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Clean ideas: Keep up with grime

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Extension Service News by Judy Hetterman

A grungy bathroom is not only unpleasant to look at, it’s also a breeding ground for germs, mold and mildew. Here are 12 tips to help keep the bathroom clean and sparkling on a daily basis. For a family with members with asthma, many of these best practices will help keep mold and mildew — which can trigger an asthma or allergy attack —under control.
1. Use the bathroom fan: It can help remove the moisture that causes mold and mildew. Vacuum the vents regularly to remove any dust that might inhibit the fan’s effectiveness.
2. Keep pop-up disinfectant wipes next to the sink: Train family members to wipe down the sink and its surroundings every time they turn the tap water off.
3. Hang a squeegee in the shower: Use it to quick-clean the walls and glass doors before stepping out of the shower.
4. Use wipes: These are handy for cleaning around toilet rims, tanks, faucets, sinks and basins. Check the label for disposal instructions — flushable wipes disperse in water when agitated (like toilet paper) and they’re safe for plumbing and septic tanks.
5. Be soap-smart: The choice between bar soap and liquid soap is a matter of personal preference. However, the way your family uses the soap may influence your choice. Bar soaps are great if they find their way back to the soap dish. Pump dispensers may be neater if they user’s aim is accurate.
6. Get a hand-held vacuum: When you think of vacuuming, the bathroom isn’t the first room that comes to mind. However, consider the hair, dust, talcum powder and more that find its way to the floor. A small, hand-held vacuum makes quick pickups a breeze.
7. Rinse the tub: Doing this after each use helps keep soap film and hard-water deposits from forming.
8. Keep shower doors and curtains open after use: This allows them to air-dry to prevent mildew.
9. Use a daily shower cleaner: Regular use will help keep shower and tub surfaces free of soap scum, mildew stains and hard-water deposits. Mist surfaces right after showering while the walls are wet and warm — no rinsing, wiping or scrubbing is necessary.
10. Sort out reading material: If reading in the bathroom is a family habit, don’t let old magazines and newspapers accumulate. They are a dust and mold magnets.
11. Stock up: Keep a set of cleaning supplies in the bathroom. Cleaning is easier if you don’t have to travel far to get what you need. If there are small children in the household — or small visitors who use this bathroom — make sure the cleaning supplies are stored in a cabinet with a child-resistant lock.

Source: American Cleaning Institute®