Getting Rid of Grubby Grout

Even with regular care and cleaning, there will be times when the grout between tiles will need to be removed or repaired.  This is because grout is a porous substance that absorbs dirt over a period of time and, as tile and grout are usually used in areas that get damp and dirty such as kitchens and bathrooms, over time the grout will start to discolour and look grubby.  Re-grouting the top layer or completely replacing the old grout will instantly make any tiled area look cleaner, newer and more appealing.

Your first step is to use masking tape to cover the surrounding tiles for protection, after which you can either re-grout or completely remove and replace the grout.

If you re-grout, you will only need to remove the top three mm of grout around the tiles using an inexpensive tool called a grout rake.  Simply pull the rake’s toothed blade along the existing grout to take off three mm.  You can then cover the remaining grout with new grout.

In most cases, to get rid of all the existing grout you will still use the grout rake.  However, if the rake cannot get rid of all the grout, you will also need to use a grout saw.  Firmly pull the rake or saw over the lines of grout.  Do this a few times until the grout breaks away from the tiles; brush the old grout from the joint until it is completely clear, and then apply the new grout.

Ridding floor tiles of grout will usually require a grout rake and a chisel.  Floor tile grout is stronger than what is used on walls because it is often mixed with sand.


Tips for a Greener Bathroom

Going green in the bathroom is a relatively easy thing to do, and doesn’t necessarily need to cost a great deal of money.  As a matter of fact, some things you can do to help the environment will actually save you money.  

It may sound obvious, but one of the easiest ways to go green in bathrooms is by using recycled paper products.  Gone are the days when recycled toilet paper was as rough as sandpaper; today, most brands of recycled toilet paper are soft, and very high quality.

One way that you can help the planet by saving water is by fitting a dual flush toilet.  This type of toilet uses different volumes of water for flushing liquid and solid waste, as you don’t need to flush liquid away with the same amount of water needed to get rid of solid waste.

Another way to go green is by investing in organic bathroom linens.  Organic linens such as cotton, hemp, or bamboo towels are produced without fertilisers or pesticides.  Hemp and bamboo towels are particularly well suited for use in the bathroom as they are naturally resistant to mildew.

You can do a great deal for the planet and your wallet by fixing that annoying dripping tap; even a small, constant drip can waste hundreds of litres of clean water per year, and if you are on a meter you will save on your water bill.  Also, never leave the tap running whilst cleaning your teeth.

You should also consider installing a reduced flow showerhead or an air-shower; these can help reduce water usage by an average of 30% simply by increasing the air to water ratio.

Finally, commit to using environmentally friendly soaps, toiletries, and bathroom cleaning products and ensure that they come in recyclable packaging.


Cleaning Your Bathroom

When you are faced with a whole range of surface types in your bathroom, it is tempting to go and buy a range of cleaning products to suit.  There are those which are designed for cleaning bathroom tiles, different ones for glass shower doors and plastic shower enclosures as well as special ones designed for enamel baths. 

Manufacturers of cleaning products have now caught on to the fact that having half a dozen different cleaning products for one room in the house is time consuming, as well as expensive and often messy.  Most will now have a bathroom ‘all in one’ type product that can be used on all surfaces and will clean both dirt and limescale.  Most of these cleaners are also designed to work without too much user effort.

If there is one separate product that it is worth investing in then a product that helps to stop limescale forming on shower cubicles is a good idea. Unless you are happy to clean your shower every day, then this can be a timesaving idea that will involve you spending less time scrubbing and will give you more time to yourself.

You should also take care to stop mould and mildew forming on the grout between your bathroom tiles.  This can happen without you even realising it, but is easily resolved with the use of a good cleaner.  Several of the aforementioned ‘all in one’ cleaners now contain an ingredient that can help remove and prevent the build-up of mould on grout, and regular usage should keep it at bay.


Keeping your toilet clean

Having a clean toilet will not only prevent bacteria, it will also provide more comfort for you, your family and your guests. Although cleaning the toilet is an unpleasant job, it does need to be done and there are a variety of products that can help you to get your toilet clean as quickly and easily as possible.

Cleaning the outside of the toilet is just as important as cleaning the inside. Be sure to focus on getting the toilet seat as clean as possible. Buying products that keep your toilet fresh after each flush, such as cistern blocks, is a good idea. These products prevent the build up of lime scale and get rid of bacteria. They are also lightly fragranced, providing your toilet with a pleasant smell.

Toilet rim hangers are another option. These are lightly fragranced toilet cleaning blocks that foam after each flush, keeping your toilet looking and smelling fresh and removing bacteria. They are easy to use and a safe cleaning option.

There are products, such as the Tri-odour Trap Sani-Sleeve, which remove unpleasant odours, help to reduce the number of blockages in your toilet, and also save water. These are easy to install and are priced at £15.00.

Wilkinson offers a selection of toilet cleaning products, including the Harpic Power Plus Toilet Cleaner. This helps to remove stains, prevents lime scale and gets rid of bacteria. It is available in a 750ml bottle and is priced at £1.40. Wilkinson also offers two bottles for £2.00, which is ideal if you wish to stock up.


The advantages of having a bathroom bin

A bin is a simple accessory, but it can make a huge difference to your bathroom. Having somewhere to throw away used items such as face wipes, cotton buds, make-up removal pads and empty soap packets is always useful and will make your bathroom look tidier.

There are many different styles of bins available. Home Office Design provides waste bins that are available in colours such as blue, white, vanilla, black and much more, so it is easy to find a bin that will suit the colour scheme of your bathroom.

If you prefer a wastebasket, then there is a selection of styles available, including square wastebaskets, small wastebaskets, large wastebaskets and much more. You can also purchase a wastebasket set, which comes with a basket for storing towels or clothes. Wicker wastebaskets look attractive in the bathroom and are available in a variety of colours.

For extra comfort, it may be a good idea to purchase a sanitary bin for your bathroom. You can use an ordinary bathroom bin for sanitary products, but sanitary bins are more discreet, which not only gives you a little privacy but also makes your bathroom look much tidier.

For hygiene reasons, it is a good idea to make sure that you empty your bins regularly. Used face wipes and make-up pads can cause bacteria to spread and sanitary bins that are not emptied can also be unpleasant. It is also important to give your bathroom bins a wash regularly to get rid of germs.


Cleaning your bathroom

Since baths, showers, toilets and sinks are used regularly and often by more than one person in a household, it is important to keep them as clean as possible. Having a clean bathroom means it is hygienic and provides more comfort for everyone. It will also have a bigger impact on your guests, as they will prefer to use a clean bathroom rather than be greeted by a dirty one.

There are many stores that sell suitable cleaning products for particular areas of the bathroom, such as toilet cleaner and products for keeping your bath and shower clean. Bathmats also need to be washed regularly to prevent them from become damp and mouldy. If you have a shower curtain, then it will also need to be removed and cleaned regularly. Bath screens can become dirty from constant exposure to water and steam, so they will need to be scrubbed down on a regular basis.

If you have extractor fans or vents, then these will need to be cleaned regularly, as dust can build up and prevent them from working properly. Lights may also need a wipe down, but make sure that they are switched off before you attempt to clean them.

Any leaking bottles, such as shampoo or bubble bath should be replaced. If you have a medicine cabinet, then it may be a good idea to throw out any old bottles and replace them. Storage cabinets should be kept clean and old make-up or other unwanted items should be discarded.


Selecting the right toilet for your bathroom

It is important that you choose a toilet that is right for you. There are many styles available, and you will need to find one that fits your bathroom perfectly. A toilet with a round front may be more ideal for smaller bathrooms. There are different types of toilets that are easier to clean, such as a one-piece toilet. Choosing a toilet that is harder to clean will be more time consuming and may lead to it not being cleaned properly.

There are toilets that have been designed to fight bacteria and stop mould from spreading. These toilets are built with a special glaze to help prevent condensation. Like the one-piece toilet, this type of toilet is easier to maintain and will help you to have a cleaner bathroom.

If you do not have much space, then opting for a space saving toilet is the best idea. These types of toilets often come with matching seats and covers, which helps your bathroom to keep its theme and look neater. Plumbworld offers space saving toilets, though their selection is currently only available in white.

If a toilet has a matching seat or cover that you do not like, then you can swap them for a different style. Toilet seats are not too expensive and come in a variety of styles. Plumbworld offer a wide selection of designer toilet seats in a variety of styles, including black mosaic seats, starfish seats for an aquatic theme and even a football style seat, which is suitable for children.


Transforming a dingy bathroom

A dingy bathroom is likely to be uncomfortable, so adding a few items here and there to brighten up the room is a good idea. If you do not have much money to spare, then there are a variety of affordable interesting accessories that can make your bathroom look much better.

Going for light colours, such as white, can make a dingy bathroom look much brighter and more modern. Paint is the best option, as it is easy to apply and a quick way of brightening up your bathroom. There are many types of paint that have a film that is mould and mildew resistant to protect your bathroom walls.

If your bathroom has a cracked bath, toilet or sink, then it will need repairing as soon as possible to prevent leaks. Cracked items can make a bathroom look dingy, and there are some types of surfaces, such as porcelain, which can be repainted, leaving your bathroom free of cracks and looking much brighter and appealing.

Mould and mildew can also make a bathroom look dingy. There are a variety of cleaning products that easily remove mould and mildew to make your bathroom look much cleaner and make it a safer environment you, your family and any visitors.

If your bathroom does not have much natural light, then this will make it look dingy. Be sure to keep your curtains open to let in more light. Privacy windows will allow you to let in lots of light whilst keeping your bathroom private. If you have blinds, pull them up to let in more light. Open your windows to let in more air and install an extractor fan to keep your bathroom well ventilated.


Getting rid of mould in the bathroom

Your bathroom could end up with mould growing in different areas if you do not have enough ventilation in your bathroom. Not only does mould look unpleasant, it is also very unhygienic and can lead to serious illnesses in some cases. Mould will develop in the areas that are the most exposed to water, such as the shower, bath and sink. Wallpaper and carpet can also become mouldy. Having a bathroom that is free of mould will be much safer and more comfortable for you, your family and your guests.

If you do find that there has been a build up of mould in your bathroom, then the best solution is to scrub it away with bleach and water. If bleach does not work, then HG Mould Spray may be the best solution. This spray removes black mould from tile grouts, plaster, toilets, showers and many other areas. It is available from a variety of stores and is usually priced at £4.95. It may be available at a cheaper price at online stores such as eBay or Amazon. HG also offers shower and basin spray and shower shield, which prevents build up of lime scale.

To prevent mould from building up, install an extractor fan or open your windows after a bath to let the steam out. Wipe all areas that have had water exposed to them after you have had a bath or a shower. Keep a bottle of mould spray or a selection of other cleaning products close by so that you can quickly get rid of any mould that has built up.


Bathroom Carpets

Bathroom carpets often get a bad press, with people viewing them as unhygienic, particularly around the toilet and complaining that they retain water and are prone to rotting. 

However, bathroom carpets do have a great advantage over other types of floor surface, they are non slip and they are not cold when you walk on them, so particularly for older people, they really can offer a very practical floor covering.

The price of bathroom carpets has come down over recent years and they can now be bought at very competitive prices. Usually the manufacturer will state if the product can, or should be used in a bathroom and it is always worth buying one that is specifically designed for this use. You may pay less for a standard carpet, but it will need to be replaced more frequently than one that is designed to withstand bathroom usage.

If hygiene is a consideration, then you should think about installing a small toilet pedestal mat. This will ensure that any little splashes go onto it and it can easily be put into a washing machine, thereby allowing your carpet to be protected.

The only downside to carpeting the bathroom is that it will be difficult to vacuum around all the nooks and crannies where it is fitted. Some people find that using a small steam cleaner will help to get rid of any dust from hard to reach areas and keep your carpet in tip top condition for as long as possible.