a clean bathroom

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 we 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.

scum in taps

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. Apply the cleaner on the tiles for 30 minutes. Leaving them for a while 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.

dry bathroom

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.

Baking soda mixture to clean tiles

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.

shining taps

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.mirror in bathroom

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.

a clean bathroom

Your turn. Share your bathroom cleaning ritual in the comments below.

Image courtesy:

1 3- Style Files, 4 – ApartmentTherapy, 5 – Casahaus, 6 – Domino

 

 

 

31 Comments

  1. Love your everyday updates. :)
    I use surf to clean my tiles & it’s worked pretty well. We don’t have too much of hard water. So thankfully, there is not much problem.
    But I’ll keep your ideas in mind.Will try harpic for tiles the next time

  2. Hey nice tutorial :)
    In point no. 6, I follow the same steps but just after pouring harpic, I scrub a little in the innards with toilet brush, so that the harpic lathers on the surface and then I let it be for a couple of hours.

  3. Hi, just chanced upon your blog. Its amazing to say the least. You give extremely insightful posts which are so simple that even I am able to adopt it. Thanks a lot.
    And since I will start decorating my new house soon, I will keep dropping in on your blog. Thanks again. Hv a nice day:)

  4. laksh

    Sowmya,

    Welcome here. Thanks for the comment.

    – Laksh

  5. laksh

    Thanks for dropping by everyday, Monika. I know hard water is mostly the problem in many cities.

  6. For having sparkling taps (whitish due to chlorine / hard-water problem):

    a) Pour little water on the tap
    b) Apply some toothpaste and apply it with hand all over the tap
    c) After 2-3 minutes, wash it with water
    d) Apply some more paste and scrub with a scrubber. Scrub for 2-3 minutes.
    e) Wash with water and dry it with a smooth cloth using below technique:
    Pull a smooth dry cloth from both sides so that its stretched. With the stretched cloth, clean the tap by applying pressure.

    A professional guy who keeps bathrooms clean for NRIs in Gujarat showed me this trick. He charges 300 Rs to do this for your home !!!

  7. sujeeraja

    hi this is realy useful blog i never seen ,such a useful ideas were given .

  8. Hi, Great blog with great ideas. This article is something I was looking for ages. take care, Rekha.

  9. hi great blog. i was honoured when i saw all my cleaning
    tricks in yr blog. rajshri
    can u give me any ideas so that i ‘ve my marble floor shining which have all oily stains which was done by my tenant
    rajshri

  10. Deepali Ghanekar

    Hi ,
    I am looking at doing up my house – more of a makeover actually . I am located in Mumbai . Can you suggest someone who can help me style it ?

  11. hi,

    I have tried everything to make my black tiles shine, it is not working. Also, the glass in the shower unit. i have tried vinegar and warm water and lime, i have tried water and cleaning off with newspaper, but the glass is still not clean. yes, the water seem to be hard. Also, i am struggling with the tiles in the shower area. my builder gave black tiles on the bathroom floor and they look gory with the stains now.
    I have tried vinegar, easy off too. Also, after you keep the mix of vinegar, lime, salk and baking soda, do you wash it off with water? or just scrub it off with a sponge?

  12. laksh

    Arunima: I can understand your despair. It’s going to take a few tries if the scum has been sitting there for a while. It will be a continuous rigorous effort if you are dealing with hard water on a daily basis. But one that is possible. Just wipe it off with a sponge. It has worked wonders for me. And do it at least once a fortnight/month. Let it sit for a while before you wipe it off.

  13. I so needed this info. Will do this asap on my bathroom tiles :) Very well written post. Thx!

  14. laxmirao

    great blog was just the deatails i needed.thanks

  15. Can you let me kmow how to make the home made vinegar paste. Im looking for the quantities

  16. laksh

    Nikki:It depends on the area you are cleaning.For the toilet bowl it can be 1/2 cup baking soda + 1 cup of white vinegar. For the tiles, since it has to be a thick paste, reduce the quantity of vinegar. And add 2 tbsps of lemon juice and 2 tbsps of salt.

  17. For the taps to shine, use jif/cif solution (comes with yellow narrow container with a green cap). Apply it on taps, brush it and leave it for 15-20 mins. After which if you clean it with very minimal effort, its glows as if newly installed. I love those looks:)

  18. Vandana Venkat

    Shanthi,

    Thanks a ton for the tip!!! Am gonna use that today to shine the chrome :-)

  19. laksh

    Cif works well for bathroom floors, too. I have been using it for over three years now. With taps, you have to be careful and not let it sit for long. Otherwise, there will be sediments.

  20. Vandana Venkat

    Laksh ,

    Thanks for that piece of caution. Btw, how do you shine your bathroom fixtures? Mind sharing your secret? :-)

  21. laksh

    I use either of these based on how much time I have: Cif for quick cleaning, or a toothbrush with baking soda, salt/leftover lemon, or a tissue soaked in vinegar.

  22. Koomal Thhombare

    Hi,
    I geting frustrated because of my bathroom
    I try to clean yellow stain but unfortunate its not clean . What I do now because we using Shahabadi tiles ?
    Can I use harpic red bathroom cleaner ?
    Any other suggestion ?
    Pls reply me AsAp

  23. laksh

    Dear Komal, I understand your frustration. Most Indian bathrooms do not have a demarcation of wet and dry areas and this is the biggest reason along with quality of water for the tiles to get hard water sediment. Peels of any citrus fruit (lemon, orange) work wonders. Turn it inside out, rub it and lave it. Later, wipe with a sponge or wet cloth.

    To ensure the sediments are not formed, remove the water off wall and floor tiles after everyone has used it. This will go a long way in keeping it shiny.

  24. can i use harpic/cif to clean the slightly matt wall tiles as well in the shower area?

  25. laksh

    You can use Cif or something CeraClean, Ann. Use a diluted solution, leave it for a while and then wipe it clean with a sponge.

  26. Hi,in between of tails there is some dust present like black dirt..By using venigar not get.how I have to clean those black dirt in gaps.

  27. kamlesh

    In detail information how to clean and maintain hygeine in bathrooms…..Very useful to maintain cleanliness.

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