From the Blog
Cleaning Tips for Your Newly Remodeled Bathroom
After Metropolitan Bath and Tile remodels your home’s old bathroom and it looks perfect and stunning, there will come a time after when you will actually have to clean it! To keep it looking like the day we finished here are a few bathroom cleaning tips to undo all the daily use you will be giving your gorgeous bathroom and to keep it looking like new:
CLEANING ENGINEERED STONE COUNTERTOPS
Engineered stone like Silestone®, Corian® & Cambria® doesn’t require regular maintenance like sealing and they are very stain resistant so our bathroom designers at Metropolitan Bath and Tile recommend them as an ideal bathroom surface.
Solid surface countertops are created by pouring crushed up pieces of stone and acrylics into a mold. Sometimes called “synthetic stone”, they are becoming increasingly popular in new home construction and remodeling and are available in a myriad of colors, plus they are becoming more realistic looking like real stone all the time.Don’t worry about spills from coffee, wine, lemon juice, olive oil, vinegar, makeup, and many other common household products; just avoid harsh chemicals. And you don’t have to don’t worry about scorching your countertop – although extreme heat for prolonged periods will damage it.
- To clean solid surface countertops, just use a damp microfiber cloth to wipe down.
- For more dirty or stained areas, try a mild dish soap and water. Towel dry the surface.
- Shiny surface countertops can use a liquid mildly abrasive cleaner, while non-shiny (matte) finishes can use baking soda or another mild abrasive cleaner to remove tougher stains.
- Really difficult stains or spots may benefit from a solid-surface cleaning spray available at most home stores.
- For Silestone Quartz with a polished finish, we recommend you use a mild household cleaner, such as 409®, Fantastik®, Lysol®, or Windex®. In case of stubborn spills or stains, soak the area for up to 10 minutes with one of the above cleaners and vigorously wipe away with a non scratch Scotch Brite® pad.
- Silestone® Leather™ does show daily living more frequently and therefore requires more daily maintenance than other Silestone Quartz products.
CLEANING NATURAL STONE COUNTERTOPS
Granite countertops are gorgeous additions to a home, with each piece like a unique work of art. Because granite is available in so many colors, homeowners have many options to choose from. Granite is also very durable and resists heat. Because it is so hard it’s not forgiving should you drop a glass bottle on it – it will shatter the softer glass.
Granite requires regular maintenance. Besides just cleaning your countertops, you’ll need to make sure the granite is sealed periodically. Stains on granite can be difficult to remove, but not impossible.
- To keep granite countertops clean, use a microfiber cloth to dust off the surface. Wipe down the granite countertop daily and as needed using water.Use only gentle soap and water with natural stone.There are many brands specially formulated for granite (some even have sealer in them so it gets sealed a little at a time).
- Once a week wipe down with a damp cloth and a stone cleaner formulated with a neutral pH. Never use harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners. Do not use Windex, especially with Vinegar, as it will damage the sealant. . They can scratch, pit, and etch the surface of the stone. For oily stains, try a poultice made of a cup of flour or baking soda and 5 tablespoons of dish soap. Add water to make it the consistency of sour cream or yogurt. Place the solution directly on the stain and cover with plastic wrap overnight, before washing away the poultice.
- Re-seal the countertop when water splashed on the surface no longer beads up and you want to bring back the shine.Stains or damage can be repaired by a stone-care professional.
- Marble contains calcium, it can be affected by acids such as vinegar, citrus beverages, and soda.
CLEANING FAUCETS AND FIXTURES
After your bathroom remodeling, read your manufacturer information of the fixtures you chose for your remodeling. While the most common type of faucet is chrome, there are other types that may need special care instructions. Longer warranties are a result of significant improvements in finish technology, manufacturing tolerances and new models designed to provide an extended faucet life.Most new faucets have PVD finish, which is Physical Vapor Deposition, which creates an extra tight bond for the finish. Chances are it won’t PEEL (or crack, chip, etc). But it might tarnish, fade, etc. Most of these have a simple seal on them to protect against all the abuse that comes about on a bathroom sink.
Different manufacturers have varying warranties on their faucets and showerheads so again, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with them. They will usually list their recommendations for good and bad ways to clean your faucets. More information is always available on the manufacturer’s websites. Some of the new fixtures have superior finishes that resists spots, fingerprints so they are extra-easy to maintain. Harsh chemicals can take off that off that protective layer and void your warranty. Soaking the faucet with rubber or plastic corrosive chemicals can break down pieces that keep the faucet from disintegrating. This includes the seats (o-rings), valves, or even some basic silicone that may have been used for lubricant for smooth movement.
- Try the most basic way to clean your faucet first. Plain water, or mild dish soap and water can take care of the cleaning needs for most faucet types. Drying the faucet with a dry cleaning cloth after cleaning will allow you buff the shine of the faucet. This will also help prevent spotting on the faucet finish. A mild glass and surface cleaner may be another option to clean your faucet. Never use a scratch-pad sponge, scrub brush, or harsh abrasives on your faucet finishes for obvious reasons.
- If a simple wiping-off is not enough to get the gunk from your faucet, the next step is white vinegar. A mix of half vinegar and half water applied with a cleaning cloth can remove water spots and fingerprints (if you have natural stone, avoid getting on that surface as it harms the sealant). If you aren’t sure of your faucet’s finish or want to be extra careful, it’s a good idea to test the vinegar/water in a hidden area to make sure the finish isn’t damaged. Avoid bleach-based cleaners.
- Repurpose your old toothbrushes. An old toothbrush can be a great tool to clean around the edges where the sink and the faucet meet. Use dish soap or plain water to clean the edges. Wipe the faucet dry with a cleaning cloth.
- Clean the drain. The drain part of a faucet is often the part that needs the most cleaning. Try using a non abrasive cleaner like Softscrub or Barkeeper’s Friend to clean this portion of the faucet. Again, testing any cleaner on a hidden portion of the faucet to check for damage to the finish is a good idea.
Added Shine: To make your chrome faucets gleam and shine, try putting a dab of baby oil on a cotton ball and polish for extra gleam.
Tips from manufacturers:
Delta®: Avoid abrasives and polishes, including bleach-based cleansers. Delta specifically states to avoid Scrubbing Bubbles, Lysol Basin Tub, Soft Scrub and Tile Cleaner (avoid on the brushed nickel – it probably works just fine on tile/tubs/sinks). Beware product that say they “remove rust or tarnish” – those containing hydrofluoric, hydrochloric and/or phosphoric acids, anything with caustic agents (usually mentioned in the warning sections of the product).
Kohler® mentions to avoid anything with ammonia, bleach or acid. Kohler also suggests considering Windex Original (has “Ammonia-D”?), Fantastic Antibacterial Heavy Duty (avoid the Bleach version!), Comet Bathroom Cleaner (Comet has citric acid – 6%).
Moen® doesn’t suggest anything specific other than 50/50 of white vinegar and water, and a soft cloth.
Showerheads are prone to calcium buildup – be sure to ask our bathroom designers about some of the new ones out there that resist calcium problems.
- Always blot dry any water from any faucet surface. Allowing water to evaporate on the surface can lead to build up of mineral deposits. Cleaning with a damp non-abrasive sponge and buffing it dry with a clean soft cloth should help keep your product looking beautiful. To remove water spots, use warm water and a soft, damp cloth. Hard water stains may be removed using a 50/50 solution of white vinegar and water. Make certain that you rinse thoroughly with water afterward.
- Avoid industrial cleaners, bleach-based, and abrasive cleaners, such as those used for toilet bowls, green Scotch-Brite heavy duty scrub sponges, Scrubbing Bubbles Bathroom Cleaner and Lysol Basin Tub, Soft Scrub, and Tile Cleaner.
- Avoid products that state on the label that they remove tarnish and rust, and those containing hydrofluoric, hydrochloric and/or phosphoric acids and caustic agents.
CLEANING GLASS SHOWER DOORS
- We have one word for you: Squeegee. Daily maintenance is key to keeping your shower doors sparkling. Use a daily shower spray, make it a habit to wipe down with a squeegee after every shower to avoid scum and streaks.
- More wiping tools to keep handy are include microfiber cloth & Magic Eraser
- Hard water and soap from bar soap cause scum. If you switch to liquid soap your cleaning will be greatly reduced.
- A handy trick is to polish your doors with a wet fabric softener dryer sheet. Even newsprint is a handy wipe because of the ph of the sheets.
Your bathroom is one of the most-used rooms in your home. When it has seen its day and it’s time to remodel, visit one or Metropolitan Bath and Tile’s 4 convenient showrooms (Bowie, Rockville, Towson, MD & Annandale, VA). Our talented designers will be happy to give you a “clean” start with a gorgeous newly-designed room with the latest elements that are easy to maintain in your home – a true investment in your lifestyle’s time & quality. Visit our Inspiration Gallery for ideas.