Bathrooms are always in danger of being one of the smellier rooms on a property. However frequently they're cleaned, the constant stream of water, humidity and being exposed to other unpleasant bathroom scents mean that it can be a struggle to keep the room smelling fresh. There are two main types of smell you'll encounter in a bathroom: the first is the unavoidable array of smells that arise from its everyday use, which are usually only temporary in most cases. The other type is smells that linger, usually the result of dirt build-up or moisture creating mold in difficult to reach places. It's important to tackle these two types of smell differently; getting rid of both is essential to get your bathroom fresh. This article contains a few tips on how to make your bathroom smell great, ensuring it'll always be a pleasurable visit for you or any guests.
Before considering any other tips, the most obvious step is to clean your bathroom. Depending on the size of your bathroom, this can seem like a daunting task but routine cleaning means each subsequent attempt will be easier. Your ceramics should be cleaned weekly or fortnightly, with the rest of the room getting a deeper clean every month or so. Removing dirt and grime regularly means that it shouldn't have time to stain or harden to the point that it becomes trickier to remove. A clean bathroom, for the most part, is not a smelly bathroom. If, however, you have cleaned your room thoroughly but still can't get your bathroom to smell fresh, the following tips should help.
Short terms smells resulting from bathroom use require short term solutions. In these cases, it's usually a simple matter of disguising the smell until it dissipates naturally, or accelerating this process with odour eliminators. There's always the traditional method of lighting a match to combat any unfortunate bathroom smells, a fine temporary fix. A match won't actually remove the odour from your bathroom, however the sulfur dioxide in the air has a powerful effect on the human sense of smell. In the long run, you probably don't want people to be lighting a match every time anyone uses your bathroom but it's an effective fix every once in a while. If you keep a box of matches in your bathroom for lighting candles, they can serve two purposes! Just be sure to have a safe place to dispose of them; combating smells is one thing but you don't want to burn down your property.
For a more modern approach, toilet bowl fresheners have been around for decades and help keep your toilet clean and smelling fresh after each use. These usually take the form of plastic holders that clip onto your toilet bowl, with a container of scented cleaner inside. When the toilet is flushed, water passes through the freshener and distributes the fluid around the bowl, battling germs and leaving it smelling beautiful. When the freshener is empty, you simply use a refill to continue using it, avoiding unnecessary waste. Toilet fresheners help take the edge off of any bathroom smells and keep your toilet bowl cleaner without any extra effort, other than replacing the freshener when required. Preventing or reducing the smell at its source is much easier than battling it once it has already spread around the room.
Any pleasant scents you add to your room will help disguise the unavoidable smells. It's best to avoid electronic air fresheners, due to the moisture in bathrooms, but there are plenty of other ways to spread beautiful scents around your room. These can take the form of scented candles, with an innumerable range of sizes, shapes and scents available from most home retailers. Bathroom diffusers gradually distribute scent into the air, with many different styles available. Increasingly popular are the reed style, where wooden sticks absorb scented liquid, which is slowly released into the air over a prolonged period.
As unpleasant as temporary odours can be, they're at least short-lived. Odours which persist for days, weeks, months or indefinitely are a more significant problem and might suggest that there's another issue somewhere in your bathroom. Your bathroom surfaces are frequently exposed to steam and other moisture and water can sneak into any crack or crevice, providing an ideal environment for mold and mildew to grow along with all the nasty bacteria they bring.
Most bathroom smells have a simple solution: keeping your bathroom clean and free of damp. An extractor fan will help reduce the amount of moisture in your bathroom but it's also important to clean the various nooks and crannies of your bathroom in addition to the more obvious floors and ceramics. If you have an extractor fan, and if not it's something you should consider, it should be wired to your bathroom light switch so it can automatically remove moisture. It's also worth opening a window during baths or showers, as long as it isn't too cold outside, as this will further reduce the amount of condensation.
It's important to clean any other part of your bathroom that is frequently exposed to water. This includes your shower enclosure, any blinds or curtains and other linen items such as mats, rugs and towels. Cleaning these items will keep them free of mold and mildew and prevent them from becoming a source of foul smells. It's also crucial to clean the less visible parts of your bathroom, usually your shower waste, which can get clogged with hair, and your extractor fan.
Cleaning your wastes and drains is vital, as they're constantly exposed to filth and require a little extra effort to maintain. A simple tip is to pour a cup of baking soda down each of your drains and leave them for two hours, giving the soda time to break apart any stubborn dirt that might have gathered. You can then pour a cup of white vinegar, a cleaning agent, down the drain. The powerful chemical reaction of the baking soda and vinegar attacks any remaining stubborn dirt while also eliminating the lingering smells. Five minutes later, you can pour some hot water down the sink to wash away the solution and you should be left with a much fresher drain, albeit one that smells of vinegar for a short while.
Baking soda and vinegar can also be used as odour absorbents with minimal effort. Simply fill a bowl or vase with vinegar or baking soda and leave it in your bathroom, on the toilet cistern or near your shower enclosure; don't fill it with both, as you'll end up with an explosion of fizz. These cooking ingredients both help absorb odours and reduce the impact of unpleasant smells. Just replace the soda or vinegar with a fresh back when it stops being effective and you can enjoy its benefits again.
The key to eliminating long term smells from your bathroom is removing the sources, keeping your bathroom clean and as dry as possible. If you're confident that you've cleaned the room thoroughly, there might be a more serious issue. Improperly sealed shower enclosures or cracked tiles might allow water to seep through and gather in impossible to reach places. Ensuring your plumbing is watertight is essential for avoiding moisture buildup and preventing the foul smells and property damage that can arise as a result. The best solution to bad smells is preventing them before they have a chance to become a problem, but you can also disguise short terms smells until they fade away.