Modern houses have bathrooms where we soak, splash, scrub and generally groom ourselves. The days of ancient Rome where bathhouses were state-funded and kept in good order by hordes of slaves are long gone, so what goes on in the bathroom is entirely up to us. Usually the more items there are, the more time consuming is the regular domestic cleaning.
Most of the steam that fogs up the bathroom, clouds the mirrors and promotes the growth of mould comes from the shower. Showers that have individual cabinets are best, as this stops the steam getting everywhere else. Showers over the bathtub are chillier – all that cool air around you – and lets the steam get all over the bathroom. The steam will be confined to the shower area – and so will the mould. Regular window cleaning is essential in order to prevent dirt from the inside of the bathroom windows.
To clean off the mould from the shower area (or the whole bathroom if you can’t have a fully contained shower) you can use a commercial cleaner or use plain chlorine bleach diluted 50/50 with water. Put this mixture in a spray bottle, then spray and wipe as necessary. Be careful with your eyes and your clothes, as chlorine will bleach your clothes and leave them with funny little white spots – but you could probably tackle the job of getting rid of mould in the shower before you start your shower with no clothes on, which will eliminate any risk of damaging your clothes.
Grotty shower curtains should also be washed in a bleach solution, this time using 10% bleach and a good dollop of dishwashing liquid or any general house cleaning product. Leave the shower curtain in a bucket with this mixture and soak it for an hour. Rinse well, then hang the curtain out to dry – preferably outside in the sun and wind – and make sure that it’s hanging upside down so water doesn’t get trapped in the hems and turn nasty.
Still on the topic of shower curtains, who doesn’t loathe the feeling of wet, clammy shower curtains whipping around their legs and body? This usually happens if the window is open – the poor person’s extractor fan – and a breeze is blowing through. Avoid this by sewing weights to the bottom of the hem – fishing sinkers or metal washers work well. The only time these are a nuisance is if a very high wind gets into your bathroom while you’re in the shower, as the strong wind will whip the curtain and weights into you. Usually also more dust is gathered when the weather is windy which makes the weekly house cleaning session a bit longer.
Most people buy a shampoo they can’t stand at some time in their lives. Instead of throwing it out, use it as liquid soap. If you still can’t stand it as a liquid soap, shampoo makes a good bubble bath solution – all those foaming agents designed to fill your hair with lather makes great bubbles. Other uses for unwanted shampoo include using it to hand-wash delicates or even to wash the dishes. It also makes a good emergency clothes washing liquid if you run out of regular washing powder. Some people may decide to use it for carpet cleaning London.
Liquid soap is by far the easiest to clean up. However, bar soap is cheaper. The best compromise here is to chop up or grate bar soap, then turn it into a liquid by adding boiling water – experiment to find the right consistency. Scent (in the form of essential or aromatic oils) and colour (food colouring) can be added if desired. You will need to buy a liquid soap dispenser to start this process off or use a bottle from your recycling bins before the rubbish clearance company takes them.
Alternatively, save little slivers of bar soap from the shower, etc. and melt these down to make liquid soap.
Razors last better than you think they do. Don’t have a set “use by” date (e.g. a week) for razors but just evaluate by feel whether it’s still sharp and cutting. Razors last longer and keep their edge longer if they are dry, so make sure they drain. Those little plastic guard things on disposable razors shouldn’t be put back on after use, as they trap moisture around the blade. Simply put the razor somewhere out of child-reach where it can drain easily. Make sure you explain your domestic cleaner how to deal with it if she finds it.
Still on the topic of shaving, remember that a woman’s razor cuts just as well as a man’s one and usually contains more lubricants for a similar price. Men with dry skin can use women’s razors perfectly well – this writer’s husband found that a woman’s razor was the best sort for him. After use, never throw them away in the recycling bins.
And still on the topic of shaving, you can do without expensive shaving foams. All that these foams do is hold water on the skin to soften the hairs and make them easier to cut, and provide a bit of lubrication. Soap and water is more than adequate – men and women. To save more, you can also think about water waste and do something to prevent it.
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