By: Lisa Kaplan Gordon
Published: March 30, 2012
Your bathroom, one of the rooms you clean most, hides areas that rarely see a scrub brush. It’s time to tackle these 5 nasty spots you probably forgot.
If you can’t remember the last time you cleaned your bathroom, we don’t want to know what’s living in your tub. Probably, a host of staphylococcus, the skin infection bacteria that, a recent study showed, more frequently grows in tubs than in garbage cans.
But we presume you or someone else regularly swishes out the toilets, wipes out the tubs and sinks, and mops your bathroom flooring.
But you may be missing some critical areas. With the help of Kristi Mailloux, president of Molly Maid, we’ve compiled a list of 5 bathroom spots home owners often forget to clean:
1. Showerheads: A warm white vinegar bath will get rid of mineral deposits, making your low-flow showerhead flow even lower. Let the showerhead soak for about 20 minutes, then poke a paperclip into shower head holes still clogged. Scrub with an old toothbrush, then rinse and repeat if necessary.
2. Toilet bases: Mildew can grow on the caulking around the base of your toilet. Spray with white vinegar or disinfecting household cleaner, then scrub with a hard-bristled brush. Dry thoroughly.
3. Shower curtains: Clean soap scum and mildew from plastic shower curtains by tossing them into your washer on the gentle and cold (never hot!) water cycle, with detergent and ½ cup vinegar. If mildew is present, add ½ cup of bleach instead of vinegar. Toss a couple of large towels into the machine to act as scrubbers. Hang curtains back on your shower curtain rod, spread them out, and let them drip-dry. If you turn on the bathroom fan, they’ll dry faster.
4. Drains: We don’t usually pay much attention to drains until they’re clogged. But all year your hair, toothpaste, shampoo, and conditioner are building up in sink and tub drains. Remove the stopper — unscrew the shower drain — and clear away obvious gunk, like hair and soap. Soak the drain in vinegar to clear away mineral deposits. Then, pour boiling water, or a mixture of ½ cup white vinegar and ½ cup baking soda, down the drain, which will bubble away crud sticking to pipes.
5. Medicine cabinet: Throw out prescription and over-the-counter drugs you no longer need or want. But don’t dump them down the drain, where they become part of the watershed, or into the trash, where anyone can fetch them out. Instead, take them to a local collection site, often at police or fire stations. Or check U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Take Back Initiative’s website for dates and sites for their next collection.
Bonus tip: Just for the fun of it, launder those powder room towels you won’t let anyone use. And be sure to clean out your dryer’s lint filter when you’re finished.
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