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How to Maintain a Fresh Bathroom

You're in it every day, so keep it clean!
You're in it every day, so keep it clean!
©iStockphoto.com/EricVega

It's acceptable for some rooms in your house to stay a little messier than others, but the bathroom isn't one of those rooms. Much like your kitchen, it's a breeding ground for bacteria, so keeping it clean has an impact on your health as well as your aesthetic. And since your guests spend time in there, too, you want to make a good impression, right?

One of the challenges of keeping your bathroom fresh and tidy is that there's lots of dirty business being done in there, which makes maintaining it one of the more tiresome tasks in household management. Fortunately, most bathroom surfaces are pretty easy to clean, especially if you make a point to do it on a regular basis. Daily maintenance and a weekly deep cleaning will give you the freshest bathroom in the 'hood.

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There are two main components in maintaining a fresh bathroom. One has to do with the way it looks and the other has to do with the way it smells. Because the bathroom houses the toilet, keeping smells at bay is somewhat of a challenge -- but not impossible. The most important thing is to be sure you have good ventilation.

A bathroom fan that vents to the outside of your home is the surest way to air it out, but simply cracking a window is helpful during mild weather months. It's also a good idea to keep a stock of candles and matches in your bathroom. Light a candle when you have guests coming over and keep matches in an easy to access area.

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Another place you can get some foul smells is from used bath towels. Wash your towels often and hang them up so that they can fully dry between uses. Towels that aren't able to dry quickly enough will smell musty. The same goes for any kind of floor mat you use. Make sure it dries out fully between uses.

There are also some clever ways you can help your bathroom smelling clean. Place a cup of vinegar on the floor of your shower when you aren't using it and close the door or curtain. This will draw in foul smelling odors when you aren't around to maintain things yourself. Linen spray can also be used on towels, bath mats and even the shower curtain. If you have a home garden, you can place fresh cut flowers in a vase in the bathroom for delightful floral scents. Potpourri and other store bought air fresheners are fine to use as well, as long as you don't mind the heavy scent that comes along with those products. Citrus scents are a good match for the bathroom and aren't as pungent as the floral scented products.

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Doesn't it just look like it smells fresh?
Doesn't it just look like it smells fresh?
©iStockphoto.com/JazzIRT

There are many small things that can make a bathroom look dirty, so keeping up with those areas is the key to keeping your bathroom looking magazine fresh. Sinks and faucets should be free from water spots, so make sure you wipe it all down with a clean, dry towel after use. The areas around the sink drain and where the faucet meets the porcelain are a haven for mold buildup. Toweling the area after use is an easy way to avoid this.

The bathroom trash basket is typically home to some of the less desirable refuse your home produces. And they're usually small and fill up quickly. For this reason, it's important to empty it on a regular basis. A can overflowing with used dental floss, tissues and Q-tips isn't very appealing. Another quickie way to freshen up your bathroom is to close the shower curtain. This will not only help it dry out, but it will hide the tub and shower, which is the most challenging area to keep clean.

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Fight the urge to bypass your toilet during the daily maintenance cleaning and tackle it with a toilet brush and some scouring powder as often as you can. Be sure to scrub inside the bowl as well as the seat and the back. An unsightly ring is pretty gross, as are stains on the seat. Be sure to mop around the bottom of the toilet, too. It tends to get pretty dusty and linty down there.

On the surface, simply making sure your towels are folded and neatly stacked adds to the overall fresh look. Towels on the floor or even hanging over your shower curtain give your bathroom an unkempt appearance. You should remove all dirty clothes, too. Bathrooms are small and dirty clothes tend to smell, so keep your clothes hamper in another room.

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Sources

  • Price, Lousia. "How to Get Rid of Bathroom Odor." Nichetopics.info, 2010. http://www.nichetopics.info/how-to-get-rid-of-bathroom-odor.html

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