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Battling bacteria in the bathroom

Keeping the bathroom clean and fresh not only makes the room look good, but also avoids creating a breeding place for germs and bacteria.

Blitzing basins, bidets and baths

Cleaning methods for basins, bidets and baths depends on the material they are made from:

    •    Acrylic - rinse and dry with a soft cloth after your bath, especially if you relaxed with a bubble bath that leaves a film on the acrylic. If you need to give the bath a good clean, rub in a non-abrasive cream cleaner, rinse and buff. Scratches are easily removed by rubbing gently with a metal cleaner.

    •    Glass fibre - clean with a neutral detergent and take care not to scratch as the colour is often just a thin surface coating. Do not scrub with abrasive or metal cleaners, as they will eventually scour the surface away.
   
    •    Vitreous or porcelain enamel - do not use abrasives as they will dull the sheen. Try white spirit on stubborn surface marks and tidemarks. Wash the white spirit off straight away with a neutral detergent.

Assaulting mouldy sealant

Get to grips with mouldy bath sealant with bleach on an old toothbrush. Rinse when clean then treat with a fungicidal wash to deter the mould returning.

A knight on the tiles

Wipe over with a solution of one part white vinegar to four parts water, rinse and buff. Groom grout with an old toothbrush dipped in a solution of one part bleach to six parts water.

Top tips for taps

Just like baths, the cleaning method depends on what the taps are made from:

    •    Chrome taps need a wipe with a damp cloth and buffing dry. Grease comes off with a neutral detergent and more serious stains are removed with a nonabrasive liquid metal cleaner.

    •    Gold-plated taps need wiping with a soft cloth while they are still damp to stop marks.

If the tap has lime scale on the spout, fill a small container with white vinegar and tape the container to the tap, so the spout is in the vinegar to dissolve the lime scale. An hour soaking is generally long enough, but if the scale remains, try for another hour.

Going with the flow

Clean plugs and overflows with a bottlebrush. Pour some bleach down the plug and rinse after a minute or two to kill smells.

Turpentine will bring the shine back to rubber plugs.

Magic with the mirror


Rub a little liquid soap on the mirror, then dry off with kitchen roll to eliminate steaming up when you run a bath or shower.

Treating the WC gracefully

Cleaning with a lavatory cleaner weekly will keep the bowl clean.

Hold off the bleach as it damages the glaze and makes the bowl harder to keep clean.  Where lime scale stains inside the bowl, you will first need to remove the water with a small, disposable container then apply a descaler.

Don’t mix and match chemical cleaners as they may give off dangerous fumes.

Wash the lavatory brush in hot, soap water and rinse in cold water containing a few drops of disinfectant to stiffen the bristles. Wash and disinfect the holder as well.

Wipe the lavatory seat on top and underneath with a germicidal solution. Dry with kitchen paper.

Always keep any cloths for the bathroom separate from others to prevent cross contamination.

Game, set and mat

Scrub any non-slip rubber mats with a brush and neutral detergent. Rinse well so they remain non-slip

Power shower cleaning tips

Clean the shower cubicle according to the hints above for tiles, taps and baths.

Methods for descaling shower heads depends whether they are metal or plastic.

The formula for a shower head descaling solution is one part white vinegar to two parts water. Cook up the same solution for both types of shower heads - using warm on metal and cold on plastic.

If you can detach the shower head, make the solution in a small saucepan from half a litre of white vinegar to a litre of water. Bring to the boil and submerge a metal shower head for about 15 minutes.

Allow the solution to cool for plastic shower heads.

If the shower head is not removable, let the solution cool, pour in to a plastic bag, tape to the shower head and leave overnight.

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