How to Prevent Mold in Your Bathroom and Kitchen
Because of Colorado’s arid climate, we residents are pretty lucky when it comes to mold issues. Mold loves damp, dark places, and our dry environment can help to prevent these in the home. Mold does grow here, though, and if left untreated, it could become a problem.
Is your knowledge about this topic a little spotty? Pun intended. Let’s fix that.
Facts about Mold
Not only is mold an eye sore, it is a health concern. Breathing in these spores can exacerbate asthma, cause breathing difficulties (particularly in immunocompromised individuals and vulnerable people such as the elderly, children, and pregnant women), and induce allergy symptoms. So, it is important to minimize our exposure to mold as much as possible.
The “good” thing about mold is that it is pretty easy to see and to identify. It usually consists of dark, spotty areas that collect in a certain place. We often see mold as the spores form “clumps” on shower tiles, along the bottom edge of doors, or in the corners of wet linoleum. The most common places to look for mold in the home are those spaces that are consistently wet or exposed to moisture, like the bathtub, bathroom and kitchen tile, and areas around sinks, toilets, and windows.
A key way to prevent mold is to provide good ventilation to bathrooms and kitchens (and other areas that are susceptible to it, such as areas in the basement, garage, or crawl space). It is helpful to check for faulty seals on door frames and windows, and to keep surfaces dry. Think about areas in your home, big or small, where water can just sit. Where can it collect? Work to consistently dry out these spaces.
We often work with people who have installed bathtub liners for this purpose, thinking that they would provide a barrier against mold. Bathroom liners are not a good idea. Ironically, they trap moisture underneath and create the perfect condition for those spores! Rather than preventing mold, these liners allow it to thrive.
So, no bathtub liners.
The best way to treat and prevent mold is to be on the lookout for it, and most often the best way to clean it is just to clean it. Get rid of it. Then take steps to prevent it from coming back.
When cleaning mold off of household surfaces, remember that these spores can spread easily. So, wear a mask and make sure there is good airflow in the room (you don’t want so much that the spores blow into other rooms). Use hot water, a clean rag, and a brush to remove and clean the area. Check out more mold cleaning tips here.
It’s tempting to think that harsh chemicals are the answer, but that’s not true. In fact, you probably already have the surprising secret weapon for cleaning your bathroom and kitchen areas.
In addition to cleaning up moldy areas, we can work to prevent the conditions that allow it in the first place. Consider some of these tips and tricks.
Tips for preventing mold:
Increase airflow and ventilation to areas that are often damp or wet
Control moisture levels by keeping humidity levels low
Look for damp, dark areas around your home
Remove any standing water from inside or outside your home
Promptly clean and dry out any area that has been wet (or flooded)
So, in with the clean and out with the mold!
This unsightly issue does not have to become a problem in your home. A few simple steps can make your bathroom and kitchen surfaces clean and mold free.
If you’re on a roll, we also offer a variety of care instructions for how to clean and protect many important surfaces in the home.
The Secret Weapon to Spring Clean Your Bathroom
We happen to be big fans of the bathroom. It’s an important room in the home that serves an important function. From getting ready for the day to relaxing at the end, you spend quality time in your bathroom and it deserves to sparkle and shine.
And there’s nothing like the change in seasons to inspire a good deep clean. Spring is the perfect time to open up the windows, let in the fresh air and light, and tackle those grimy places that like to hide during the darker winter months.
You can find plenty of advice online about how to get rid of the grime and soap residue that tends to build up, especially in the bathtub. But most of that advice is actually counter-productive.
Why? If you use harsh chemicals to clean your bathtub, it might look clean for a little while, but what you’re actually doing is breaking down the tub’s finish, which is the only thing that keeps it clean.
The same is true for most home remedies, like vinegar and lemon juice with baking soda. Anything acidic or abrasive will break down the finish on your tub, which opens up the pores in the porcelain or fiberglass and causes it to absorb all the more readily those microscopic body oils, soap scum, and minerals that make your tub stained and dingy.
It doesn’t make much sense to make your bathtub even dirtier by cleaning it, right? But that’s essentially what you’re doing when you use abrasive cleaners and sponges that scratch the finish.
In fact, we wouldn’t stay nearly as busy if people weren’t using harsh, abrasive cleaning methods in their bathrooms. Don’t get us wrong! We love to help people restore their bathtubs to their original shine and beauty. But we also think people deserve to have all the facts so they aren’t unintentionally ruining the finish.
So . . . What’s the Secret?
What’s the secret to keeping your tub, sink, and toilet clean without destroying the finish?
Dawn Dish Soap.
Yep. That’s the secret weapon. This simple, inexpensive product is marketed for cleaning dirty dishes but also happens to be phenomenal at cutting through shower grime without harming the surface.
If you use a warm, soapy rag and clean and rinse your tile or porcelain surfaces on a regular basis, you’ll never damage the finish and will get to enjoy the full benefits of the protection—and shine—that a good finish provides.
The same is true for acrylic or fiberglass tubs as well. Anything that has a finish on it needs to be treated gently, and needs to be cleaned frequently.
You might be tempted to pull out the heavy duty cleaners for your spring cleaning, but now you know the downside. Here’s our quick list of bathroom cleaning rules that will preserve the finish and keep away the dirt and grime:
- NEVER use harsh or acidic cleaners (even natural ingredients can be problematic)
- NEVER use an abrasive scrubbing pad
- DO use a mild, soapy cleanser like Dawn Dish Soap
- DO clean with a soft rag
- ALWAYS rinse thoroughly
- Repeat regularly!
By the way, if you don’t have a detachable shower head, we recommend purchasing a removable rubber shower head that attaches to the bathtub tap. Now you can quickly and easily rinse off the suds and not worry about leaving behind any residue.
Transform Your Bathroom into a Relaxing Getaway
Everyone knows that one of the best ways to relax after a hard day of work is to take a long soak in a hot tub. But it’s not always easy to find the time for a bath.
Even if you don’t have time for a bath, we still think that the bathroom can be a relaxing escape from the hectic day. That’s why we put together some ideas for how to make your bathroom the most relaxing spot in the house.
Create Ambience with New Bathroom Lighting Fixtures
Lighting is one of the most dramatic ways to change the atmosphere of a room, and the bathroom is no exception. While you may need and appreciate bright lighting in the morning, when you’re getting ready for the day, you can easily make some adjustments that allow you to enjoy more muted lighting in the evenings. Installing a dimmer switch for the overhead lights is a quick and easy way to create a more relaxing atmosphere.
You can also shop around for some new fixtures. Wall sconces in muted shades create a welcome and relaxing contrast to the bright lights of the office and will help you unwind after a long day.
Update the Textiles
There’s something about a plush, fluffy bath towel that immediately puts people at ease. If you’re like most of us, you’ve been using the same bath towels for a while and may not have noticed that they’ve lost some texture and softness. Shop around for the fluffiest, most luxurious towels you can find, and get a matching rug that will pamper your bare feet. You’re breathing easier already, aren’t you?
Take Inspiration from Nature
Natural decor provides a timeless, relaxing quality to any room. Green plants, smooth stones, candles, or a soothing tabletop fountain are all simple ways you can bring the essence of nature into your bathroom.
Switch to a More Relaxing Color Scheme
Regardless of your decor, the colors in your bathroom have a big effect on how relaxing—or not—your environment is. Bright, intense colors suggest vibrance and energy, while more muted or neutral hues create a more calming effect. Not sure what colors put you at ease? You can search for inspiration on color-hex, a site that displays thousands of color palette schemes. Each palette includes hues that both complement and contrast, and may give you ideas you hadn’t considered before.
Relax: Colorado Tub Repair Has Your Back
There’s nothing relaxing about soaking in a tub that is chipped or cracked. For professional refinishing that will leave your tub sparkling, give us a call. We’ll do the heavy lifting (not to mention the cleaning!) so that you can enjoy a relaxing retreat in the comfort of your own home.
Three High-Impact Bathroom Remodel Ideas for 2018
If one of your New Year’s resolutions was to update your bathroom, you’re in luck. 2018 brings some exciting trends for that oh-so-important room. We’ve rounded up our favorites to offer ideas, pictures, and inspiration that will help you make it happen!
Upgrade to 3-Dimensional Bathroom Tile
There’s a new trend in tile that’s bringing a fresh new look to bathroom walls: 3D tile. You don’t need special glasses to view it, either. Created with varying patterns and depth, this tile has a raised surface that casts shadows and brings texture and life to the walls of your bathroom. From subtle, neutral patterns that mimic natural scenes (think sand dunes or waves) to geometric shapes that pop, the 3D trend in bathroom tile opens up all kinds of possibilities.
Is it easy to clean? Depends on the style and shape. While it’s bound to be a little trickier than say, slick subway tile, we think the aesthetic appeal is worth the extra bit of effort.
Technology is part of our daily lives, and designers are getting smarter about integrating it into the room where we get started each day: the bathroom. Whether you’re considering a refresh or a remodel, these high-tech enhancements will make a world of difference:
- Install a Waterproof TV in your bathroom
Don’t lose your iPad to the tub (or toilet). Safely catch up on the news and weather while you get ready in the morning and keep your phones and tablets out of harm’s way.
- Upgrade your bathroom cabinets to refrigerated storage
Keep medicines, creams, or drinks cool right where you need them.
- Go hands-free with a digital faucet
Conserve water and simplify your routine by installing a faucet that automatically turns on and off. These high-tech fixtures can help save on your water bill!
- Get comfortable with a new, high-tech toilet
These days you can find a toilet that will do almost anything: clean itself, clean you, automatically open and close the lid, spray air freshener . . . the list goes on.
Is the shock of cold against your bare feet first thing in the morning part of your wake up routine? If so, it might be time to double up on the caffeine, because cold floors are rapidly becoming a thing of the past. In-floor heating is gaining in popularity, and it’s no wonder—the luxury of a warm and cozy floor that’s also practical and easy to clean? Yes please!
Since in-floor heating is installed underneath the floor tile, a remodel is the perfect time to do it. Installation is fairly simple, too, although you may need to run new wiring from the main circuit panel to the bathroom. Consult a professional beforehand and then get moving quickly on this one. Winter is still here for a few more months!
One More Idea: Save Money!
You might be thinking that all of these ideas sound fabulous, but how are you going to pay for them? Renovations cost money, of course, and that’s where we can help you save. You don’t have to tear out your current bathtub or shower and buy a new one to get a fresh new look. We can refinish your tub or shower for a fraction of the cost. You can change colors or simply brighten up a white tub to make it gleam and sparkle. Save money on the practical updates so you can spend it on the fun ones!