A little caveat before I begin this post: it’s not the feel-good type that you are used to seeing on this page. It’s one of those get-down-and-dirty posts but something e can’t live without. If you’re game, continue reading and I promise there are great pictures in the end :)
What is the one thing that causes you the most agony in maintaining your home? For me, it’s cleaning bathroom and kitchen tiles. Outsourcing this area of home cleaning has never given me good results and I don’t feel good telling someone to clean the bathrooms.
Products I use:
1. Harpic/Domex/Mr.Muscle/ Roff CeraClean.
2. Homemade paste of vinegar/baking powder/lime/salt.
How to clean bathroom tiles – the process :
Ok, let’s get to the dirty bit.
1. The bathroom cleaning ritual is not something I hate totally. It gives me immense satisfaction to maintain a clean bathroom. I usually clean it before a shower which has its own advantages. You don’t have to worry about soiling your clothes!
2. I choose nights when I expect the family to kick start the following day late to apply Harpic on the tiles. Leaving them overnight works wonders as it takes very little scrubbing and brushing effort the next morning. Using a chamois sponge does not damage the tiles (no scratches while bringing back the shine).
3. No water ~ no dirt ~ no mold: The real trick to sparkling tiles is to not let water accumulate on the floor. More the water, more the dirt absorption capacity. I know it’s fairly tough to maintain a dry bathroom if you do not have a demarcated shower area. Especially in old rented homes, there’s little one can do. So keep a mop handy in the bathroom to wipe away water after the shower. If you own the place and do not have a shower area, get one. It’s really easy. Get a strip of tiles affixed on the floor to form a small square/rectangular portion. A dry bathroom will ensure no mold formation and that your linen stays fresh.
4. Stained tiles: My earlier apartment was rented for a few years and poor maintenance did it in. The bathroom tiles were stained and it took me months to take the shine back. If you have stained tiles too, then here are a few things that will work: apply a solution of vinegar/salt/lemon/baking soda on the stained part and let it stand for a while or acid wash. I do not recommend acid wash highly for two reasons: it’s not permanent and a lot of hard work and tiles lose their sheen.
5. Cleaning scum from taps: Hard water tends to leave a thick deposit on the taps. The vinegar mixture works well on the scum. Here’s a step by step economical solution for sparkling your faucets. Use the same procedure to clean the soap dish and the racks that hold the toiletries. Once you are done cleaning, rub an automotive metal polish to let the shine remain intact for a few days. If it is glass, then do it while cleaning your mirrors. If it is granite, then wipe away with a clean towel. Do not use any acidic cleaner on granite.
6. Before beginning to clean the tiles, I flush the toilet and pour two caps of Harpic and let it sit for at least 2 hours. Doing this at least one/two times a week helps and will be a lot less work.
7. Glass cleaner: I use a spray glass cleaner to clean the mirror with a clean piece of cloth/towel.
8. Once a week, clean the kids’ bathtub with a brush to remove the scum. Ensure the tub is free of water after every shower.
If there isn’t sufficient white cement between the gaps in tiles, hire someone and get it done. This prevents water seepage. If you are short on time, try cleaning it with just one product and see the results.
And finally, when you’re done, spray your favorite room freshener and bring in some fresh plants to spruce up the place.
Your turn. Share your bathroom cleaning ritual in the comments below.