Last year we were on the lookout for a rented house to live in. We some great houses, but we also saw some shocking places that made us want to do nothing more than run off down the street screaming. One particular house sticks in my mind, mainly because of the horrific state of the bath.
You could tell that even the rental agent was a bit embarrassed to be showing it us, as the bath looking like something out of a horror movie. It was streaked with the kind of stains you don’t want to know the origin of. The caulking was pretty much non-existent and the taps looked like they’d be brand new when Henry VIII was king. Clearly the previous owner hadn’t bothered much with the upkeep of the house, but the question is, why?
When it’s so easy to maintain a bath and make it look like it was bought yesterday, there’s really no excuse not to put the effort in just so that it doesn’t look like you’re about to take a dip into something you found discarded on a back street. However, life can be busy and we can often find that things lie neglected when we never intended for that happen. But don’t fret; there are ways to make your bath look brand new again. Let’s start with the obvious, cleaning it.
How often you should clean your bath is a bit of subjective question. Ideally it should be given a quick wipe down every time it’s used, as that way you’ll remove any standing water or soap scum. It’s a good idea to get into the habit of doing this, as well as telling the rest of your family to do the same.
Inevitably the bath will get dirty though, and it’s then when it’s time to give it a good deep clean. I personally tend to do this once a month, but it totally depends on how your bath looks to you to determine when to do it. If you hardly ever use your bath (if you’ve got a separate shower, for example), then you won’t need to get down and dirty as often.
I don’t bother with any cleaning products on the market. Instead, cut a large grapefruit in half and fill a cup with about ¼ of salt. Sprinkle this salt on the grapefruit half, before wetting the surface of the bath and dispensing the rest of the salt around. All you need to do then is scrub the bath with the grapefruit, concentrating on those grime-filled areas. When you come to rinse the bath you should have a much cleaner surface leftover.
For bath taps, I also use fruit, although this time it’s a lemon. Scrubbing the taps with the fruit will get back that shine, and it also works well on breaking down any limescale.
Here are our tips on how to clean your bathroom in just 15 minutes.
Over time, your bath may develop chips and scratches, and while it may seem like you’ve damaged the bath for good it’s actually pretty easy to repair. All you need is a scratch and chip repair kit, which work to cover up the defect and making it look like it never happened.
For baths that are particularly well worn then you could try using a refinishing kit. It will take a few hours, and a sitting time of a further 24 hours, but you can completely refresh a baths appearance with a coat of enamel paint, epoxy paint or gel coating. You should be prepared to pay at least £50 though.
Caulk is the sealant that makes the area between your walls and bath waterproof, blocking any leaks. Over time, it will begin to break down, causing mildew, mould and untold other problems. Fresh caulk needs to be applied every few years to keep your bath and bathroom in tip-top condition, and it also looks a lot better too. Caulk gets dirty over time, so applying a fresh coat of pure white caulking will to wonders for appearance as well as solving practical problems.
When it comes to removing the old caulk, use a craft knife to rip it off. Just take care to avoid scratching the bath tub itself. Re-apply the silicone caulk in the seams between the bath, walls and floor. Apply painters tape and use your fingers to smooth it down, before removing the tape and leaving it to dry for 24 hours.
Fixing those Fixtures
Sometimes it’s not the bath itself that needs a do-over, but the fixtures that go with it. Manky taps? A showerhead that was once white is now an unsettling shade of green? If all the fixture needs is a good clean then get to it. Limescale can be tackled with vinegar, such as tying a bag full of vinegar around the shower head and leaving it overnight. Taps wise, toothpaste makes an excellent buffer. Sometimes all something needs is a good clean, which will save you money and give you a brand new look. There is also a great range of bathroom products that will help you deep clean your entire bathroom. We have put together some tips on how to use them here.
If the fixtures have deteriorated to the point where it’s affecting their functionality then it’s time to get them replaced. Putting new taps on a bath can, in itself, make your bath look brand new too. You don’t have to spend a fortune to buy new taps either, as there are plenty of good looking cheap ones available.
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