep cleaning.
Caring for wet walls
Wet walls are becoming more and more popular and we have installed them in many bathrooms over the past few years. They are much easier to clean than tiles but still need regular maintenance to keep them at their best. Wipe down your wet wall panels weekly with soapy water (dish detergent is great) and if you want a more thorough clean, use a vinegar and water solution.
And finally.. Steam it up!
Whatever cleaning agent you are using, a great way to help the process along is by leaving it on the tiles or panels while your run the shower hot for a few minutes – the steam will help remove those persistent shampoo and conditioner stains.
We hope you have found our blog useful, if you have neglected the cleaning of your bathroom and feel like you really need an update, check out our bathroom fitting services.
Mia Kitchens and Bathrooms, helping you Love the Way you Live.