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Your faucets and fixtures are sparkling, thanks to our last blog “Cleaning Up After The Holidays”. Now, how do we safely and effectively clean our tubs, toilets and sinks? The first thing we need to understand is which type of finishes we have in our homes. I’m going to begin with a brief explanation of the different variations of tub finishes.
Bob Vila has broken down the different types into four categories. The first is fiberglass. This tub is the lightest and least expensive but is prone to scratching and typically doesn’t wear well. This can come with an acrylic finish, though, and it will last longer.
Secondly, is porcelain. This is a steel based material covered in porcelain enamel. It is fairly inexpensive, easy-to-clean, and has a smooth, glossy, durable finish.
Next is the enamel-coated cast iron. This is very durable and has a lengthy lifetime. People all across the internet have raved about its ability to keep the water warmer while bathing. The downside to this tub is its weight. It is not recommended in certain homes (for structural reasons) and is best kept on first floors. It also can be cumbersome for installers and builders.
Lastly, is acrylic. This sits in the mid-price range and has a high-gloss, durable finish. It is more durable than fiberglass. It also has a solid color throughout so if it scratches, it will be less noticeable. It’s lightweight and molds easily into different shapes, making it a popular choice.
Now that we have the basic differences on types of finishes, how do we clean them without harming their surfaces? Similarly to the cleaning of faucets and fixtures, the best bet for cleaning is mild dish soap, ammonia, baking soda or lemon and warm water. To avoid stubborn rings, get in a simple habit of rinsing after use. Scouring powders, white vinegars and steel wool are NOT recommended. Although the baking soda and dish soap products may take a bit more elbow grease than other products, you will rest assured that your finishes will sparkle for years to come. (And you also could check off that workout for the day.)
As a tidbit on what to focus on cleaning in a bathroom when under a time crunch, realsimple.com reports that the sink base wins for highest bathroom bacteria count. You’ve touched your faucet handles AFTER using the toilet and BEFORE washing your hands, obviously. Think about that!
Another tip comes from HGTV.com They recommend letting your toilet cleanser sit for 5-7 minutes (in the bowl, not in the tank). It needs time to work before being flushed. Maybe pour the cleanser in, give it a brush and concentrate on that bacteria-filled sink!
One last tip for the day involves that hard-to-clean whirlpool tub. Kohler recommends a simple system that I’m going to try this weekend! Twice a month, fill your whirlpool tub with water. Add low foaming, automatic powder dish detergent and 20 oz. of household bleach. Run the whirlpool for 5-10 minutes. Shut off and drain. Beautiful. Ready to enjoy!
Check back soon for more helpful tips on the products we sell right here at Crawford Supply.