Friday, October 10, 2014

Parenting Pointers: Quick Cleaning Tips for Bathroom Accessories

I love a clean bathroom as much as the next girl. Ever since I became a working wife (two full-time jobs, really), I've found ways to shave time off of my cleaning routine. Now that I'm about to become a mother, although I'm still very interested in saving time, I'm also prioritizing cutting costs and using products that are less harmful for newborn lungs and easier on the environment.
Fortunately, there are ways to have it all! By making your own DIY cleaning products, you can save money and provide a clean and green bathroom without that much effort and even less of a time investment. And by knowing a few simple tips and tricks for cleaning your bathroom accessories, the whole process can be done quickly and efficiently.
But first things first, let's take care of a bit of housekeeping before we get to the house cleaning. The busier you become with essentials like work and managing family obligations, the less you feel like expending energy cleaning or picking things up. To help combat that, here's a motivational tool/time-saving tip that always makes it easier to actually get into the bathroom and get something clean: Use an egg timer or set the stopwatch on your smartphone to 10 minutes.
You'd be amazed at the amount of work you can accomplish when you have a manageable time limit and a reachable goal. And even though just getting started is the hardest part, when you know there's an end in sight, putting cleaner to cloth is that much easier. As soon as the 10 minutes are up, walk away and move on to something else. More often than not, you'll be so encouraged by your progress that you'll keep working the extra couple of minutes and finish the job in its entirety.
Once you get your mind aligned with your task, all you need are some ingredients you likely already have on hand – from these items, you can create all of your DIY green cleaners:
  • Water
  • Vinegar (distilled white is preferable but cider vinegar will work if that's all you have)
  • Baking soda
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Lemons or lemon juice
As paper towels can drive up costs quickly – and add unnecessary waste – use DIY cleaning cloths instead. I cut up my husband's old t-shirts and store them in a bin in our laundry room and use them for everything from bathroom cleaning tasks to washing the car.
You'll also need some spray bottles, gloves and plastic containers to soak bathroom accessories and fixtures in while you work your way around the room.
DIY Glass Cleaner for Mirrors and Glass Shower Doors
Mix the following ingredients in a spray bottle and be sure to label the contents as glass cleaner:
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1/2 cup of vinegar
  • 1/4 cup of rubbing alcohol
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice, optional
If you are using the same cloths to clean the mirrors as you are to clean the tub, begin with the mirror and move on from there. Spray directly onto the cloth, wipe the surface of the glass, and turn the cloth over to the unsprayed side to wipe dry.
For seriously scummy shower doors, boil undiluted vinegar and apply it to the door using a cloth and wearing gloves as soon as it is cool enough to handle. If you need to use a brush for deep down dinge, use a non-scratch scrubbing brush.
DIY Fixture Fixer
To rid your fixture attachments of that nasty pink mildew, unscrew your shower head from the fixture and let it soak in a bath of equal parts vinegar and hot water, either in a plastic bin or in the sink, before scrubbing the water spouts and thoroughly rinsing the shower head. Allow it to dry completely before reattaching it to the wall fixture. In the meantime, move on to other aspects of your accessories.
I hate water spots on my metal bathroom fixtures. If you do too, simply soak your cleaning cloth with lemon juice and sprinkle on some standard table salt. Lightly rub the salted cloth over the surface of your handles and nozzles, rinse thoroughly and wipe dry with a clean cloth.
Cleaner Caddies
A tension rod corner shower caddy was essential for our bathroom survival in our first apartment but cleaning it was often a challenge. If you have caddy baskets that unhook, place them in a tub half filled with hot water and 2 cups of vinegar and allow them to soak. Scrub them after a few minutes, reattach them, and use the tub water solution to scrub the tub. If you have a ring to remove, sprinkle some baking soda on a cloth and rub circles around the tub before rinsing.
At the same time, mold and mildew tend to build up around the base of the rod where it secures to the tub, so be sure to pay special attention to wiping around the bottom edges every time you clean the tub.
What other DIY green cleaning tips do you have for cleaning the nooks and crannies in your bathroom?
Rheney Williams writes on bathroom d├ęcor and provides bathroom housekeeping tips for Home Depot. Rheney's cleaning advice for bathrooms ranges from shower rods to tubs to metal fixtures and all accessories in between. To view Home Depot's selection of shower rods and other bathroom accessories, you can visit the company's website.

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