6 Steps to Easy Bathroom Maintenance
Much like the kitchen, a bathroom is constantly being maintained—or could always be maintained a little more. Bathtubs, sinks, and toilets need regular cleaning to keep them looking their best and not feeling gross. Depending on the climate, the frequency of use, and your own personal definition of clean, toilets and wash basins might need to be cleaned once a week, and certainly once a month. However, bathroom maintenance is more than just scrubbing the tub and washing the bathmats.
Bathroom Maintenance Checklist
Here is a broad bathroom maintenance checklist that will allow you to cover all the basics without chewing up every last hour of your general home maintenance schedule.
- Bathtub Maintenance and Shower Maintenance: For showers and bathtubs, having a good bead of caulk is key. If you have tile, make certain that the grout is solid and not full of holes or missing in some spots. If the caulking is worn and allows water to get behind the tile or the vinyl walls, you won’t know how much is getting back there and you won’t know there is damage until there is a lot of it. Caulk and grout ensures that all the water that hits those surfaces leaves through the drain. Caulk at least once year, but a better practice is to caulk when you notice an area where the caulk’s integrity has been compromised. Also, be sure to have a good seal around the fixtures. Click this link to read about working with bathroom contractors.
- Shower Doors and Shower Curtains: These can get pretty filthy if you’re not paying attention. Whenever you notice white film or black mold, particularly on the bottom of the door or curtain, pull out the curtain or door and scrub it down with an abrasive cleaner. Once you have the shower door out, check the tracks for mold or standing water. If water is standing in the tracks, drill small holes in discrete areas so that this water can drain back into the tub basin. Be sure to angle the drill in such a way that expedites the water out of the tracks more easily. These tracks often lose their caulking first because they endure a lot of wear and tear. Check this caulk a little more often than other areas. If you are considering a bathroom remodel, click here to read about bathroom prep steps.
- Toilet Maintenance: This can be a dirty job if you don’t clean your toilet on a regular basis. But, aside from regular cleaning, take a rag around the base of the toilet every so often or just when you think of it to test for water. Often, small amounts of water will begin to seep out from the base. This is an early sign that the sealing ring is worn or no longer viable and bigger leaks are on their way. Also, open the back of the toilet to see if everything looks to be in good shape. Plumbers can often diagnose a problem in seconds just by opening the back. If the water level seems off, if the floatation device isn’t floating, or something just doesn’t seem right, call a plumber.
- Bathroom Sink Maintenance: It may shock you to know that bathroom sinks are often dirtier than kitchen sinks. Even though kitchen sinks see all the food traffic, they have disposals and built in bacteria to break these things down. As often as you can stomach it, pull the drain stopper and clean it thoroughly. Scrub it off, soak it in vinegar, then toss it in the dishwasher. This process should remove the mold and gunk that can build up in there without a solid cleaning. Of course, make sure you scrub the sink a least once a month—if not every week. Don’t forget to check around the fixtures for leaks. The sink is a hard place to spot leaks, even though they are more visible, because water is always getting splashed around from daily use, and the origin of the water is difficult to discern.
- Bathroom Floors: If you think about the bathmats, they see dirty feet on the way in and wet feet on the way out, not to mention all the shoe-clad foot traffic. Because of the amount of water that they absorb, these mats really need to be washed at least once a month. They can become grimy and moldy much quicker than you think. For bathroom floors, whether tile, linoleum, wood, or carpet, be aware that it will be getting wet often, and because of this dirt, hair, and debris will stick to the floor more easily. This floor will need to be cleaned just as often as your kitchen floors and other high-traffic areas.
- Bathroom Exhaust Fan: Don’t forget this helpful little machine in the ceiling. Once a month, clean out the filter in the bathroom fan and vacuum out the intake panel. Dust will collect in the bathroom fan quite easily with the moist environment and the nature of this fan. This bit of bathroom maintenance will also help it run better.